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Best Olive Oil

Updated February 2024
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Frantoia Barbera Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Frantoia Barbera
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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Expert-recommended
Bottom Line

This cold-pressed Sicilian extra virgin olive oil is full of olive flavor and is our cooking expert's favorite.

Pros

Family-owned olive oil company. Cold-pressed from three varieties of Sicilian olives sourced from local growers. Smooth, delicate fruit flavor and aroma. Almond aftertaste. Ideal for simple dressings and pouring.

Cons

Not as peppery as some may prefer. Not ideal for frying.

Best Bang for the Buck
Filippo Berio Olive Oil
Filippo Berio
Olive Oil
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Simple Yet Solid
Bottom Line

A delicious addition to many recipes, this beautiful olive oil with a golden hue is a pantry staple.

Pros

Flavorful, golden olive oil makes a delicious addition to homemade pasta sauces and salad dressings. Not an extra virgin oil, so it has a lighter taste and a different smoke point that's suitable for pan-frying. Easy-to-handle bottle.

Cons

While the small bottle is easier to use, you will run out of oil quickly.

Graza Sizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Graza
Sizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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Most Versatile
Bottom Line

This 100% olive oil comes from high-quality olives and delivers awesome flavor for cooking your favorite recipes.

Pros

Extra-virgin olive oil that's cold pressed from olives that were harvested mid-season for delicious mild flavor. Great for frying and sautéing vegetables, eggs, meat, and more. Squeeze bottle with a nozzle top makes it easy to use.

Cons

A few reports of damaged or leaking bottles when they were received.

Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pompeian
Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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Bursting with Flavor
Bottom Line

A flavorful product at a low price point; our cooking expert loves this style of olive oil.

Pros

Nice to add to pasta and salads, or to use as a healthier alternative to vegetable oil in most baking recipes. When heated for cooking, this oil has a pleasant floral scent.

Cons

The large plastic bottle is difficult to handle, but this isn't a major concern.

Nuñez De Prado Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Nuñez De Prado
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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Authentically Made
Bottom Line

Our nutrition expert notes the container of this extra virgin olive oil from the Andalusian region of Spain helps preserve the oil's nutritional quality.

Pros

Produced by a small family company with over 200 years of experience. Pure Andalusian olives cold-pressed with traditional methods from three local varietals. Herbal notes with a sweet finish. Great with pasta.

Cons

Liter-sized can may be too unwieldy for frequent use.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 
HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best olive oil

When buying olive oil, preference plays a big part in selection, but a quick scan of a bottle’s label can tell you a lot about the quality and provenance of the product. As with buying wine, a bit of know-how helps immensely when it’s time to pick out a new bottle of this popular cooking oil. Whether you prefer to use it to drizzle onto foods like hummus, mix it into salad dressings, or sautée veggies with it, there’s an olive oil option out there to suit your needs.

Olive oil is a delicious, healthful oil that’s easy to track down in the supermarket. Every grocery store has a variety of olive oils on offer. The trouble is that not all bottles are created equal. A handful of buzzwords and descriptors are used on labeling to entice shoppers, but often, these fancy-sounding phrases are unregulated and have no bearing on the oil’s flavor and quality.

So, how does one go about selecting an olive oil with a robust flavor profile? Discover an array of olive oil-related tips to help you shop for this popular culinary staple.

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Olive oil is not a neutral-tasting oil. Buy high-quality extra-virgin olive oil and enjoy its strong flavor in a variety of dishes. Dip bread in a mixture of olive oil and vinegar. Sauté onions in olive oil for an Italian ribollita soup. Choose another oil, such as grape seed, when you do not wish to impart flavor to your dish.

Key considerations

Olive types and quality

There are three main grades of olive oil: extra-virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil, and pure olive oil.

If you’re interested in purchasing high-quality olive oil, opt for a bottle labeled extra-virgin — the time between picking and processing does not exceed 24 hours for this type of olive oil. Both virgin and extra-virgin oils are cold-pressed. Extra-virgin olive oil can have no flavor defects, and virgin olive oil may have one flavor defect

Pure olive oil, however, is the lowest-quality form of the oil and is highly processed. It’s the lightest tasting product and lacks many of the healthy attributes of virgin and extra-virgin olive oils.

Labels that describe olive oils as light or lite do not refer to calorie content. The monikers are typically marketing terms for low-quality olive oils that have been processed to remove bitter flavor defects.

Olive oils produced using single-source olives are often the priciest and have a distinct flavor profile. Check for labels that designate a product’s quality such as Denominazione d’Origine Protetta (DOP), California Olive Oil Council (COOC), and Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC).

Shelf life

Ideally, you should consume olive oil within a year of its harvest date. When choosing an olive oil, look for the date the oil was pressed on, rather than an expiration date. 

Expert TIp
If you only use olive oil occasionally, buy it in small containers to keep it fresh.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

Health benefits of olive oil

Fat has gone in and out of fashion as an ingredient and is now back in vogue thanks to research that proves its value as a health food. The Mediterranean diet, long regarded as one of the healthiest diets on the planet, relies heavily on this type of fat. The healthiest olive oil form is extra-virgin. Because light or pure olive oils are so heavily processed, many of the healthful components are removed during the extraction process. Certain brands even dilute their olive oils with other neutral-tasting oils.

Extra-virgin olive oil is high in vitamin E and K. It also contains plenty of antioxidants, which are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. There’s also evidence that consuming extra-virgin olive oil protects against high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

Expert tip
Olive oil is a staple in the Mediterranean diet, which generally includes fruits, vegetables, seeds, legumes, seafood, spices, and herbs. It has been linked to lower incidences of heart disease and stroke, lower blood pressure, and helps protect against the cognitive decline that happens due to aging.
BestReviews Nutrition Expert

Features

Unfiltered vs. filtered

You’ll notice tiny specks inside a bottle of unfiltered olive oil. The oil still contains bits of olive flesh and has a shorter shelf life than filtered olive oil.

Packaging

Choose olive oils packaged in dark glass bottles or metal cans. Exposure to light may cause premature spoilage. Check the container for the harvest date and don’t buy olive oil that’s set to expire sooner than a year after purchase.

Dispenser

Dispenser types vary from screw-on lids to gentle-pour tops. A bottle with a fancier lid that helps to slow the flow rate of the oil may come with a premium price tag. But if you know how to slow the flow of oil with your index finger or thumb, you can often save yourself some money. You can also buy a dedicated olive oil dispenser to be guaranteed uniform flow no matter which brand you choose.

Flavoring

Sets of infused olive oils make an excellent gift and are great for using as a garnish or in salad dressings. Popular flavors include lemon, chile, and various herbs.

Expert Tip
Generously drizzle olive oil on your rustic bread slices and pan-sear it for a few minutes on each side to give it a nice olive-oily crunch, then re-drizzle it right before you eat it.
BestReview Cooking and Baking Expert

Olive oil prices

The higher the quality, the pricier the bottle of olive oil. Artisanal oils also fetch a higher price.

In the $10 to $15 range, you’ll find pure and virgin olive oils in 1 liter quantities or less. Olive oils in this price range don’t typically have origin information included on the label.

Expect to pay $15 to $25 or more for a premium, high-quality bottle of extra virgin olive oil from a reputable or artisanal producer.

You’ll likely pay more than $25 for a bottle that’s larger than 500mL.

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Did you know?
High-quality olive oil contains polyphenols and antioxidants, which have heart-health benefits and the ability to fight inflammation. Not all olive oils provide the same health benefits, however. Highly-processed products are often stripped of healthful components during the manufacturing process.
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Tips

  • Buy a small bottle of the highest-quality olive oil you can afford and save it for garnishing and dressing dishes.
  • If your budget is limited, but you want to cook with olive oil, opt for lower-priced bottles of virgin oil.
  • Use richly flavored olive oil to make sauces and dips.
  • Infuse olive oil on your own at home using garden-grown herbs such as rosemary or thyme. Herb-infused olive oil tastes delicious and makes an excellent bread dip when mixed with high-quality balsamic vinegar.
  • High-quality and artisanal olive oils make an excellent gift.
Expert Tip
Olive oil has a medium flash point (smoke point), so starts smoking between 375° F. to 400° F. If you notice it’s smoking, either turn down the temperature, move the pan off the heat for a moment or two, or do both.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert
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Read the label carefully. A bottle marked “made in Italy” doesn’t always mean the olive oil was produced there. It may only mean the manufacturing process was done in Italy.

FAQ

Q. Does the color of olive oil mean anything?

A. No. The color of olive oil has nothing to do with flavor or quality. Olive oil color varies according to the type of olive used and its ripeness at the time of extraction. A bottle labeled cold-pressed or first cold-pressed points to the method used to extract extra-virgin oil. According to standards set out by the International Olive Council, all certified extra-virgin olive oils are required to be first cold-pressed, so a label with this information isn’t particularly meaningful.

Q. What does the term cold-pressed mean? Does it denote quality?

A. The term cold-pressed comes from older methods of extracting olive oil. These days, most olive oil is extracted through a centrifuge, rather than a press. Processing the olives at lower temperatures helps preserve the nutritional value and flavor of the oil. However, according to standards set out by the International Olive Council, all certified extra-virgin olive oils are required to be first cold-pressed, so this is mostly a marketing term.

Q. What’s the best way to store olive oil?

A. Store bottles of olive oil in a cool, dark place, like a kitchen cupboard or pantry. Don’t leave the contents of olive oil containers or bottles exposed to the air or direct natural light. Don’t store olive oil in the refrigerator or over your range. Frequent temperature changes can break down the antioxidants in the olive oil and may alter the flavor. 

Q. How can I tell if olive oil has gone rancid?

A. Rancid olive oil has a distinctly sour or stale-nutty scent. The presence of sediment doesn’t mean your olive oil has spoiled, however. It’s likely just unfiltered.

Q. Is it true that cooking with olive oil at high temperatures is unhealthy because it releases toxins?

A. Although there’s a fair bit of controversy surrounding the topic of high-heat cooking with olive oil, it’s all just a bunch of smoke. Research shows that cooking at high heats with this oil is safe and doesn’t create any adverse health risks.

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