Despite popular myths, extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is actually a fantastic oil for all types of cooking at home. EVOO has been shown to be the safest and healthiest oil to cook with.
EVOO has a smoke point between 200ºC and 215ºC which is above the temperature required for conventional home cooking. For example, sautéing is best around 160ºC, oven cooking is usually below 200ºC and frying and deep frying are around 180ºC. While some oils have higher smoke points, it is only necessary to use an oil with a smoke point above the temperature which you are cooking at.
In addition, smoke point is not the best indicator of oil stability. Rather, factors such as anti-oxidant content, PUFA and saturated fat content (the lower the better) and level of refining all influence the amount of harmful compounds such as trans fats and polar compounds produced
In addition, the high antioxidant content of EVOO makes it a very stable oil during the cooking process. Not to mention that added benefits of this high antioxidant content such as reducing inflammation, slowing down the ageing process and improving heart health.
Preliminary results from the Evaluation of chemical and physical changes in different commercial oils during heating; Authors: De Alzaa, F.; Guillaume, C.; and Ravetti, L.; Modern Olives (2017)
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Ramírez Anaya, J. P., Samaniego-Sánchez, C., Castañeda-Saucedo, M. C., Villalón-Mir, M., López-García de la Serrana, H. (2015). Phenols and the antioxidant capacity of Mediterranean vegetables prepared with extra virgin olive oil using different domestic cooking techniques. Food Chemistry, 188, 43-438