First off, before we can get to the variations in olive oil’s smoke points, let’s define what a smoke point actually is.
The smoke point of an oil refers to the high heated temperature an oil gets to before it starts to smoke (which is something you have to look out for and not something you want to happen).
The actual smoke point of an oil indicates that the oil is about to burn and the reason you don’t want it to happen, since this means that the oils and the fats begin to break down (and not in a good way).
When an oil reaches the smoke point, it starts to degrade the nutritional value or benefits of the actual oil. And it also negatively affects the flavor of the oil itself. It is said that once the oil reaches the smoke point (starts to burn), it changes the chemical composition of the oil and may be harmful to your health.
Here are 2 things to remember about smoke points:
- a low smoke point means you really shouldn’t cook with the oil at all
- a high smoke point means that the oil is suitable for cooking in high temperatures such as frying
So now that we have defined what a smoke point is, let’s see what it means in relation to your olive oil.
Olive Oil Smoke Point- The Different Degrees
If you are planning on using olive oil to cook, you need to know that the smoke point of olive oils varies in degrees depending on what grade of olive oil you use.
But you can certainly use olive oil in your everyday cooking. You just need to know what kind of olive oil you should use in order to give you the best results and still get the overall benefits of the olive oil.
The smoke point of olive oil varies in the actual quality of the olive oil you are using and the way the oil was extracted. Contrary to popular belief, in general, olive oil has a high smoke point. You just have to know which kind of olive oil has the high smoke point you are after.
You also need to remember that the higher the smoke point of olive oil, the more refined the actual oil is. So, lets take a look at the differences in olive oils in regards to the smoke point.
- extra virgin olive oil- 320 degrees F/160 C
- virgin olive oil- 420 degrees F/216 C
- pomace- 460 degrees F/238 C
- extra light- 468 degrees F/242 C
A couple of things to keep in mind now that you know the smoke point of olive oil. Even though there are different grades of olive oils, all the oils still have the benefit of being high in monounsaturated fats, making them healthy for your heart. And now that you see the different temperatures of the olive oils, you can make a better more informed decision when you cook.
Just remember, if you are frying, then using extra light olive oil, is probably the best oil to use. And if you only want to use extra virgin olive oil (evoo), then save that for all of your uncooked needs such as making dressings for salads and using it in raw foods and even for your facial, hair and body care needs. Check out the olive oil reviews page for more information on great choices of olive oils.
I hope this article has helped you understand the varying differences in olive oil smoke points. And in doing so, you are helping yourself to gain the most out of the olive oil’s benefits in your cooking and baking needs.