I know this question has been discussed here before, such as this question. But I am asking it again to share the video in this blog post.

The video shows how you use the extra virgin olive to cook, even to fry potatoes, the oil does not even come close to its burning point. Do you think this settles the question in the favor of cooking with extra virgin olive oil?

  • 2
    Just because one random person's blog video showed cooking with olive oil at an absurdly low temperature (250° F) does not, IMO, justify re-asking the exact same question; standard frying temperature is 350-375° F and olive oil loses all of its taste at that temperature, even McGee says so. I also don't think her potatoes look anything like french fries at the end, but that's beside the point. This is basically duplicating the previous question and could easily have been left as a comment there.
    – Aaronut
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 2:21
  • Seeing that the OP knew about the general opinion with cooking with EVOO, I changed the title to what I think reflects the essence of his question.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 10:05
  • I don't think this question belongs here; plenty of people cook with olive oil, and plenty of people don't. I had never heard the "common wisdom that you shouldn't cook with EVOO" before I joined this site. This question is just going to solicit debates, and there is no one correct answer.
    – Laura
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 17:23
  • possible duplicate of Can extra virgin olive oil be used for stir frying, roasting, grilling?
    – TFD
    Commented Oct 1, 2012 at 23:18

2 Answers 2


You can cook with olive oil, but there's not many reasons to actually do it (see the comments). What is more important than what oil you use, is that the oil is fresh. Some fresh oils you can heat to 450–475 F/230–250 C, but when it starts getting rancid (and oil does very quickly), you will reach the smoke point at around 350 F/175 C.

Harold McGee explains (Youtube).

Oil smoking.

Oil heated to its smoke point.

What you should consider is price. Olive oil has a subtle flavour and it will mellow out when you're cooking with it and all oils will eventually taste the same after heating.

Bonus tip: I don't remember if it's in the linked video clip McGee talks about this, but to keep oils fresh longer, he suggest wrapping them in tin foil to reflect the light. (And of course keeping them cool, but not in the fridge.)

  • Quote taken out of context; no way can you heat EVOO to 450° F, no matter how fresh.
    – Aaronut
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 2:02
  • 1
    @Aaronut: I haven't done any tests myself, so I can't attest to McGee's claim, but I think he's a credible source on this. Also see this article where he writes "The refined olive oil and two of three extra-virgin olive oils I tested began to smoke at a respectable 450 degrees". (The gist of the article, by the way, is that all oils taste the same after heating.)
    – citizen
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 2:19
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    Keep in mind that visible smoke comes after oxidation; by the time oil starts to smoke, it's already turning rancid. Smoke is not "warning" territory, it's "point of no return" territory. McGee also points out in that very same article that all of the EVOOs had lost all of their flavour by 350° F, so even if you could technically heat some olive oils (not all, so you'd be gambling) as high as 450° F, it would nevertheless just be a waste of money.
    – Aaronut
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 2:24

I cook loads of things with olive oil, and extra virgin olive oil. They taste fine. Roasting frying and grilling. Virgin has a bit more of a tang, and doesn't crisp things up quite as much in my experience.

In fact having a partner of Mediterranean origin means virtually everything is cooked with olive or extra virgin.

  • 1
    Please refrain from making comments about health here. It's off topic (see the faq).
    – Cascabel
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 17:01
  • 2
    I am of Mediterranean origin (Italy) and I do not know that many people who fry in EVOO...
    – nico
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 18:10

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