What is Olive Oil Smoke Point, and Does it Matter?

The smoke point of olive oil is defined as the point at which the product begins to smoke. There are different grades of the fat and each has its own particular physicochemical and sensory parameters.

Here's what you need to know about the two most popular:

  • The smoke point for extra virgin olive oil is 350 - 430°F
  • The smoke point for regular olive oil is 390 - 470°F

Technically speaking, the true or exact smoke point can only be determined by a lab test in a controlled environment.

However, when the product gives off white smoke it has reached the smoke point. And when the smoke changes color to blue, grey, or dark tones the product has greatly exceeded the smoke point and is breaking down. The fat should be properly disposed of, do not cook with or consume it.


Sometimes people confuse vapor with smoke. Since olive oil is a highly concentrated cooking fat it has an extremely low percentage of water. When heated, vapors can release or evaporate and mimic smoke.

Vapors usually appear when the product is heated on low or medium low heat and consumers shouldn't be concerned about them.

Are Stability and Smoke Point Correlated?

The smoke point does not indicate the stability of an olive oil.

As stated previously, there are different grades of the product including ordinary, virgin, and extra virgin. However, the two most common on North American grocery store shelves are regular and extra virgin.

Regular olive oil has a higher overall smoke point, however, EVOO is higher quality and research shows it's the most stable.

Related: Regular vs Extra Virgin, What's the Difference?


Should Consumers Worry About Smoke Point?

No, consumers should not worry about the smoke point of olive oil. This is because home cooks usually don't cook on extreme high heat.

The temperatures of 350 - 470° F refer to the temperature of the oil not the food. So when you're baking eggplant parmesan at 375° F the food is not going to reach the temperature of 375°F, that is simply the temperature of the oven.

The same goes for roasting potatoes, chicken, or salmon at high temperatures of 450°F. I once roasted a porchetta doused in EXAU EVOO at 500°F to create a crust. It turned out incredible, and there was absolutely no smoking.

When labs test smoke point they perform a stress test where they heat the product up to certain temperatures in a controlled environment. Home cooks are roasting vegetables, boiling beans, frying potatoes, and making pasta sauces. Don't worry yourself.

What Do I Do if My Olive Oil is Smoking?

If it's giving off a lot of white, blue, or grey smoke toss it. When fat is heated it begins to oxidize. When heated in excess (i.e. it's smoking profusely) it can produce harmful by-products.

Do not leave a on a pot or pan filled with oil unattended on a hot stove and do not heat the pan on high without watching it closely. It's best to heat the product on low and increase the heat slowly.

The ideal cooking setting is medium or medium high. We talk about this in deeper detail in our book.

Can I Fry with Olive Oil?

Yes, you can! We fry with it all the time. If you couldn't half of southern Italy would cease to exist because they fry just about everything in their favorite cooking fat. Here is a step-by-step guide for how to fry with olive oil.

Here are some foods to try frying: zucchini fritters, fried artichokes, fried chicken, or fried Italian meatballs.

Can I Bake at High Temperatures?

Yes, you can. As mentioned previously, we bake at temperature of up to 500° F regularly. This includes food such as roasted potatoes, salmon, porchetta, and chicken (to create a crust).

Here's a guide for how to bake with OO. And if you're into sweets, consider swamping other fats for EVOO in baked goods like brownies.

What are the Health Benefits of Using EVOO?

According to research, cooking and consuming high quality EVOO on a regular basis has a huge impact on human health. It's packed with antioxidants, such as polyphenols, and can help prevent obesity, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and improve overall brain function.

The health benefits are still being studied and discovered by researchers around the globe! Also, if you're looking for a polyphenol packed product go for the Lina.

Shop delicious, high-quality EVOO 100% produced in Calabria, Italy today!

Other posts for you...

Can Dogs Eat Olives

How to tell if OO is fake

How EVOO is made

Hey, we wrote a book called The OO Enthusiast, have you ordered your copy yet?

If you learned something new or have opinions on this topic, please leave a comment and let us know your thoughts! We love to hear from you. If you’re on Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook don’t forget to tag us and use #EXAUoliveoil so we can repost!

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