Can you burn olive oil? (3 Health Benefits)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can you burn olive oil? We will discuss if you can burn olive and the conditions needed to make that happen. We will also discuss the benefits and reasons to use olive oil for cooking.

Can you burn olive oil?

You can burn olive oil. Even though olive oil is not flammable, exposing it to a flame would cause it to catch fire. The temperature at which an oil catches fire is known as the flashpoint. The flashpoint of olive oil is 410 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Extra virgin olive oil has an even lower smoke point of 325 Fahrenheit, making it more susceptible to catching fire and burning. 

However, olive oil catching fire and combusting is an unlikely scenario, unless an external heat source is provided. Autoignition or spontaneous kindling of olive oil is not possible, as the temperature needed for such an event is as high as 815 Fahrenheit. 

Should you worry about olive oil getting burnt when you cook with it?

Olive oil is an excellent option for you to cook with. Olive oil has health benefits that reduce the harm that fried foods bring to you. 

Olive oil is often frowned down upon as a cooking choice because it is believed to burn easily. However, despite its low smoke point, olive oil does not become harmful when it is exposed to heat.

Two factors contribute to how well oils do while cooking; the smoke point and the oxidative stress. However, olive oil does not break down that easily and has a fine smoke point and oxidative stress, making it an ideal choice for cooking.

What makes olive oil do well when it is used in cooking?

When oils burn they emit some smoke that causes a release of volatile compounds, the temperature that causes oil to smoke is unique to every oil.

As an oil burns, such as canola oil, it produces compounds known as aldehydes and lipid peroxides that contribute to cancer. On the contrary, if we consider the smoke point of olive oil, even though it is quite low but on attaining such a temperature it does not make olive oil produce unhealthy compounds. 

A good smoke point of olive oil owes to the heat-resistant compounds. Olive oil makes up 87 percent of heat-saturated monosaturated and saturated fats. 

Moreover, olive oil is very stable when subjected to high heat. A rich amount of antioxidants and low polyunsaturated fats mean that it does not oxidize and release harmful compounds as other oils do. Heating olive oil does not cause an increase in trans fat.

What are the constituents of olive oil?

The primary constituent of every kind of oil is fatty acids. The three kinds of fatty acids are saturated, monosaturated, and polyunsaturated which may be present in different ratios.

In olive oil, the percentage of saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, and monosaturated fats are 14, 11, and 73 respectively.

The monosaturated fats are called oleic acid that has excellent benefits for health. Oleic acid prevents the onset of cancer and inflammation. Chronic inflammation brings diseases like heart diseases, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s, and obesity. 

The turning point of olive oil is the high concentration of antioxidants. The antioxidants in olive oil are vitamin E, phenols, squalene, lutein. Antioxidants have an anti-inflammatory effect.

How to use olive oil for cooking?

As olive oil burns, you will start to see some smoke escaping out of the olive oil, which signifies the benchmark that olive oil can be cooked at. At this point, you can lower the flame and add the food to the oil and start cooking. 

The tiny vapors of smoke are the initiation that will commence to burning if you do not take the situation under control. 

To prevent the olive oil from reaching the smoke point, turn the flame down.

Should you burn olive oil?

Not surprisingly, olive oil can be used as a fuel. Olive oil produces clean smoke with no harmful hydrocarbons to cause pollution or a toxic environment. 

If you have access to a rich supply of olive oil, you could even make a lamp out of olive oil. Olive oil lamps are safer than kerosene lamps.

To make an olive oil lamp, make a wick using a piece of wire, and pour a bit of olive oil on it to let it absorb. Pull up a fresh piece of wick every time you light the olive oil lamp.

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can you burn olive oil? We discussed if you can burn olive and the conditions needed to make that happen. We also discussed the benefits and reasons to use olive oil for cooking.

Citations https://californiaoliveranch.com/tips-on-how-to-avoid-burning-extra-virgin-olive-oil-while-cooking/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-olive-oil-good-for-cooking
https://joybileefarm.com/olive-oil-lamp/
https://health.usnews.com/wellness/food/articles/why-you-should-stop-worrying-about-olive-oils-smoke-points

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.