Why is Knowing Smoke Points Important?

Although we provide information over several cooking oils, we point out that olive oil is almost always your best option because of its high nutritional value compared to the others. We understand that you may not have used olive oil much to cook with, but we answer questions that you may have and give you a fun guide to pairing olive oil with different dishes.

The term smoke point refers to the temperature at which an oil starts to smoke. Why is this important? Once an oil reaches its smoking point, it begins to lose some of its properties. Although an oil that has lost some of its properties is not bad for your health, being aware of the smoke point can be helpful.

Olive Oil Smoke Points

The smoke point of olive oil depends on the type of olive oil. Pure olive oil has a smoking point at 419 degrees F, which makes it great for deep-frying as temperatures for this range from 350 to 375 degrees F. It can be reused up to 24 times. Moving down the temperature scale, extra light olive oil has a smoking point of 414 degrees F, extra virgin olive oil at 396 F, pomace olive oil at 394 F, and finally virgin olive oil at 385 F.

Smoke Points of Other Oils

Other oils such as corn oil, rice oil, sunflower oil, and grapeseed oil have higher smoke points, but some of these oils may not be the healthiest option compared with olive oil. Corn oil has a smoking point of 459 F and can be used when a recipe calls for a higher smoke temperature and can be reused about 78 times. Rice oil smokes at 444 F, sunflower oil at 437 F, and grapeseed oil at 435 F. Grapeseed oil is a great source of omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids. In the right amounts, it can act as an anti-inflammatory and can be good for brain and heart health.

Can I cook with olive oil?

Of course you can! Its phenolic makeup and fatty acids help it perform better than other vegetable and seed oils. It is perfectly safe to use and it won’t lose its health benefits. It can be used for meats, fish, shellfish, vegetables, and other foods such as cakes, dairy, eggs, and even cocktails!

Benefits to Cooking with Olive Oil

Unless it reaches its smoking point, olive oil is one of the best cooking oils for your health. There are tons of ways you can cook with olive oil without reaching its smoking point. The health benefits are endless, but we’ll mention a couple. Containing 120 calories and 14g of fat per tablespoon, olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats that reduce levels of bad cholesterol. As heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the United States, it’s important to keep your heart healthy and cooking with olive oil can be one way to do that. Olive oil also takes longer for your body to digest, which will leave you feeling satisfied and energized longer.

What Can I Cook with Olive Oil?

Olive oil can be used for a number of dishes in the kitchen. It’s perfect for making appetizers, or side dishes such as mashed potatoes or baked potatoes, and it’s often used in making pesto, dips, eggs, and eggs.   Of course, it can be used as a condiment and drizzled on a salad, made into a marinade or sauce, can replace butter or margarine.

Now that we’ve answered some of your questions, here is a fun guide to show which olive oils pair best with which dishes!

Extra virgin olive oils pair perfectly with wines, gins, salts, and cheeses. It can sometimes be difficult to choose which olive oils go best with each course, but trust your taste buds. They will be your guide! We recommend more robust, fruity olive oils for oily fish, green vegetables such as broccoli, salads, and red meats.

Light olive oils are great for white fish, sauces like mayonnaise, chicken, vegetables such as potatoes or carrots, and desserts. For foods such as these, try different types of olive oils from Spain such as Arbequina, Cornicabra, Empeltre, and Arbosana (among others).

Classic olive oil is characterized by a mild flavor and aroma, but still gives personality to all of your dishes. This type of olive oil is perfect for grilling and roasting. It adds the perfect element to your barbeques with friends or family that require a special touch.

The most important takeaway is that you CAN cook with olive oil, despite the naysayers. We hope this article was of help to you. Send us your results cooking with olive oil or following our recipes!