Following the question posted here concerning the safety of cooking with olive oil Is cooking with olive oil bad or toxic?

I wasn't quite sure how to tell when the oil actually starts to smoke especially when cooking with liquid

enter image description here https://youtu.be/VOBihHeZuXE?t=1m35s

  • What is smoking/vaporizing when he adds the wine? The oil or the added liquid?
  • He later adds a vegetable chicken stock (at 1:45) and brings to a boil; Can the oil smoke while the water is boiling?

enter image description here https://youtu.be/TYmDpxY9_hM?t=3m20s

  • Hi Dan, our site only discusses standard food safety rules (basically, how long to store food before the chance of bacterial poisoning gets higher than the FDA likes) and questions about potential long term effects of food are off topic. You saw already from the other question that oil over its smoking point does not fall under "unsafe", so it makes no sense to ask if oil below the smoking point is "completely safe" - there is only "safe" and "not safe" anyway, not gradations. So I had to remove that part. – rumtscho Jan 7 '18 at 19:30
  • @rum tscho I've further read in the question posted here link It seems rather unsafe to get above the smoke point (based on the studies they referenced) but my main concern was how to tell if the oil was smoking at these particular moments in the videos – Dan Jan 10 '18 at 5:50
  • Oh, I see. This is something which is confusing to new users, and you had no way of knowing - the question you linked is from the first few months of the site's life, when we had not yet determined the exact terms and our scope. After the question was posted, we realized that we don't have the qualification to answer health-related topics and if we let questions about them open, they get answered but nobody can say if the answers are correct, so that area is now off topic for us. We then had to define where the line is between food safety (which we can answer) and health. – rumtscho Jan 10 '18 at 17:11
  • So we now stopped mixing up health (which is the vague, unknown and unprovable risks of something like smoking oil) and food safetey (which is the regulations meant for preventing foodborne illness). THe old question has been dormant for so long, we have overlooked it. I closed it now. – rumtscho Jan 10 '18 at 17:13

The smoke point of extra virgin olive oil is about 375F (190C), which is above the boiling point of water. Most likely the pan temperature is close to 350 or so for sauteing in the first recipe, or at least above 300F, so when wine (which is mostly water) hits the pan it starts to boil off, so what you are seeing is water vapor. When stock is added later it's still just water vapor. Once you add liquid the oil will typically sit on the top, which is the coolest place to be because of evaporation.

A big reason to avoid burning oil is that is creates off flavors which are undesirable, and the smoke itself is unpleasant smelling. For that reason if you want to do high temperature sauteing (think wok) or deep frying you would want to use an oil with a high smoke point, for instance peanut or canola (rapeseed).

  • Health discussions are off topic here, please don't start them even if new users ask for them in the question. The appropriate thing would have been to edit them out of the question, or cast a close vote instead of answering if you think that removing them leaves nothing to be answered. – rumtscho Jan 7 '18 at 19:31
  • Mea culpa @rumtscho, it was a moment of weakness. I have added part of the deleted section back in as it dealt with the culinary consequences of burning oil rather than any health issues. – GdD Jan 7 '18 at 19:43
  • @GdD If I get it right, the pan temperature is the same as the oil temperature? Can I measure the oil temperature by any means? (a very thin layer of oil rather than deep frying oil measured using thermo) – Dan Jan 10 '18 at 5:50
  • A thin layer of oil will be pretty much the same as the pan temperature, you can measure with an infrared thermometer @Dan. – GdD Jan 10 '18 at 23:35
  • @GdD Well noted, that pretty much covered my concerns! – Dan Jan 11 '18 at 17:32

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