Olive oil has become a staple in every household, and rightfully so. Rich with antioxidants and health benefits, it’s become mandatory to keep a bottle in the pantry. Yet finding a good product has its challenges. There are so many options in an olive oil aisle that picking the best olive oil for cooking will require thorough research. Some of them are crafted for cooking, while others are for finishing up your dish.There are different flavor profiles that are meant to fit individual choices. You can go for peppery oil or a grassy alternative or opt for something in between. The olive oils for cooking are mild and won’t lose any flavor after encountering a heat source. Learn about some of the best olive oils available in the current market and find out what factors you need to consider before bringing them home.
The Pompeian Virgin Olive Oil is easily our best pick as it comes in a bulk bottle providing excellent value for your money. It has a mild and delicate tasting intensity, making it widely acceptable among home cooks and professional chefs alike. Its smooth flavor further adds to its appeal. The olives are estate-grown, and master artisans blend the fruits.
Happy Belly Extra Virgin Olive Oil lives up to its name by keeping your belly happy and leaving a pleasant aftertaste of almonds. The 500 ml bottle is an excellent pick for those who don’t cook as often but want to make something healthy whenever they do. It’s imported from Spain, made from a Mediterranean blend, ensuring premium quality.
Quick Comparison: Top 12 Best Olive Oil for Cooking
|Product Name||Type of Oil||Type of Bottle||Capacity||Grade|
|Pompeian Virgin Olive Oil||Extra virgin oil||Dark-colored plastic||2 liters||A+|
|Happy Belly Extra Virgin Olive Oil||Extra virgin||Dark-colored plastic||500 mL||A+|
|Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil||Extra virgin||Dark-colored plastic||2 liters||A|
|La Tourangelle Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil||Extra virgin||Metal can||750 mL||A+|
|Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil||Extra virgin||Dark-colored plastic||750 mL||A|
|California Olive Ranch Olive Oil||Extra virgin||Dark-colored glass||750 ml||A-|
|Bragg Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil||Extra virgin||Opaque plastic||3.79 liter||B+|
|Zoe Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil||Extra virgin||Metal can||750 ml||B|
|Kirkland Signature Olive Oil||Organic extra virgin||Dark plastic||2 liters||B+|
|O-Live & Co. Extra Virgin Olive Oil||Extra virgin oil||Dark-colored glass||750 ml||B-|
|Ellora Farms Olive Oil||Extra virgin oil||Dark-colored glass||16.9 fluid ounces||B|
|Frantoia Barbera Italian Olive Oil||Extra virgin oil||Metal can||3 liters||B|
1. Pompeian Virgin Olive Oil
Pompeian Virgin Olive Oil is crafted to serve both dietitians and chefs equally well, and it’s your lucky day if you’re both of them. This 68 fluid ounces bottle comes with incredible health benefits and a smooth flavor. It can be used for browning, cooking, sauteing, deep-frying, stir-frying on vegetables, meat, salads, and whatnot. Its subtle flavor profile makes it appropriate to use in cakes as well. Not only that, but it can also work as a moisturizer for dry skin.
All ingredients used in the bottle are verified to be non-GMO and farmer-owned. Ingredients are non-allergenic. The bottle that the olive oil comes in is also BPA-free, making it a healthy choice throughout. The product contains 120 calories per serving, with a serving size of 1 tablespoon. Its fat content is relatively low- about 22 percent, and it contains zero trans fat. It has a smoke point of 380 to 410 degrees, making it a mild and delicate oil. Moreover, you can expect to use it for several months, thanks to the dark plastic packaging that retains the oil’s freshness for quite some time.
2. Happy Belly Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Happy Belly Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the go-to for beginner olive oil users as it’s affordable and has a pleasing flavor. Imported from Spain with a Mediterranean blend, the oil is among the finest ones in the world. It comes in a 500 ml plastic bottle that’s screened with a dark color, protecting it from heat and bright light. As a result, it promises a longer shelf-life.
Being made of plastic, the bottle weighs about 1 pound. It is highly portable, and you can carry it to picnics and outdoor parties without any trouble. It is a perfect size for roasting, grilling, marinating, salad dressing, and more. This is an ideal pick for home cooks who are beginning to explore their passion for food. And the best part is that it is certified to be kosher, making it acceptable to a larger population than most. It is also a highly versatile product. Besides cooking, you can use it as a moisturizer, in soap production, and much more. Moreover, standing at a lower price point than most of its competitors, it provides great value for your money.
3. Colavita Olive Oil
The Colavita Olive Oil is described as an incredible extra virgin olive oil produced through cold-pressing by crushing freshly picked olives. It stands a class apart from light and refined olive oils that have been exposed to heat, light, or chemical solvents. Its balanced flavor further enhances its value in your kitchen, as you can use it in just about anything from salad and baked goods to savory items.
The olive oil is made of olives harvested in Europe, including Spain, Greece, Italy, and Portugal. Needless to say, it comes from the best producers in the world. The bottle is designed to retain its original freshness and vibrancy by featuring a dark-green plastic exterior. The 68 ounces bottle is made of BPA-free plastic. Make sure to store it in a cool and dark place to maximize its value.
Colavita has been cold-pressed first, giving it a well-balanced flavor between fruit and spice, making it a perfect choice for roasting, grilling, baking, and dressing your dishes. It has been tested for quality and taste by internationally renowned organizations. They found an acidity level of less than 0.4 percent in this olive oil.
4. La Tourangelle Organic Olive Oil
La Tourangelle Organic Olive Oil secured its spot on our list of the best olive oils for cooking for good reasons. Unlike other oils that gather olives from several regions to produce oil, this product comes from a single region, promising consistency. The olive oil is produced in Spain and bottled in the US. And it claims to be 100% extra virgin olive oil. The cooking heat suggested for this product is medium to high. So you can saute, whisk and drizzle without causing any burn.
The oil is processed right after harvest in an effort to preserve its natural antioxidant levels, achieving a well-balanced flavor. The olive oil is certified to be non-GMO and kosher. It has a sustainable production process that was carefully crafted to serve your recipes. It offers a bright and peppery flavor that is ideal for regular savory items. It also has a hint of freshly cut grass, fresh olive leaves, and almonds. Customers around the world crave its balanced yet intense fruity flavor. Note that this flavor might not be suitable for baked goods. That said, it is an incredible pick for novice cooks, home cooks, and professional chefs alike.
5. Filippo Berio Olive Oil
Filippo Berio Olive Oil checks all the boxes for the best olive oil for cooking. It is a cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil made of the finest olives collected from Italy and California. The oil offers a well-balanced flavor and a fresh, rich taste. You’ll also find subtle fragrant notes of olive, which further enhances its appeal. The 750 ml bottle is made of BPA-free plastic, which has a dark-colored exterior to protect the oil from light and heat. The bottle contains about 50 servings, each offering about 120 calories.
The cold-pressed extraction process helps retain powerful nutrients, unsaturated fats that are healthy for your heart, and essential antioxidants. The oil is free of gluten, cholesterol, trans fat, sugar, and sodium. Moreover, it is made of non-GMO ingredients. This extra virgin oil is great for all kinds of cooking, including grilling, deep-frying, marinating, drizzling, baking, and even salad dressing. You can also use it as a dip or spread and in sauces or soups. The brand also offers well-balanced olive oils in virgin, extra light flavor, Robusto flavor, and more.
6. California Olive Ranch Olive Oil
California Olive Ranch Olive Oil is widely known for its consistency in service and has been one of the most popular in the market for several years. The 750 ml bottle comes with unfiltered and unrefined oil that has been cold-pressed in order to retain as much of its original nutrients and antioxidants as possible. As the name suggests, the product has been made in California with olives collected worldwide. The brand partnered with some of the world’s best olive planters across Argentina, Chile, and Portugal.
The oil has a well-balanced flavor with a tasty note of fresh herbs, green grass, and fruits. You can use it for your everyday recipes, including the ones that involve sauteing, roasting, drizzling, frying, and baking. It works equally well in both savory and sweet dishes. Another remarkable feature about this product is that they put the oil in a dark green glass bottle. It’s designed to keep the oil from light and heat. As a result, there’s no risk of catching rancid taste any time soon. Moreover, it is verified to be non-GMO and certified to be kosher and gluten-free. So you can use the product without any hesitation, even if you’re on a restricted diet.
7. Bragg Organic Olive Oil
Bragg has been doing wonders for the American health food industry since 1912, and they won over millions of customers with their service. Bragg Organic Olive Oil makes it quite evident that good olive oil doesn’t have to come at a high price. The bulk bottle comes at a very affordable price, with an excellent flavor profile and nutrients. The product is imported from Greece, made from hand-picked Greek Koroneiki olives. The authentic flavor is sure to remind you of Ancient Greece.
The product is certified to be organic and non-GMO by USDA. Moreover, it is made of all kosher ingredients, and no gluten is used in the process. It comes in an opaque plastic bottle; you might have to replace the bottle with something darker and thicker to maintain the oil’s integrity.
The oil has been cold-pressed, retaining heart-healthy natural antioxidants and monounsaturated fat. It meets all the standards set by the International Olive Council, so you can pick it up without breaking a sweat. It is perfect for use in all your favorite recipes. Olive oil can help you cook vegetables, sauces, salads, pasta, pestos, potatoes, sauces, and whatnot. It will provide a rich diet at every meal.
8. Zoe Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Zoe Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a class apart as far as durability and integrity are concerned. The product wins an advantage over its competitors just for its packaging. The metal tin bottle makes sure that the olive oil is well protected against any bright light and heat that may prove to be harmful. This improves the product’s shelf life.
The extra virgin olive oil is rich in flavor and nutritional values. It has a subtle flavor of fruit and butter with a note of fresh basil, almond with a peppery finish. Being fruity and fresh, the oil makes a wonderful product for savory items. You can use it to saute, dress salads, cook pasta, sauces, and more. It also pairs flawlessly with wine vinegar, balsamic, marinades, basting, and more.
The oil is designed for versatile combinations, so feel free to try it with your favorite recipes and cooking styles. Keep in mind that it serves 120 calories per 15 ml. Each serving delivers about 2 grams of saturated fat and 10 grams of monounsaturated fat. This is good for your heart health and also supports weight-loss diet plans.
9. Kirkland Signature Olive Oil
Kirkland Signature Olive Oil is a wonderfully balanced extra virgin olive oil bottled in Italy with olives sourced from Spain, Portugal, and Italy. It has been preferred bulk olive oil for thousands of customers worldwide, and for good reasons. The 2 liters or 3.6 fluid ounces bottle comes with cold-pressed olive oil, containing about 133 servings per container. The serving size is one tablespoon, each serving 120 calories. All the ingredients used in the product are certified to be organic by USDA.
However, on the downside, it comes in a plastic bottle that can be damaged if not stored properly, given that it is expected to remain on your shelf for quite some time. So be sure to store the bottle in a cool and dry place. The container has a dark-colored exterior which will definitely help. The flavor profile of this oil is extremely subtle, so you can use it in savory items and baked items alike.
10. O-Live & Co. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The O-Live & Co. Extra Virgin Olive Oil easily secures a spot on our list of the best olive oil for cooking owing to its smooth flavor, low acidity level, and consistency. The product is crafted to enhance flavors. It is smooth and fresh in flavor, made from a premium blend of Arbosana, Arbequina, and Koroneiki olives. You can use it for cooking white meats, fresh vegetables, and salads.
It is imported from Chile. And the product exceeds the purity standards that the International Olive Oil Council has set. Moreover, this extra virgin olive oil is estate-grown and bottled. It was processed through cold-pressing very shortly after harvest. As a result, it has an acidity level of less than 0.2%. So it makes a very healthy alternative to vegetable oil as it is made of premium quality blend through a sustainable production process.
In addition, like most products in our list, the O-Live & Co. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made of non-GMO and organic ingredients. It is also gluten-free and kosher. The bottle has a capacity of 750 ml. And it comes with about 33 servings, each measuring one tablespoon. You’ll receive 123 calories from every serving.
11. Ellora Farms Olive Oil
Ellora Farms Olive Oil comes in elegant packaging bottled in a dark glass container. It is made in Greece and certified by the European Union as to the origin. It also meets their standards that have been set with a focus on environmental consciousness and traditions. The olives have been sourced from olive estates of the Messara region on the Island of Crete, Greece. It delivers a rich fruity aroma with a peppery note. The olives are unrefined and unfiltered, offering the highest quality olive oil from the family-owned estate.
As for the tasting notes, the oil has a tasting intensity between delicate to medium. So you can expect medium bitterness and pungency when it’s cooked in high heat. Add to that notes of fresh herbs and pepper.
The fruity aroma is a courtesy of the cold-pressed fresh Messara olive. They are extracted shortly after harvest, which helps retain their natural flavor and nutritional values. This olive oil is also rich in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, which will help support a balanced diet. It will even support your weight loss diet plans. You can pair this olive oil with leafy green salads, garden salads, steamed or boiled vegetables, or raw vegetables. They also go well with broiled fish, grilled fish, meat, pasta, pizza, soups, and sauces. However, this particular flavor profile might not suit baked goods.
12. Frantoia Barbera Italian Olive Oil
Frantoia Barbera Italian Olive Oil has been mastering the art of producing the best olive oil for cooking for four generations. This product from Italy comes in a 3 liters tin bottle designed to retain freshness for a long time. The oil is made from olives grown in the western central hills of Sicily. The oil is extracted from a blend of Biancolilla, Nocellara, and Cerasuolo olive varieties. The olives are carefully handpicked from trees, and they are cold-pressed soon after the harvest. This helps keep the nutritional values and antioxidants intact.
Moreover, the oil has a distinct personality in terms of both flavor and texture. It has a golden greenish color and comes with a fruity aroma reminiscent of fresh olives with a hint of fresh basil. It is also loaded with notes of olives. In addition, it leaves a pleasant aftertaste of sweet almonds. The olive oil has a thin and consistent texture that makes it suitable for drizzling, dressing, and dipping. You can use the oil savory dishes and bread, fresh cheese, soups, and salads.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Olive Oil for Cooking
There are several types of olive oils, namely virgin, extra virgin, light, extra light, and so on. The best olive oil for cooking is the one that is not diluted with other cooking oil or vegetable oil. If you’re trying to achieve the best cooking results, opt for extra virgin olive oils or EVOO. The oil having an EVOO distinction ideally means that it doesn’t have any solvents or defects added to it. So they’re supposed to offer a fresh flavor of olive, which is pretty subtle and delicate. They are great for just about any purpose, whether you’re cooking or using them for a drizzle.
In order to have an extra virgin olive oil designation, the oil goes through several rounds of tests conducted by professionals. Their acidity levels are tested, and only the oils that have an oleic acid level of 0.8 grams per 100 grams, or 0.8 percent acidity, will pass. Moreover, experts check the flavor of the olive oil for any fruity flavor or defects. In addition, extra virgin olive oils have a higher smoke point. Also, keep in mind that virgin and extra virgin olive oils are sensitive to light.
Also note that even if you’re getting a bottle labeled as extra virgin olive oil, many olive oils don’t quite meet the criteria. So it’s best to go through the label thoroughly. Make sure to check the harvest date and the best-by date on the bottle. The harvest date shows the time when the oil was produced, and it should be recent. This is a great way to ensure that you’re getting a fresh product.
Note that heat and light can degrade olive oil in a bottle. If the oil is exposed to heat or bright light the fats are likely to oxidize, which may cause the oil to go rancid. So the type of packaging and bottle type is an important consideration while purchasing olive oil. We recommend buying olive oil that comes in dark-colored or opaque bottles that will block light. The olive oil bottles made of thick glass or metal tins are likely to serve the longest. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t be able to see the original color of the olive oil through the bottle. This will keep the oil fresh on the shelf for a long time.
Another important consideration is the origin of olive oil. The best bottles will contain the location on their label. If you find that multiple regions are listed on the bottle, it’s typically a red flag. This indicates that the olive oil was produced using olive collected from several regions. Such a blend may not produce your ideal bottle of olive oil. Labels are also supposed to list the farm or producer of the oil. If you want an organic bottle of olive oil, look for a certification label issued by the US Department of Agriculture.
How the oil has been processed will have a lasting impact on its service. There are several types of processing that are involved in the production and extraction of olive oil. Most extra virgin oils are extracted through mechanical means or hand-pressings. On the other hand, refined oils are likely to be exposed to heat and some chemical solvents.
However, the gold standard of processing olive oil is cold-pressing. It is a type of mechanical process where a machine will masticate the olives until oil is extracted. The oil produced through this process mainly contains oleic acid, which is a fat that helps lower the cholesterol level. Cold-pressed oils are generally rich in nutrients, packed with healthy fats, promote brain health, and help fight inflammation.
This is another important consideration while purchasing olive oil. The list of ingredients is often pretty straightforward and will help you identify whether you’re allergic to any of the ingredients used. You can also see for yourself if the olive oil has any other kind of oil blended with it. The best quality olive oils will be free of any additives and strong flavors.
How to Store
Before you make the purchase, it’s crucial to ensure that you can accommodate the bottle of olive oil in your kitchen or pantry properly. Olive oil is heat and light-sensitive. They have a risk of degradation when exposed to light. So olive oil bottles need to be stored in a cool and dark place. Make sure that your bottle is not placed near the stove or on the kitchen countertop. These are supposedly the hottest places in your house. Moreover, it's best to store oil in a decanter or mister in order to ensure easy pouring later. Note that it is likely to last from four to six months once you open the olive oil bottle. It will remain fresh and in good quality as long as you store it properly.
How to Taste Olive Oil
You can taste the olive oil at home to check its quality. Experts usually taste a product from a spoon or a cup. They will note the aroma first and then take a sip to note acidity level, fruitiness of its flavor, and pungency. You can follow this simple method or use a piece of bread. Dip it into the oil, and it will have a sharp bite if it has turned rancid. This may happen as a result of exposure to heat or light.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which olive oil is ideal for cooking in high heat?
For cooking in high heat, you want a stable oil such as extra virgin olive oil. It is likely to produce low levels of harmful components even if you cook past the smoking point. This happens due to the high levels of antioxidants that are present in these virgin oils. It can be heated as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Are olive oils healthy?
Olive oils are considered one of the healthiest cooking oils as they come with healthy fat that contains anti-inflammatory compounds and help control your cholesterol level. Extra virgin olive oils are especially beneficial since no heat is used in their extraction process, preserving the beneficial nutrients and plant compounds. Olive oils are therefore known to improve heart health, bone health, digestive system, brain function, stabilize blood sugar levels, protect against chronic diseases, and battle inflammation.
How long can I use a bottle of olive oil?
Olive oils are perishable products that come with a shelf life between 18 to 24 months. Shelf life depends on the type of oil. For example, refined oils and virgin oils are likely to last longer than extra virgin oils. Moreover, if the olive oil is stored in a transparent bottle and is exposed to bright light, it will go rancid sooner than it's supposed to.
Can I replace vegetable oil with olive oil?
You can most definitely replace vegetable oil with olive oil in most cases. It is often a healthier alternative. But you may not always want to do that as olive oils often come with a flavor, however smooth it may be, whereas vegetable oils are flavorless. The extra virgin olive oil, in particular, has a distinctive flavor that may suit most savory dishes but is likely to overpower the taste of baked dishes.
Is olive oil a vegan product?
Yes, olive oil is generally vegan. It is made of olive, which is a small fruit, and is free of any animal-based additives. So the product is suitable for vegans and vegetarians alike.
From sauteing and dressing to deep-frying, olive oil has many creative uses, and its popularity has expanded beyond European and Mediterranean cuisine. It can even be used as a moisturizer for dry skins. Besides the subtle flavor it brings to the table, there are incredible health benefits involved. Extra virgin olive oil has proved beneficial for heart health, bones, digestion, cholesterol, and so much more.Besides, olive oil has a relatively low smoking point, between 375 degrees to 470 degrees Fahrenheit, making it suitable for cooking in low to medium heat. That being said, the products are versatile and come in various grades, with significant differences in quality, flavor profiles, and reaction to heat. The market now is so massive and diverse that everyone will find something for themselves; although it may take some trial and error. To save you some trouble and help you pick better, we have rounded up some of the best olive oil for cooking and discussed the factors that need your attention. Don’t miss out.