Cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

What Can You Cook with EVOO?

For many, cooking with extra virgin olive oil seems to have rules and myths associated with it. But in reality, extra virgin olive oil is one of the best oils to cook with! Extra virgin olive oil is perfect for cooking, frying, sautéing, poaching, dressing and baking. Cooking with olive oil also brings an additional flavor profile to your dish that’s unique to only extra virgin olive oil. We encourage you to experiment and play around with different uses for olive oil and find out for yourself how olive oil can help enhance your next dish!

Baking with EVOO

Baking with extra virgin olive oil can bring a new and wonderful twist to any of your favorite baked goods. Using olive oil instead of butter is also a great way to cut saturated fats out of your favorite treats. We bake with extra virgin olive oil because it adds a wonderful, nuanced flavor to baked goods. Baking with extra virgin olive oil is easy with our conversion chart below. Simply find how much butter or margarine your recipe calls for on the chart and replace it with the corresponding amount of your favorite California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We always like to recommend using our Mild & Buttery extra virgin olive oil for baked goods.

Butter/Margarine Olive Oil
1 teaspoon 3/4 teaspoon
1 tablespoon 2 1/4 teaspoons
2 tablespoons 1 1/2 tablespoons
1/4 cup 3 tablespoons
1/3 cup 1/4 cup
1/2 cup 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
2/3 cup 1/2 cup
3/4 cup 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon
1 cup 3/4 cup

Frying with EVOO

A long-standing myth about olive oil is it has a low smoke point and can’t stand up to the high heat needed to fry with. While in fact, frying food with olive oil is a great way to impart flavor and keep it healthier. Our high-quality extra virgin olive oil has a smoke point upwards of 425ºF, well above the ideal frying temperature of around 350ºF. A general rule of thumb to follow is the higher the quality of the oil and the fresher it is, the higher the smoke point will be. Extra virgin olive is some of the freshest and highest quality oil available, full of antioxidants to help hold its form longer. Lower quality oils with a high free fatty acid content, on the other hand, will smoke a lower temperature.


Smoke Point Comparison Chart

The smoke point of an oil is the point at which it reaches a threshold temperature and begins to smoke. This temperature is also where volatile compounds like water and free fatty acids come up from the oil and leaving an unwanted flavor to the oil and the dish you’re cooking. One of the most common myths about olive oil is it has a low smoke point and therefore difficult to get a good sear on meats and vegetables and cook with it in general. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Extra virgin olive oil actually has a very high smoke point due to the freshness and high-quality that can only be found in extra virgin olive oil.

California Olive Ranch conducted a study, using an accredited third party lab, of our oil in June of 2014, and the results showed that our oil began to smoke around 425 degrees. Well above frying temperature. In short, go for it: Cook with it, fry in it, enjoy it.

Below is a reference for smoke points of other oils:

Type of Oil Smoke Point Temperature
Butter 150ºF
Coconut (virgin) 177ºF
Coconut (refined) 204ºF
Canola (refined) 400ºF
Sesame (refined) 410ºF
Sunflower Oil (refined) 440ºF
Avocado (refined) 480ºF
Extra virgin olive oil Over 425ºF
Grapeseed (refined) 485ºF