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I saw a nice post on the spatchcocked chicken, thanks Cranky! Cranky changed from Olive oil to grape seed oil and liked the taste difference. That sparked my studies on oils, in particular, the misconceptions of oils.


Everything you read focuses on smoke point. Look up Extra Virgin Oilive oil smoke point and you will find a wide range, some as low as 300 degrees.


What is not being considered are the complex components of the oils. Oilive oil contains many different components. The healthiest and flavor delivering components breakdown at 140 degrees. In fact, EVO will start changing (ever so slightly) into synthetic-like compounds between 140 degrees and 200 degrees.


Olive oil that’s been heated without support of a cooler substance accompanying it will begin to taste rancid. Olive oil on a chicken should be OK because the chicken keeps the olive oil temp in check; they protect each other. Put olive oil on the bottom of a pizza cooked at 500 degrees and you will taste rancid oil. Put it on the top of the dough and it has the cooling partner it needs.


Do a test. Put two TBS of EVO on a warm plate and put that in the oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes. Put 2 TBS of olive oil on another plate and let it sit on the counter (the control). You should taste a difference even at the 200 degree temp. Try the same but at 450 degrees for 6 minutes (emulating olive oil on bread under a broiler). I can taste the difference.


A great book if you are interested in food science is The Science of Good Cooking, Cooks Illustrated. It really helps me because I design most of my recipes.