Because not only will it taste bad, it will also be really bad for you. When oil gets heated beyond its smoke point, it starts to break down chemically. It loses most of its antioxidants, releases toxic chemicals in the form of smoke, and becomes filled with carcinogenic free radicals. SCARY.
So as a general rule, cooking over high heat with olive oil is bad news.
And most of the stuff you cook should be done over high heat. For example, the point of searing is to get color and caramelization on the outside of a food, which can only be done over high heat. If you try to sear with olive oil, the oil will smoke before it gets hot enough to sear the food. Or, if you roast olive oil-coated vegetables at 425°F, the oil will burn in the oven. Your vegetables will be bitter and carcinogenic.
Here’s when to NOT cook with olive oil:
13. So what should you use instead? A neutral oil with a high smoke point, like canola.
Canola oil is an excellent, widely available alternative to olive oil in high-heat cooking situations. Like olive oil, it is low in saturated fat, and the Food and Drug Administration claims that it may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Unlike olive oil, canola can stand up to high heat (up to 475°F) and has a neutral flavor, making it a good choice for searing or frying. Nut and seed oils also have high smoke points, but have a strong flavor that you may not want in your food.
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