Chef Lawrence Cooking Tip: Pan Fry With the Right Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is a standard in the usual household kitchen. It's used for salad dressings, mixing with spices, and even pan searing and frying. Using it for the latter reasons, however, isn't a good idea.

"We have all heard that extra virgin olive oil is good for us," said Chef Lawrence Fogarty. "After all, it's mostly monounsaturated, which is the good fat. However, when cooking at high temperature, don't waste your hard earned money on cooking with extra virgin olive oil. While all oils are susceptible to heat damage, extra virgin olive oil is especially at risk because of its low smoke-point."

There are several health benefits that come from extra virgin olive oil. Studies have shown that it possesses anti-cancer agents, lowers insulin resistance, and helps fight cardiovascular disease. When cooking this healthy oil above 250 degrees, it loses its benefits.

"When searing or pan frying, one should use an oil that can handle the heat, such as peanut, grape seed or canola," Fogarty said. "Save the extra virgin olive oil for finishing a dish or making a dressing. Your body and your wallet will thank you."

Want to become a better cook or food connoisseur? Check out Chef Lawrence Fogarty's bi-monthly cooking tips. Or ask him a question on the MAIN Restaurant Facebook page.