I see many chefs/people in food channels who use olive oil to fry stuff (like salmon). However, when I add olive oil for frying it quickly burns releasing dark smoke. Is there a specific type of olive oil that they use for frying that doesn't burn? or am I just possibly doing something wrong?
You're heating the oil past its smoke point.
There is no trick or technique that will prevent oil from smoking and oxidizing ("burning") at temperatures above the smoke point. It is literally being slowly destroyed at that temperature.
I honestly don't know why TV chefs are so attached to the idea of cooking with olive oil when most serious attempts to compare it to other oils (for frying purposes) strongly indicate that it loses all or almost all of its unique taste by the end. Some cite dubious health benefits, but the low smoke point of virgin/extra virgin olive oil may also make it worse for you health-wise due to exactly what you've witnessed - smoke and oxidation.
EVOO is great as a dressing but it's a terrible choice as a cooking oil. If you absolutely must imitate these confused TV chefs, you can either fry at very low temperatures (as in, just barely a sizzle), which will take considerably more time, or used a refined (not virgin) olive oil which has a much higher smoke point. These would typically be the "cheap" olive oils you find in large plastic or metal containers.
You want to use 'extra light' olive oil, not 'extra virgin'.
It's more refined, and has a significantly higher smoke point. It's closer to 240°C, while many other oils used for frying, such as peanut oil, smoke well below that temperature.
Don't just go for the cheap bottle of olive oil and assume that the price indicates that it's 'extra light' ... there are a number of companies that will blend olive oil with some other oil to reduce the price, but it doesn't necessarily increase the smoke point.
Actually extra virgin olive oil has one of highest smoke points so it's perfect for frying. The only problem is that it's expensive. Probably you are using a refined olive oil or a cheap one that has a low smoke point ..try to use extra virgin and not to over heat the oil not only to avoid burning the oil but also to avoid undercooking the food. Regular vegetable oils degrade when heated beyond the smoke point and because of their low smoke point they start forming free fatty acids which are bad for health. Extra virgin olive oil is more stable with a high smoke point and will not loss it's beneficial properties by frying or heating that's why it's preferable oil for cooking and frying.
Some more information:
Olive oil is ideal for frying. In proper temperature conditions, without over-heating, it undergoes no substantial structural change and keeps its nutritional value better than other oils, not only because of the antioxidants but also due to its high levels of oleic acid. Its high smoking point (210ºC) is substantially higher than the ideal temperature for frying food (180ºC). Those fats with lower critical points, such as corn and butter, break down at this temperature and form toxic products.
Another advantage of using olive oil for frying is that it forms a crust on the surface of the food that impedes the penetration of oil and improves its flavour. Food fried in olive oil has a lower fat content than food fried in other oils, making olive oil more suitable for weight control. Olive oil, therefore, is the most suitable, the lightest and the tastiest medium for frying.
It goes further than other oils, and not only can it be re-used more often than others, it also increases in volume when reheated, so less is required for cooking and frying.