Can you cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

Of course you can cook with extra virgin olive oil! Indeed, when it comes to cooking, you should prefer it to other oils or fats (e.g. butter). In addition to the presence of many valuable nutritional factors (read our articles on What does extra virgin olive oil mean? and Olive Oil Calories), during cooking extra virgin olive oils maintain their chemical stability better than other fats.

What about Smoke Point of EVOOs?

Another key fact to know is that EVOOs have very high smoke points, an indicator of the temperature at which the oil (or fat) starts to produce dark smoke – in that moment, a toxic molecule known as acrolein starts being produced. Smoke points are related to the composition and quality of each EVOO – the better the EVOO, the higher its smoke point. For most EVOOs, the smoke point is at around 200/210°C (400/410°F).

How to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the kitchen?

Here is a simple guide you can follow to cook with extra virgin olive oil as your cooking fat of choice.

  1. To fry. To use extra virgin olive oil to fry really makes the difference in the tastiness and healthiness of the final result! Read how to fry with EVOO in our Panzerotti recipe;

2. Use extra virgin olive oil a crudo, after cooking – it will really change your mind about it! You just need to learn how to pair food and EVOO; it is not as difficult as it may sound, just follow our guide on it: Olive Oil Pairings.

  • Add EVOO on every kind of dish: from appetizers to desserts, even on chocolate, ice cream, cheesecake and fruit salads!
  • Follow our food book on Bruschetta, Sushi & Pizza and find out which EVOO we combine to which food!
  • Use it for pinzimonio, with fresh raw vegetables (a very easy-making idea for a healthy vegan appetizer).

3. Use EVOO for the soffritto (sauteed mirepoix): to make a good soffritto is the first step, and most important one, to make the perfect tomato sauce. Read more on it on our recipe: Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe.

4. Use EVOO for oliocottura or confit: dip your food in hot EVOO and have it long cooking, maintaining the temperature between 40°C to 80°C. Food cooked in oleocottura retains all their natural flavors – the EVO oil functions as a barrier to your preparation, preventing liquids from leaking and making the food super soft. Try it with both fish and meat, and let us know about the result!

5. How to mantecare your risotto? It is possible to do it without butter, using EVO oils. Read more here How to make a creamy risotto without butter.

4 Cheeses Risotto

6. Baking: from cake to pie to bread! Try our easy recipes for:
Bread or Focaccia Barese;
Savory pie crust;
Olive Oil Lemon Cake;
New York Cheesecake.

7. Make slurpy sauces and dips like pesto, Tzatziki, Hummus, Guacamole, Mayonnaise, Babaganoush.

8. Marinate (soaking the food in a seasoned liquid before cooking) or rub the meat or fish before cooking with EVOO to protect your preparation from high temperatures.

How many different uses does extra virgin olive oil have in our kitchens! And what about you? How do you use olive oil in your recipes? Let us know!