Why Do Chefs Use So Much Olive Oil: 3 Hidden Secrets Revealed


The reason I am writing this article is that I am a chef myself and I know how much olive oil can be used for certain dishes such as salads, sandwiches, or pasta. I can’t be the only one that knows the amounts that are used and especially customers might wonder why do chefs drizzle so much olive oil practically anywhere.

In this article, I will go through the different reasons why it and in addition some other aspects about the usage of olive oil and the topics revolving around the subject.

Chefs use olive oil is because of taste, visual, and scent purposes. Olive oil will add a hint of bitterness and freshness to the dish in addition to moisture. Also, olive oil will enhance the visual effects of the meal with a beautiful gloss as well as the fresh vegetable scent that will top off the dish.

There are really many reasons why to use olive oil and even when other countries use it more than others, it is a universally adored ingredient in the food world. Next, if we want to fully understand the benefits of why chefs make use of olive oil we need to dive into the 3 crucial aspects in a more in-depth way. Let’s get started!

Taste reasons

The first reason why restaurants use olive oil is without a question for the taste. Olive oil tastes fresh and with acids such as lemon juice, vinaigrette, or something similar it will enlighten the taste of the ingredients giving the customers a better dining experience.

Also, olive oil adds moisture and texture to a salad for example which wouldn’t be as fresh without a hint of olive oil.

Visual causes

Olive oil gives the foods a beautiful gloss and sparkle as well which you can easily see with virtually any foods that you eat. This is another reason why chefs like to use olive oil, to make it more attractive for the customers.

Scent purposes

The smell of olive oil is usually fresh and a little bitter which it should. When you order a salad or a fresh Greek toast you can smell a delightful and oily scent which will get your appetite to rise.

There is much more to learn about olive oil in addition to the reasons why chefs use it, let’s take a look at these aspects next.

What is so special about olive oil

Olive oil has a lot of positive health benefits such as antioxidants therefore it has anti-cancer properties, healthy monounsaturated fats and contrary to public belief, it isn’t associated with obesity nor weight gain. Olive oil is quite healthy however it does contain a lot of calories which could lead to weight gain if would over consumed.

What olive oil do chefs use

Chefs use mainly extra virgin olive oil. This is because extra virgin olive oil is made from cold-pressed pure olives when normal olive oil is made from cold-pressed and processed oils, therefore regular olive oil is a blend of lower quality.

Whenever a product is less processed and in this case it is the extra virgin olive oil, it still haves its natural antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutritional values whereas the more processed one has fewer. When reviewing the difference between olive oils it is no wonder that extra virgin olive oil is always used by chefs with quality in mind.

Why is it bad to cook with olive oil

Cooking with olive oil isn’t as popular with other oils solely because olive oil’s smoke point is lower than the others. This results in a loss of the original nutritional values and even a health-harming effect when the olive is heated above its smoking point. I have gathered the smoking points of 4 different oils so you can see the difference between them.

Oil:Olive OilCanola OilVegetable OilPeanut Oil
Smoking Point:374–405°F
190-207°C
428–446 °F
220-230 °C
400-450°F
204 -232°C
450°F
232°C
Smoking points of different oils

As we can see, olive oil has the lowest smoking points, therefore chefs usually prefer other oils and the most used are canola and vegetable oils.

Can you pan fry with extra virgin olive oil

You definitely can use olive oil for pan-frying. Even when olive oil has the lowest smoking point of the main cooking oils if you aren’t cooking with a hot pan as you possibly can then it won’t cause problems. However, if you need to heat the pan really, really hot then I would advise using some other oils because of the smoke point which will quickly start to smoke and the food you are cooking will just have the taste of burned oil.

Is expensive olive oil better

Expensive olive oil is usually gathered only from one location and pressed with great care and following strict guidelines when done so. If the batch doesn’t meet the requirements it is sold apart from the main brand that the expensive oil brand is advertising.

Cheap olive oil on the other hand is gathered all around the Mediterranean and gathered to a huge factory where they really don’t take a look at the quality, more of the quantity. Therefore you can find so differing prices between different olive oils.

Is it safe to take olive oil daily

Olive oil is extremely healthy for everyday consumption and there are many benefits from it such as bone, heart, and digestive health improvements in addition it can even help stabilize blood sugar levels among other things.

However olive oil contains a lot of calories so I wouldn’t drink it out of the bottle because your weight can rapidly rise if you over-consume it. I have gathered up some information about olive oil’s nutritional values so you can see what are the main components of it. There are many others but here is the basic information.

100g Of Olive Oil
Kcal884
Carbohydrates0g
Protein0g
Fats100g
Saturated Fat14g
Monounsaturated fat73g
Polyunsaturated11g
Source: USDA

Conclusion

Olive oil certainly has its cooking benefits but it has some downsides to it as well such as low smoking point. All in all olive oil is the perfect addition to a kitchen where it should always be found and as the chefs adore it, so should you!

Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS and while I love working in a busy restaurant, I also enjoy more peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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