Can You Cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

 

Extra Virgin is often used in its raw form and commonly misconstrued as a poor choice for cooking. This is because it's flavor will dissipate somewhat when heat is applied and it has a lower smoke point than refined olive oil. However, the smoke point of high quality EVOO is much higher than conventionally thought. Our EVOOs typically have a smoke point of 420-430 degrees. America's Test Kitchen reports 410 degrees as the smoke point while Milk Street found it to be as high as 446 degrees. In general, extra virgin olive oil is a good choice for cooking over low and medium temperatures. It's expecially good for sauteeing and roasting. But of course, the complex flavors and health benefits of extra virgin olive oil can be most fully enjoyed in its fresh, raw form as a salad dressing, finished oil, dip, or whatever else your heart desires!

Smoke Point

The smoke point of a fat is the temperature at which it begins to chemically break down. Visually, it occurs when a heated fat stops shimmering and begins to release smoke. This temperature can vary dramatically depending on the oil and how it has been processed. For example, refined oils tend to have a much higher smoke point than their virgin counterparts.

For more information on smoke points (and why smoking oil isn't always a bad thing!) check out this article: Cooking Fats 101: What's a Smoke Point and Why Does it Matter?