When you think of frying, olive oil isn’t usually the first type of oil that comes to mind.
You probably think of canola or vegetable oil.
Most likely because olive oil is significantly more expensive.
After all, why fry with something that costs so much more when you can use a cheaper option?
So, can you fry with olive oil?
Yes, you can fry with olive oil because it has a high smoke point, meaning that the oil can withstand high temperatures without burning or smoking.
This makes it ideal for cooking at high heat.
Moreover, the oil contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that can be beneficial to your health.
Can you use olive oil instead of vegetable oil for frying?
This article shall answer this question and examine whether olive oil is the healthiest option.
Can you use Olive Oil to Fry Chicken?
Across the globe, people love fried chicken.
While there are different ways to fry chicken, one constant is that you need some type of oil.
So, can you fry chicken with olive oil?
The health benefits of olive oil make it a great option for frying chicken.
Not only is olive oil lower in saturated fats than other oils, but it also contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
However, you should use high-quality, extra-virgin olive oil because it has a higher smoke point than other types of olive oil.
Benefits of Using Olive Oil to Fry Chicken
Healthy saturated fats: Olive oil is full of healthy, monounsaturated fats. Thus, it can help improve cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease.
High smoke point: The high smoke point of olive oil makes it ideal for frying chicken.
Lower in calories: Olive oil contains fewer calories than other oils, making it a healthier option.
Taste: Some people prefer the taste of olive oil-fried chicken because it has a more robust flavor.
Contains antioxidants: Olive oil is also rich in antioxidants, which are beneficial for your health.
Non-stick oil: Unlike other oils, olive oil won’t stick to the chicken skin. This makes removing the chicken from the pan easier and doesn’t stick to your teeth.
How to Use Olive Oil for Frying Chicken
Now that we’ve answered the question, “can you fry chicken in olive oil?” it’s time to look at how to do it.
When frying chicken with olive oil, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- Use a high-quality, extra-virgin olive oil: use high-quality olive oil because it has a higher smoke point.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan: if you overcrowd the pan, the chicken will steam instead of frying, making it harder to get that crispy skin.
- Use moderate heat: If the oil is too hot, the chicken will burn on the outside before cooking through. If the oil isn’t hot enough, the chicken will be greasy.
There are two ways you can fry chicken with olive oil; pan and deep frying.
We’ll look at both methods so you can choose the best option.
How to Pan-Fry Chicken in Olive Oil
Olive oil: Have enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan and come up the sides of the chicken.
Chicken: Cut into small pieces so that they cook through evenly.
Seasoning: You can use any type of seasoning you like. We recommend a combination of salt, pepper, and paprika.
Flour: This helps create a crispy coating on the chicken.
Egg: Helps the flour to stick to the chicken.
Preheat the olive oil: Turn the stovetop to medium heat and let the olive oil warm up. You’ll know it’s ready when rippling starts. Remember, the smoke point of olive oil is 374–405°F, so you don’t want to overheat it.
Coat the chicken: While the olive oil is heating up, coat the chicken in flour. You can do this by putting the flour in a shallow dish and dredging the chicken. Make sure each piece is well coated.
Egg wash: Put the egg in a separate shallow dish and coat the chicken. Again, make sure each piece is well coated.
Fry the chicken: Carefully add the chicken to the pan once the olive oil is heated. You’ll know it’s ready to be flipped when the edges start to turn golden brown.
Flip and finish cooking: Flip the chicken over and cook for an additional three to five minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Make an incision that exposes clear juices to check whether the chicken is ready.
How to Deep-Fry Chicken in Olive Oil
You can also deep-fry chicken in olive oil.
This method produces crispy chicken with a moist interior.
However, you must eyeball the temperature of the oil carefully because it’s easy to overcook the chicken.
Thus, use a cooking thermometer to check the temperature of the oil before adding the chicken.
Deep Pan: Use a deep pan so that the chicken is completely submerged in oil.
Take precautionary measures: When frying chicken, there’s always a risk of the oil splattering. To avoid this, cover the pan with a lid or screen.
Seasoning: You can use any type of seasoning you like, for instance, a combination of salt, pepper, and paprika.
The Cooking Process
Preheat the olive oil: Turn the stovetop to medium heat and let the olive oil warm up. Avoid exceeding 374–405°F, the smoke point of olive oil.
Check the temperature: Use a cooking thermometer to check the temperature of the oil before adding the chicken. The ideal temperature for frying chicken is 350°F.
Carefully add the chicken: Ensure chicken pieces are separate before dipping to ensure even cooking.
Fry for the recommended time: The general rule is to fry chicken for three minutes per side. However, this may vary depending on the size of your chicken pieces.
Remove and check doneness: Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the chicken from the oil. Check that the juices run clear before serving.
Drain the excess oil: Place the chicken on a wire rack or paper towel to drain the excess oil.
Tips for Frying with Olive Oil
Every cook wants excellent results each time they fry their food.
Here are some tips to help you achieve the best results:
Fresh Olive Oil
Fresh olive oil will give your fried chicken a more intense flavor.
It also has a lower smoke point, so it’s less likely to burn.
Thus, it will withstand higher cooking temperatures without smoking.
To ensure that your oil is fresh, buy it from a reputable source and check the expiration date.
You should also store it in a cool, dark place.
Never Reuse Olive Oil
Recycling olive oil is a common practice, but it’s not recommended.
When olive oil is heated, it breaks down and produces harmful compounds.
These compounds can cause health problems if you’re exposed to them over time.
Moreover, reusing olive oil leaves your house smoky.
Thus, it’s best to buy fresh olive oil and discard the used oil properly.
You can either throw it away or use it for another purpose, such as lubricating a door hinge.
Try Flavored Olive Oil
Perhaps you’re not a fan of olive oil’s taste.
If that’s the case, you can try flavored olive oils.
These oils have been infused with other flavors, such as garlic or lemon.
You can use these oils to fry chicken, but be careful not to overdo it.
The flavor might be too overpowering if you use too much.
Start with a small amount and gradually add more until you’re happy with the flavor.
Avoid Heating the Oil Quickly
Heating the oil too quickly will cause the water in the chicken to evaporate.
This will make the chicken dry and tough.
To avoid this, heat the olive oil slowly over low heat.
Once it reaches the desired temperature, increase the heat to medium and add the chicken.
Don’t Crowd the Pan
If you overcrowd the pan, the chicken pieces will touch each other.
This will prevent them from cooking evenly and make it harder to achieve that crispy exterior.
To avoid this, cook the chicken in batches or use a larger pan.
Can you Fry with Olive Oil FAQs
Is frying with olive oil better than regular oil?
Unlike other oils, olive oil is healthier because it’s high in monounsaturated fats.
These fats are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
Can you fry stuff in olive oil?
It’s possible to fry with olive oil, but you must be careful.
For instance, avoid watery foods like zucchini since they can make the oil splatter.
Does frying food with olive oil cause cancer?
Olive oil doesn’t cause cancer but can produce harmful compounds when heated.
These compounds can be harmful if you’re exposed to them over time.
Why are fried foods high in calories?
When you fry food, it absorbs oil.
This increases the number of calories in the food.
Additionally, the process of frying draws and removes water from the food, making the food more calorie-dense.
Frying with olive oil is a healthier option than frying with other oils.
Additionally, it gives your food a more intense flavor.
However, you must be careful not to overdo it with flavored oils.
Olive oil also has a lower smoke point, so it’s less likely to burn.
Thus, it will withstand higher cooking temperatures without smoking.