When cooking with olive oil, here are some tips to follow:
- Rather than pour your olive oil into a hot pan, and then add your food, try pouring a 1/4 cup of water in a stir-fry pan and heat just below boiling.
- Add the food and cook it a few minutes in the hot water.
- Add the olive oil, stirring frequently.
- After a minute or two, remove the pan from the heat. The less time the oil spends in the hot pan, the better.
The reason it's important to do this is because your olive oil can become damaged at high temperatures because it has a lower smoking point compared to other oils — this is especially true of extra-virgin olive oil. Not only can high heat affect the flavor of olive oil, it reduces its nutritional value. If you need to cook something with more than medium heat, try using another oil like canola oil.