Since you have hopefully gotten acquainted with your new Garlic and Onion tools, I hope you didn’t think I would leave you hanging with the last item two items in your first months box.
Let me introduce you to your Olive Oil bottle and Pourer Top. Whether you are cooking everyday or on occasion I can guarantee you will reach for this bottle EVERY time. The bottle is the perfect size; it’s large enough to hold a substantial amount of oil (whichever kind you prefer, and if you’re confused about which type to use – we’ll talk it out later) yet not super tall that it can easily fit on most counters or in most cabinets. And then there is the top…the top may be my favorite part. Have you ever tried to pour oil from a large container you buy from the store? You end up either spilling it all over the counter or end up with a pool of oil that not even a loaf of bread could sop up. But when you add the top to your bottle, you will get an even, controlled flow of golden oil.
There are some other factors that come into keeping this liquid gold as protected as possible. You always want to keep oil away from heat, light and air. Make sure your oil is not sitting close to a major heat source, such as your stove and oven (which is something that I recently learned..oops, we all have to start somewhere right?). Always store Olive Oil in a bottle with a cap or seal (TA DA), air exposure can affect the taste. The hinge pourer makes it easy to quickly pour your oil while cooking, but doesn’t affect the oxidation while storing. OK, now it’s time to cook.
There are a wide variety of options when it comes to oils and at a top level can be really overwhelming. I know when I first started cooking, I would stand in front of the shelves in the store and have no idea which type to buy. Most times I ended up buying whatever bottle looked nicest but wasn’t super expensive or what I recognized my mom had used. To be fair, there is nothing wrong with this technique, going with what you know is a safe choice. But as I started cooking more and did more research, I learned that the type of oil you choose makes a difference.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO, anyone?) – EVOO is probably the most widely-used cooking oil and has the highest quality. It is an unrefined oil (meaning not processed) and noticed by its greenish gold hue with a peppery taste. It is a bit more expense than other oils since it is made from the first cold press of olives. EVOO is ideal for dipping, drizzling, salad dressings or really any dish that won’t be heated as it will compromise the flavor.
Virgin Olive Oil – Just like EVOO, Virgin Oil is also made by first press, but has a slightly higher acidity level with the same good taste as EVOO. A lighter golden color with a slightly less “Olive” flavor, making it less in quality. Virgin Oil can can be used the same way as EVOO but because it has a lower smoking point it can be your go too with cooking with heat. Think sautéd veggies, searing meats, even in baking.
Canola Oil – with a high smoking point of 400 degrees (meaning it can withstand a higher heat), Canola Oil is ideal for frying. But Contrary to popular belief, Canola Oil isn’t as bad as it seems. It is low in saturated fats and due to its neutral flavor, Canola oil will leave you with a golden brown, crispy coating to your fried Mozzerella Stick Onion Rings (Thank you Tasty!)
Coconut Oil – What can’t you do with it? By now we know that the uses and benefits of Coconut oil are extensive, if you don’t I recommend you check it out. With a lower smoking point, Coconut Oil can be used in place of butter in any recipe. We recommend keeping it use to sautéd Veggies or when baking (plus it adds a great flavor).
Rule of thumb – as long as your recipe is not calling for a ridiculous high heat (400 or higher) – in most cases you will be fine cooking with EVOO or Virgin Oil, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to keep vegetable or canola oil on hand (especially if you like to bake). You would be surprised how many other oils are out there. If you are interested in cooking with another healthy oil option check out this article.
On that note, go to the grocery store, pick out a new kind of oil, pair it with a nice crusty loaf of bread (maybe even a glass of wine?) and do a taste test for yourself. The more you taste and cook with oils, the more you will be able to gauge the differences and get a feel for which type will work for your recipe. It’s good for us…tastes delicious…makes other food taste better. Honestly, could it get any better than that?