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What's your cooking EVOO?

nokitchen Jul 12, 2013 11:44 AM

Just what the title says? I'm coming to the end of a 3L can and it's time to replace it. I don't recall the brand (I transferred the last bits to a reusable bottle and recycled the can a while ago) but it was some semi-fancy Italian. It wasn't any better than the Colavita I bought last time.

Is Colavita or an equivalent fine? Or is there a world of saute magic I'm missing if only I bought the right oil?

  1. g
    GilaB Jul 12, 2013 12:45 PM

    I don't think you need good EVOO (or even EVOO, light olive oil is fine) for cooking. The heat breaks down all the good stuff. I save the quality EVOO for salad dressings, finishing cooked dishes, and other applications where it doesn't get heated much.

    2 Replies
    1. re: GilaB
      Scoutmaster Jul 12, 2013 01:52 PM


      1. re: GilaB
        JungMann Jul 15, 2013 08:09 AM

        When you're cooking olive oil for a long time, the heat will destroy most of the nuanced flavors that connoisseurs value in an extra virgin oil. For everyday cooking, I usually use Kirkland brand olive oil, though I've switched to a Lebanese brand that is remarkably delicious in tabbouleh or baba ghannouj at $4 per bottle.

      2. juliejulez Jul 12, 2013 12:56 PM

        I use the Kirkland Organic from Costco for all uses. It's not expensive, assuming you have a Costco membership :) The 2 large bottles last me a loonnngg time.

        1. Terrie H. Jul 12, 2013 01:00 PM

          I've used the Trader Joe's President's Reserve for years. It's only $6 for 34 oz. and is great for cooking.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Terrie H.
            Njchicaa Jul 12, 2013 01:34 PM

            That's what I use too.

            1. re: Terrie H.
              LindaWhit Jul 15, 2013 12:00 PM

              Ditto to this. And California Olive Ranch is pretty good as well, and reasonably priced.


            2. m
              mike0989 Jul 12, 2013 01:38 PM

              Kirkland. Pretty good oil, especialy for the price. They move it as well. So you don't need to worry about how old it is.

              1. m
                mwk Jul 12, 2013 01:56 PM

                I don't have a Costco nearby, but instead a BJ's. They carry a two litre bottle of Carbonell Spanish EVOO. It's quite good, and pretty reasonable at $9.99 for the bottle. I use it for everything.

                2 Replies
                1. re: mwk
                  tim irvine Jul 13, 2013 06:35 AM

                  Using Carbonell right now and like it. Generally I find Spanish oils to be well priced, on the fruity end of the taste spectrum, and good all around oils.

                  1. re: mwk
                    pinehurst Jul 15, 2013 12:05 PM

                    Yes me too and for the reasons listed.

                  2. Bada Bing Jul 12, 2013 05:19 PM

                    I've come to the point where I buy a jug of "pure" olive oil to use for those many applications where sauteing and long simmering would obliterate the nuances of EVOO. Also, I read once that pure olive oil has a higher smoke point than EVOO, although I won't say I know that for sure, because it was just one internet source saying so.

                    I actually keep three grades of olive oil on hand: pure for general cooking; a solid EVOO for things like salad dressings and certain marinades for quick-cooking items; and a really good EVOO for use uncooked, as in Caprese salad or drizzling onto finished foods.

                    Presently, that means I have a jug of Bertolli Classic Olive Oil from Sam's Club for the low end, and a bottle of Columela EVOO for the high end. Something like Colavita would be my target for a solid middle-level EVOO. But every year those oils change. That's fun, but it means it's always work to know what's best each year.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Bada Bing
                      PesachBenSchlomo Jul 13, 2013 12:38 PM

                      It's counterintuitive, but my impecunious state has caused me to discover that the WalMart bulk olive oil is grassy, peppery and delicious. Go figure.

                      1. re: PesachBenSchlomo
                        Bada Bing Jul 13, 2013 01:48 PM

                        Yeah, actually I rarely buy groceries at Walmart and not very often at Sam's Club, but the place has buying clout, and every so often they score some good stuff.

                        I know at Sam's Club, their "store brand" is Member's Mark. I think that Walmart itself might use some different name ("Great Value" or some such). I did once try the Member's Mark EVOO and it was certainly no slouch alongside most brands in the $7-12 per liter range.

                    2. linguafood Jul 13, 2013 02:40 PM


                      1. C. Hamster Jul 13, 2013 03:14 PM

                        Fairway's varietal line has been my only EVOO for many years now.

                        1. prima Jul 15, 2013 08:28 AM

                          Usually Greek EVOO, preferably Cretan. I'm not picky about the brand.

                          1. nokitchen Jul 15, 2013 11:09 AM

                            Interesting. It appears I've been throwing some money away. Thanks for the responses, all.

                            1. Karl S Jul 15, 2013 12:34 PM

                              It's more important that it's fresher and pure. I like that California Olive Ranch dates its harvests and is subject to more scrutiny for purity than imported stuff. Price point is good, too.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Karl S
                                Bada Bing Jul 15, 2013 02:09 PM

                                The purity question reminds me of that stunning survey a while back about how much olive oil that claims to be extra virgin is not, and sometimes it's not even all olive oil:


                                That's not to say you couldn't cook well with these oils, because we can taste what we cook and adjust, and--as this thread largely bears out--EVOO is kind of lost in the process of long cooking anyway.

                              2. Scoutmaster Jul 15, 2013 12:47 PM

                                Trader Joe's has several varieties extremely inexpensive ~ I think $7/32oz. World Market's store brand also $7/32oz and occasionally they have some from Hungary and Turkey.

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