Internet Asks: "Can You Use Olive Oil to Fry?"

Olive oil, particularly known for its role in the healthy Mediterranean diet, is often a topic of debate when it comes to frying. While it has been a kitchen staple for sautéing and dressing, many wonder about its suitability and safety for frying. This article aims to clarify whether you can use olive oil for frying and what factors to consider.


sponsored links



Olive Oil’s Composition and Heat Stability

Olive oil, particularly extra-virgin olive oil, is praised for its content of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. These components contribute to its stability under heat:

  • - Smoke Point Basics: The smoke point of an oil is the temperature at which it starts to smoke and break down. When oil breaks down, it can impart a burnt flavor to food and release harmful compounds.
  • - Olive Oil Varieties: Extra-virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point (around 375-405°F or 190-210°C) compared to refined or light olive oils (around 465°F or 240°C). This makes it suitable for various cooking methods, including frying.
  • - Antioxidant Content: The presence of antioxidants such as polyphenols in olive oil helps to protect the oil from oxidative damage at high temperatures.


The Suitability of Olive Oil for Frying

Given its moderate smoke point and antioxidant properties, olive oil can be a good option for frying, especially for sautéing or pan-frying. However, for deep-frying, oils with higher smoke points might be more appropriate to ensure safety and flavor integrity.

Types of Olive Oil for Frying:

  1. - Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Best for light sautéing and low-temperature frying.
  2. - Virgin Olive Oil: Slightly higher smoke point than extra-virgin, suitable for moderate frying.
  3. - Refined Olive Oils (Pure or Light Olive Oil): Higher smoke points, making them more suitable for high-temperature frying.


Health Considerations

  • - Maintaining Nutrients: While olive oil can withstand moderate frying temperatures, prolonged or excessive heating can lead to a breakdown of beneficial compounds.
  • - Caloric Density: It's important to remember that frying with olive oil, like any oil, increases the calorie content of the food.



sponsored links


Best Practices for Frying with Olive Oil

  • - Temperature Monitoring: Keep the frying temperature below the smoke point of the olive oil you are using.
  • - Quantity Control: Use just enough oil to cook your food, as excessive oil can lead to absorption and higher calorie intake.
  • - Reusing Oil: It's generally not recommended to reuse olive oil for frying multiple times, as this can lower its smoke point and degrade its quality.



In summary, olive oil, particularly extra-virgin and refined varieties, can be suitable for frying when used within their respective smoke points. Extra-virgin olive oil is ideal for sautéing and moderate frying, while refined olive oil can be used for higher-temperature cooking. It’s important to manage the frying temperature to maintain the oil's health benefits and flavor. Although olive oil is a healthier choice, using it in moderation is key due to its caloric density. Remember, reusing olive oil for multiple frying sessions is not recommended to ensure optimal quality and health benefits.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional cooking advice or health guidance. Always consult with a culinary expert or a healthcare professional for advice specific to your health and dietary needs.


sponsored links



1. Casal S, Malheiro R, Sendas A, Oliveira BP, Pereira JA. Olive oil stability under deep-frying conditions. Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Oct;48(10):2972-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2010.07.036. Epub 2010 Aug 3. PMID: 20678538.

2. Gorzynik-Debicka M, Przychodzen P, Cappello F, Kuban-Jankowska A, Marino Gammazza A, Knap N, Wozniak M, Gorska-Ponikowska M. Potential Health Benefits of Olive Oil and Plant Polyphenols. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Feb 28;19(3):686. doi: 10.3390/ijms19030686. PMID: 29495598; PMCID: PMC5877547.

3. University of California, Davis. TEN MYTHS & FACTS ABOUT.

4. About Olive Oil. Understanding cooking oil smoke points.

People are also reading...

Ready to level-up?

Create meal plans 10x faster, follow up with your clients through our mobile app, and never struggle with meal planning or recipe management again.