Olive Oil Cooking Tips: Your Ultimate Guide

While olive oil is highly rated, people still have reservations about cooking with it. Primarily because of the misconceptions surrounding the product, especially its extra virgin variety.

The goal of this guide is to change all that by presenting some of our favorite olive oil cooking tips designed to help you ease into the process.

We’ve also taken it upon ourselves to debunk all of these misleading claims once and for all by dedicating an entire section to explaining the health benefits of olive oil.

Olive Oil Cooking Tips

Is Cooking with Olive Oil Safe?

Olive oil’s health benefits make it one of the best ingredients to cook with. Extra virgin olive oil, in particular, is filled with monounsaturated fats, polyphenols, and amino acids that actively help fight against diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, and heart disease.

Additionally, oleic acid, which makes up about 70% of olive oil, is also known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Despite that, however, many individuals believe that cooking with olive oil is actually dangerous. They claim that it’s quite easy to burn due to its low smoke point and that extra virgin olive oil loses its health benefits once it’s cooked.

We’ve dedicated this section to putting these misconceptions to bed once and for all. So, without any further ado, let’s jump straight into the most common concerns people have about cooking with olive oil.

Olive Oil’s Smoke Point

As apparent from the name, the smoke point of a cooking oil is the temperature at which it starts to smoke. Now, we’ll be the first to admit that the smoke point of extra virgin olive oil, rated somewhere around 374 to 405°F, is considerably lower than that of most other cooking oils. However, that’s still well above the 350-375°F that is required for cooking most dishes.

With that said, it is possible for olive oil to start smoking before you reach the cooking temperature. But that usually means that the olive oil in question is higher in acidity or contains impurities that have brought down its typical smoking point by an additional 25-50°F.

An easy fix for that is investing in high-quality olive oil like the Ayvaco extra virgin olive oil.

Oxidative Stability

While smoke points usually signify the point at which the oil starts to lose its fats, real extra virgin olive oil doesn’t adhere to the same rules.

According to the North American Olive Oil Association, when it comes to premium olive oil, people should be more concerned with its oxidative stability than its smoke point. What is oxidative stability, you ask?

It refers to how resistant fats are to reacting when exposed to oxygen, light, and heat. And pure olive oil remains oxidatively stable for far longer than other cooking oils.

Essentially, meaning that while it will lose some flavor the longer it cooks past its smoke point, it still retains most of its nutrients. Thus confirming that extra virgin olive oil is actually one of the healthier options for cooking.

Does EVOO Olive Oil Lose its Health Benefits When Cooked?

We've already mentioned how fresh olive oil possesses tons of health benefits. Containing strong antioxidants and monounsaturated fats that help people fight against a myriad of diseases.

And while it's true that heating extra virgin olive oil for cooking can reduce some of its nutrients, it still retains large amounts of healthy compounds. Compounds that can help people battle conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, bacterial infections, and even cancer.

So, to answer the question, no EVOO does not lose its health benefits when cooked.

Olive Oil Cooking Tips for Beginners

Olive Oil Cooking Tips for Beginners

Now that it’s clear that olive oil is indeed one of the healthiest options for cooking, let’s explore some cooking tips that beginners can really take advantage of. These tips should also help you put the last of your concerns about olive oil to bed.

Use High Quality, Oxidative Stable Olive Oil

We’ve mentioned what happens if you invest in low-quality olive oil for your cooking needs. But let’s just quickly go over it once again.

Firstly, low-quality olive oil can bring the average smoke point of the oil down by 25-50°F. Which essentially means that it’ll reach its smoke point quicker and lose more flavor and nutrients by the time your dish is fully cooked. Secondly, low-quality olive oil is also less oxidatively stable, resulting in it losing even more nutrients as soon as it's exposed to oxygen, fire, and light.

Keeping all this in mind, make sure you invest in high-quality olive oil like the Ayvaco extra virgin olive oil to ensure your food stays healthy and flavorsome.

Raise the Temperature Gradually

Never raise the temperature directly to 375°F when cooking with olive oil just to save time because it will ultimately cause the oil to smoke early. And the more it smokes, the more nutrients and flavor it loses.

A better way is to increase the temperature gradually until the oil starts shimmering slightly. In other words, when tiny bubbles start appearing on the sheen-like surface of the oil.

Reusing Olive Oil for Frying

Frying with olive oil can be slightly risky if you don’t follow proper procedure. What you need to do is add the oil to a heavy pot or pan and bring it to a boil by gradually increasing the heat.

You could use an oil thermometer to check the temp at regular intervals and a burner’s medium setting to raise the temperature little by little. Add the food in only after the oil starts bubbling to prevent it from absorbing too much oil.

The best part, however, comes after you’re done cooking. As you can reuse your pot of olive oil 4-5 times after the initial frying session, and your food will still come out perfectly safe and flavorsome. That in itself is a huge bonus, considering extra virgin olive oil can be quite expensive.

Use a Splatter Guard or Splatter Screen

Many of your cooking ingredients may have water in them. If that is the case, then the oil may begin to splatter when it comes into contact with these ingredients.

To save your skin and clothes from getting hit by any of these splattering olive oil droplets, you must invest in a splatter guard or splatter screen.

Numerous splatter guards are available in the market today, all in different sizes, designed to suit your skillets and keep your skin safe from hot oil droplets.


That, folks, brings us to the end of our guide discussing olive oil cooking tips. We genuinely hope this guide was able to put your concerns about olive oil cooking to bed.

More than that, we hope it helped you realize how cooking with olive oil is actually relatively easy if you follow a few intelligent tricks.

But most of all, we hope you’ve understood how important it is to invest in high-quality olive oil. And how that ensures you receive all the health benefits the fatty oil promises.