Have you ever wondered whether you can combine olive oil and vegetable oil in a dish, and what the possible disadvantages of doing so are? Sometimes, when you’re cooking, you might want to use more than one oil, so is this okay, or does it cause problems?
Can you mix vegetable oil and olive oil? You can combine vegetable oil and olive oil safely, although there are a few reasons that you might not want to do this. Firstly, the taste is quite different. Secondly, the oils will have different smoke points, which is important to bear in mind if you will be heating them. Be aware of this when mixing!
What Difference Does the Flavor Make?
Whenever you are cooking a dish, it’s important to think about the flavor profile of that dish, and to choose an oil that is suitable. Olive oil has a strong, noticeable flavor, while vegetable oil is blander.
It’s important not to mix olive oil into a dish that needs a more delicate oil flavor, or you will find that you lose the balance and the whole dish tastes of olive oil. Equally, if you are using something that depends on the taste of the olives, it won’t do if you mix in a large quantity of vegetable oil.
Think carefully about the flavors of both oils and of the food that you are making, and then choose oils that will work well with those flavors, rather than ones that will contrast or be drowned out by them. A bit of planning will make your food taste much better.
What Difference Does the Smoke Point Make?
It’s really important to know what the smoke point of the oil that you are using is before you start cooking something in it. Different oils have very different smoke points, and if you’re mixing oils, you must know what they are.
If an oil has a high smoke point, it can be heated to a higher temperature before it starts to alter. When oil passes its smoke point, the fats in it begin breaking down, which releases free radicals and can make your food less healthy. It also causes flavor issues, because it will release something called acrolein.
If you’ve ever heard of smoke being described as “acrid,” that’s exactly what this substance is. It’s what makes food bitter and unpleasant, and it’s not something you want in terms of your oil!
That’s why you really need to know what the lowest smoke point of the oil you’re using is, so you can avoid going over it and causing the oil to burn. A smoke point isn’t always easy to determine, because it can depend on a few different factors, but here is a guide.
The smoke point of olive oil is thought to be around 375 – 405 degrees F, which means it is generally safe for pan frying. The smoke point of vegetable oil is somewhere around 428 degrees F.
That means both are safe for frying with, but if you need to cook at higher temperatures, the olive oil may not be suitable anymore. If you mix it in with the vegetable oil, you need to conform to its smoke point, not that of vegetable oil, or you risk burnt and unpleasant food and a bad smell in your kitchen.
What are the Advantages of Mixing Vegetable and Olive Oil?
You might be wondering what the advantages of mixing two oils might be. The biggest advantage is usually in terms of the flavor. If you want to give something a hint of olive without bathing the whole thing in olive oil, adding vegetable oil is a good option.
Vegetable oil has been designed to have a neutral flavor overall, so it’s easy to cook using it without massively changing the taste of your food. By adding a little splash of olive oil, you can increase the flavor, but you won’t be overwhelming what you are trying to cook.
You can play around with different quantities until you hit the ratio that works for your meal, and then stick to it.
Another advantage of mixing olive oil with vegetable oil is that olive oil tends to be healthier because it hasn’t been as heavily refined. Vegetable oil has been processed a lot to make it neutral and increase its smoke point, but olive oil still contains lots of beneficial nutrients, including antioxidants.
That means you can benefit from some of the nutrition of olive oil without having to alter the flavor of the entire dish.
Furthermore, vegetable oil is cheaper than olive oil, and if you do a lot of cooking in oil, this might make a big difference. By using vegetable oil in the place of some of the olive oil, you can reduce your food costs and make frying cheaper.
Are there Any Problems with Mixing Vegetable Oil and Olive Oil?
Not really, no! As long as you pay attention to the smoke point of both oils if you’re cooking, you shouldn’t have any problems with mixing the two oils. If you’re just making a salad dressing, there is nothing you need to worry about, except making sure the flavors are suitable.
There is no particular reason to avoid mixing vegetable oil and olive oil together if you want to. Although you may find that you don’t like the flavor combination, there’s nothing to stop you from giving it a go.
Can You Deep Fry with a Mixture of Vegetable Oil and Olive Oil?
You can, but the results may not be great. Because olive oil is expensive and has a strong flavor, it isn’t generally ideal for deep frying. Plain vegetable oil will work better here, because it is cheap (and deep frying uses a lot!) and it doesn’t taste of much, allowing the flavor of the food to stand out instead.
There are no real problems with mixing olive oil and vegetable oil together, provided you pay attention to smoke points and oil flavors. You might find some of your food comes out better as a result of mixing two oils.