Despite the myths that have been circulating on the internet in recent years, the truth is that YES, you definitely can and should be cooking with olive oil!
Olive oil has a great smoke point and oxidative stability for cooking, meaning that it is actually a pretty stable fat and will release less harmful compounds than any other oil when heated, according to research published in Acta Scientific Nutritional Health from 2018.
The smoke point of olive oil varies from 190°C to 220°C, depending on the quality of the oil, and the extra-virgin is proven to have a higher smoke point. This means that only after this temperature a bluish smoke becomes clearly visible and volatile compounds start emerging from the oil – note that olive oil contains little water that will evaporate before the smoke point.
Another characteristic tested in this research was oxidative stability. 10 oils were heated using two different methods: 1) the oils were heated for about 20 minutes until they reached 240°C, and 2) the oils were heated for about 6 hours at 180°C. In both methods, olive oil displayed the greatest oxidative stability with lower levels of harmful compounds when compared to other oils that had even higher smoke points.
“EVOO has demonstrated to be the most stable oil when heated, followed closely by coconut oil and other virgin oils such as avocado and high oleic acid seed oils.”
Tag a friend who needs to know this and make sure you always have a bottle of Absolute Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil on your pantry. Happy cooking!