Extra virgin olive oil is absolutely fine for cooking. Coconut oil is better, sure, but there is nothing wrong with cooking with olive oil. Studies have shown that it holds up very well to heat due to the very high MUFA content, and even better if you infuse it with herbs like rosemary, thyme or oregano. You shouldn't store it out in the open like coconut oil and you shouldn't reuse oil or heat it to smoke point, but for sauteing and occasional frying, it's fine IMO and one of the best oils to use. In fact, Mark recommends to use pure olive oil (instead of extra virgin) for higher heat deep frying if you can't find something really nice like clarified butter, beef tallow or avocado oil. Olive oil's smoke point is actually higher than coconut oil FYI.
This is what I do for cooking in the following order:
1.) Coconut oil of course. 90% SFA's, heat stable. Obviously, if your wife doesn't like it, that's out.
2.) Render your own lard. I cut the fat off my pork loins and render that into lard. Bacon grease works well, too.
3.) Extra virgin olive oil for sauteing or light frying, pure olive oil for higher heat. I don't buy pure olive oil, but I almost never deep fry. I wouldn't buy anything below pure olive oil grade - stay away from light and extra light olive oils IMO. Too processed.
4.) Good old butter. This is sauteing only as it is 20% water and you can't deep fry with it. I don't care to go through the trouble to make ghee.
I use olive oil more than any of them because I prefer the taste. I have a heat gun and I will heat my extra virgin olive oil from 350-375*F when I sear meat. It smokes around 380-385*F according to my gun, so be aware. I find Boticelli extra virgin olive oil IN THE GREEN TIN (I prefer my olive oil in tins to keep the light out instead of glass) to be a great quality, readily available, reasonably priced olive oil. Shop Rite frequently has 64 fl oz tins on sale for $9.99. It's a no brainer.
I would rather eat smoked olive oil than cold-pressed canola oil. I'd rather eat motor oil than soybean oil.
Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 08-22-2011 at 06:44 AM.
Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.