For years, many have shied away from using olive oil for high-heat cooking based on the belief that it has a low smoke point and is therefore unsuitable for such uses.

However, recent research tells a different story, one that not only challenges this common myth but also positions olive oil as one of the most stable and beneficial oils for cooking.

In this blog, we'll explore how olive oil compares with other popular cooking oils like coconut and grapeseed oil, and why it should be your top choice for all types of cooking.


The Myth of the Low Smoke Point:

The prevailing wisdom has long suggested that extra virgin olive oil, with its supposedly low smoke point, is unfit for sautéing, frying, or searing.

Yet, scientific findings now reveal that high-quality extra virgin olive oil is remarkably stable even when heated, capable of withstanding high temperatures without breaking down into harmful compounds.

In fact, it outperforms many other oils traditionally lauded for their high smoke points, such as canola and grapeseed oils.


Dispelling the Smoke Point Myth:

While smoke point is a factor to consider, it’s not the definitive guide to an oil's suitability for cooking.

Olive oil’s smoke point is actually high enough for most cooking needs, ranging from 375°F to 410°F.

This makes it suitable even for frying. More importantly, olive oil’s chemical structure and high antioxidant content make it less likely to form harmful compounds during heating compared to other oils.

Olive Oil vs. Other Oils:

When compared to oils like coconut or grapeseed, olive oil holds several advantages:

  • Stability: A study published in the journal Acta Scientific Nutritional Health examined the stability of various popular cooking oils when heated, including virgin olive oil, refined olive oil, canola, grapeseed, coconut, avocado, peanut, rice bran, and sunflower oils. The findings revealed that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) was the most stable under heat, producing the lowest quantity of harmful substances known as polar compounds. This makes EVOO a safer choice for cooking at high temperatures.
  • Flavor and Nutrients: Unlike the more neutrally flavored vegetable oils, olive oil enhances food with its rich taste, while also transferring beneficial antioxidants and polyphenols to the dishes.
  • Health Benefits: Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, which are preserved even after cooking, contrary to what happens with many polyunsaturated fat-rich oils like those mentioned in the study, which produced much higher levels of harmful polar compounds.

Not All Olive Oils Are Equal - The Importance of Polyphenols:

Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants found in olive oil that contribute not only to its health benefits but also to its stability when heated.

These compounds help protect the oil from oxidative damage during cooking. Not all olive oils are created equal, however. The polyphenol content can vary greatly depending on factors such as the harvest time and farming practices.

Our own orchard exemplifies the best practices in olive oil production. We harvest our olives early while they are still green.

This "early harvest" method is crucial as it significantly boosts the polyphenol content of the oil, making it richer in antioxidants.

This practice not only enhances the health benefits but also contributes to a higher smoke point, making our olive oil ideal for various cooking methods. Unfortunately, most extra virgin olive oils on the market do not meet this high polyphenol count, highlighting the uniqueness and superior quality of our product.


The myth that olive oil is unsuitable for cooking due to a low smoke point is not only outdated but also misleading.

With its high stability, rich flavor profile, and multitude of health benefits, olive oil stands out as the superior choice for all your cooking adventures.

So next time you're heating up your skillet, reach confidently for that bottle of extra virgin olive oil and enjoy the flavor and health benefits it brings to your kitchen.

Try our Everyday Olive Oil, which is perfect for cooking! 


Josh M