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I tried to fry some sausages and it caused so much smoke to the point that I was worried it would trigger the smoke alarm.

Sausages used: Flinders + Co X Paw Patrol Chicken & Veggie Sausages

I preheated a stainless steel pan until I could observe the Leidenfrost Effect (saw this on youtube and thought I had to do it to avoid food sticking to the pan), added around 3 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, took two sausages out of the freezer and placed them in the pan. As soon as I placed them in the pan, it started to smoke heavily.

What did I do wrong here? Should I have waited for the olive oil to start boiling? Should I have let the sausages come to room temperature first?

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  • Leidenfrost is good for quick cooking things like pancakes. For sausages, I often cook them in a bit of water so they get a chance to cook through, then brown once the water boils off
    – Joe
    Aug 5, 2023 at 11:41

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Olive oil, particularly extra virgin olive oil, has a relatively low smoke point. It is not the best choice for frying. And your pan was far, far too hot for something that would need to cook for more than a couple of minutes.

You probably should have defrosted the sausages (no need for them to come up to room temperature though). It is possible to cook sausages directly from frozen, but it's trickier.

Cook at a way lower temperature. When a drop of water sizzles off the pan (rather than beading up on it) add the oil and thoroughly coat the bottom of the pan with it, heat a few seconds more, then add the (defrosted) sausages. They should cook at a low sizzle.

Note: Olive oil doesn't "boil".

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    Refined olive oil would have been OK, at least at a more moderate pan temperature. I use it quite a lot. But with the whole pan covered in oil, and not a lot of food to cool it, it's quite hard to avoid some areas getting too hot. Especially if cooking from frozen, it needed to be far gentler
    – Chris H
    Aug 5, 2023 at 9:13
  • Any recommended alternatives to olive oil for frying?
    – Epsilon
    Aug 5, 2023 at 10:10
  • “Vegetable oil”, canola oil, peanut oil, whatever. Not butter. As ChrisH mentioned, refined olive oil should be okay too.
    – Sneftel
    Aug 5, 2023 at 12:14
  • Incidentally, it sounds like you’re quite a beginner in general when it comes to cooking. I would advise staying away from frying things, for now. Food that needs to be simmered is easier to start with.
    – Sneftel
    Aug 5, 2023 at 12:16
  • @Epsilon ghee also has an awfully high smoke point as well, far higher than the butter it was made from (but is less neutral tasting than oil) Aug 5, 2023 at 18:12

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