When considering cooking with olive oil, “to cook or not to cook” pops up regularly.
This question is rooted in concerns about the oil’s smoke point and its potential to lose its benefits when exposed to high heat.
In this article, we cover the different types of olive oils and which oils are best to cook with.
Key Benefits Of Using Olive Oil
Here are a few key reasons why olive oil has become a favorite among chefs and home cooks alike:
- Flavor enhancement: The fruity, grassy, and peppery taste of this golden glowy oil pairs beautifully with vegetables, meats, and salads.
- Health benefits: Loaded with wellness-promoting properties like its monounsaturated healthy fat content and its anti-inflammatory properties, to name a few.
- Culinary versatility: Used for a myriad of cooking methods: baking, sautéing, frying, roasting, preserving – the list goes on.
- Cultural significance: Olive oil has a long-standing history in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures, where it has been a dietary staple for centuries. Its cultural significance and traditional usage have contributed to its widespread popularity worldwide.
Cooking with Olive Oil
Here is a deep dive into the different types of olive oils and how to apply them in the kitchen.
Extra virgin olive oil
They are considered the highest quality for both cooking and raw applications. Note that our range of olive oils is all extra virgin. Beyond that, our oils are also ethically produced and organic.
- Extra virgin olive oil is the pinnacle of quality olive oil, making it suitable for cooking and uncooked preparations.
- It boasts a robust flavor profile and rich aroma that can elevate the taste of dishes.
- When cooking with extra virgin olive oil, it is recommended to use it in low to medium heat cooking methods to preserve its flavors and nutritional properties.
Virgin olive oil
Suitable for cooking with a slightly lower smoke point.
- Virgin olive oil is another good cooking option, although it is slightly lower quality than extra virgin olive oil. Great for grilling, sautéing, and stir-frying,
- While it may not have the same flavor intensity as extra virgin olive oil, it still provides a quality cooking oil for a range of dishes.
Refined and light olive oil
Better suited for high-heat cooking
- Refined and light olive oils are processed oils that undergo refining techniques to improve their stability and raise their smoke points.
- These types of olive oil are more suitable for cooking methods like frying, deep-frying, and baking that are high heat.
Using Olive Oil Uncooked
Extra virgin olive oil is the top choice to use raw. It is perfect for drizzling onto dishes to finish it off. Its exquisite flavor is delicious in dressings and dips.
Thanks to its wonderful properties, extra virgin olive oil is perfect for uncooked applications. It is ideal for drizzling over salads, vegetables, and pasta or as a finishing touch on soups and grilled meats.
Here are its two key benefits when used raw:
- Preserving the flavor, aroma, and nutritional benefits in raw dishes
- Enhancing the taste of salads, vegetables, and bread
Wrapping It Up
So there you have it; olive oil: to cook or not to cook. Your questions about cooking olive oil answered.
Take a look through our outstanding range of extra virgin olive oils. Sourced from Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, each bottle of oil has a story sealed within.