Cooking with Olive Oil: Debunking Misconceptions


Olive oil and extra virgin olive oil are two of the most widely used oils worldwide. Despite their popularity, there are still many long-standing misconceptions surrounding them. In this article, we aim to provide you with a clear understanding of what you can and cannot do with olive oil, especially when it comes to baking, frying, and deep-frying.

Can You Cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

The simple answer is yes, you can use extra virgin olive oil for cooking, whether it’s baking, frying, or deep-frying. However, it’s important to exercise caution due to its strong flavor and low smoke point.

When Should You Cook with Olive Oil?

Choosing when to use olive oil for cooking largely depends on personal taste and preference. If you want to savor its distinctive and unique flavor, sautéing vegetables at medium heat or preparing a delicious salad dressing are perfect opportunities. Olive oil can also be drizzled over bread, soup, or steamed vegetables to enhance their taste. Additionally, it works well for cooking eggs, baking salmon or other fish, and basting certain cuts of meat. Warm pasta dressings can also benefit from the addition of olive oil.

When Shouldn’t You Cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

While there’s no hard and fast rule against using extra virgin olive oil for cooking, it’s best to avoid deep-frying with it. Since deep-frying requires high temperatures, the oil can easily reach its smoke point, resulting in an unpleasant burnt flavor. Furthermore, due to its distinct floral taste, extra virgin olive oil might not be suitable for all ingredients or recipes. For instance, using it in sweet or dessert recipes may not yield the desired outcome, as the taste of olives can overpower other flavors.

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Can You Fry with Olive Oil?

Frying with olive oil is possible, although it’s not considered the healthiest cooking method. However, compared to other fats and oils, it is unlikely to have a significant negative impact on your health. If it’s convenient and quick, there’s no reason not to fry with olive oil, as long as you use it mindfully.

Can You Deep Fry with Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

Deep frying generally involves high temperatures, but with extra virgin olive oil, you need to exercise caution to prevent it from reaching its smoke point. As long as you monitor the temperature and avoid surpassing the smoke point, it is safe to use extra virgin olive oil for deep frying. It can add depth and flavor to dishes like french fries and churros, elevating them from plain to exciting. For instance, deep-frying sweet potato fries in extra virgin olive oil creates a crunchy and fluffy Mediterranean delight.


Cooking with olive oil and extra virgin olive oil opens up a wide range of possibilities. By being mindful of temperature control and avoiding using it in certain recipes, you can enjoy the fragrant and distinctive flavor it brings to your dishes. Just remember, for some recipes like sweets and desserts, it’s best to opt for a flavorless and scentless oil. To explore a range of high-quality olive oils, visit Family Cuisine.

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