Cooking Tips


cooking with olive oil

one of the questions we are asked most often is what happens when olive oil is heated and/or used for frying. the important thing about cooking with any oil (olive or otherwise) is not to heat the oil over its smoke point. the smoke point refers to the temperature at which a cooking fat or oil begins to break down. the lower the acidity of the oil, the higher the smoke point. all refined oils (canola, vegetable, sunflower…) have close to zero acidity as the refining process removes all of the free fatty acids. extra virgin olive oil is a natural product and as such its acidity varies greatly from brand to brand. “extra virgin” olive oil is essentially oil that is cold-processed to prevent degradation of aromatic compounds and has higher levels of healthy fats and antioxidants. to be classified as “extra virgin” olive oil has to have acidity levels of 0.8 % or less (the lower the number the better the oil). our natural extra virgin olive oils are very low on free fatty acids (0.07% to 0.3%) which makes them excellent cooking oils.





how to heat olive oil

whether you’re sautéing, stir-frying, pan-frying, or deep-frying, use olive oil and this advice to make your high-heat cooking great:

  • always heat the skillet or pan on medium-high heat before adding oil.

  • when the skillet is hot, add olive oil and let it heat up to just below the smoke point before adding your food. this should take 30 to 90 seconds, depending on the heat of the burner and quality of the pan. when you place food in the pan, it should sizzle; if not, the pan and oil are not hot enough.

  • always pat food dry before putting it into hot oil; otherwise, a layer of steam will form between the food and the oil, making it difficult to get a good, seared, crispy exterior.

  • when grilling or broiling, brush meats or vegetables with olive oil to enhance flavor, seal in juices, and make the outer surface crispy.

  • although extra-virgin and virgin olive oils stand up to heat remarkably well, they can lose flavor as they’re heated, so they are best for uncooked dishes. use them to harmonize the spices in a dish, to enhance and build flavors, and to add body and depth.

a touch of a flavorsome extra virgin olive oil added at the table will add taste and healthful anti-oxidants. such is the mediterranean diet which has been shown to help prevent coronary disease and have other health benefits.