olive oil and olive branches
Credit: Johnny Miller

Our Favorite Extra-Virgin Olive Oils for Everyday Cooking—Plus, Our Picks for Salad Dressings and More

These are the olive oils our food editors rely on.
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If we had to pick just one ingredient that defines our cooking, it would be olive oil. When you read our recipes, you'll see that so many of them start with "Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pot (or a cast-iron skillet)." We use olive oil for sautéing and shallow frying, for salad dressings, dips too, and even for cakes, cookies, granola, and sorbet. So, you can be sure that we always have plenty of olive oil on hand in the test kitchen and at home.

This prized ingredient really can do it all but even so, we generally have a workhorse olive oil on hand for cooking and a finishing oil that we don't use with heat, but rather save for salad and anointing dishes just before serving. The oil(s) you choose will depend on your palate: Do you prefer buttery and fruity olive oil or one with more grassy and spicy flavors?

Here are eight of our current favorite olive oils—you'll find that all are widely available and all are extra-virgin olive oils. We don't look for the cheapest oils in the store; instead, we shop for brands we trust who make sure that this precious oil is pressed, bottled, shipped, and stored carefully to make sure it isn't exposed to light or heat or otherwise damaged that might affect its taste.

Our Favorite Olive Oils to Buy Now

California Olive Ranch 100% California Bag in a Box
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Test Kitchen's Everyday Olive Oil

The pioneers of California olive oil are  California Olive Ranch, and their oil has long been our test kitchen's everyday go-to. Our current favorite option is their new two-liter refill box. It's made from recycled materials (and is also recyclable itself) and will refill a standard bottle four times. Deputy food editor Greg Lofts explains, "It also keeps the oil fresher than a traditional bottle because it's never exposed to oxygen so it tastes as fresh when you're tipping the box and squeezing the pouch to extract the last drops as when you turn on the spigot for the first time. And it's cheaper by volume since you're essentially buying in bulk. In other words, it's all around pretty great!"

Shop Now: California Olive Ranch 100% California Bag in a Box, Two Liter, $34.99, amazon.com.

Frescobaldi Laudemio Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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Best Olive Oil for Finishing

Another test kitchen-favorite is Frescobaldi Laudemio. This vivid green Tuscan oil from the famed Frescobaldi estate is not only eye catching, but it's also boldly flavored. We enjoy its extra-grassy taste on salads, drizzled over soup, or with seafood. 

Shop Now: Frescobaldi Laudemio Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 500ml, $37.99, amazon.com.

Canaan Jenin Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best All-Around Olive Oil

We were introduced to this nuanced olive oil by cookbook author and food campaigner Yasmin Khan, and we're glad she shared it. Jenin is the signature olive oil from Palestinian producers Canaan, and the olives for this oil are collected from small-scale farmers who live in villages surrounding the city of Jenin. Certified organic and fair trade, the oil works well for salads, dips, and as a finishing oil.

Shop Now: Canaan Jenin Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 500ml, $34.27, amazon.com.

Kosterina Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Credit: Courtesy of Food52

Best Greek Olive Oil

Early-harvest Koroneiki olives grown in the Peloponnese region of southern Greece are what Katerina Mountanos uses for her olive oil; it's similar to the oil she used in the kitchen growing up. Bright, fresh, and assertive, we save this vivid green oil for salad and dipping.

Shop Now: Kosterina Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 500ml, $30, food52.com.

Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Credit: Courtesy of Walmart

Best Grocery Store Olive Oil

Widely available in supermarkets, this Italian extra-virgin olive oil is a smooth, low-acid pick and a solid choice for cooking and everyday use. It's Greg's go-to if he can't find California Olive Ranch.

Shop Now: Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 500ml, $13.88, walmart.com.

Pineapple Collaborative The Olive Oil
Credit: Crate and Barrel

Most Coveted Olive Oil

Made from organic California arbequina olives, this extra-virgin oil is packaged in a countertop-worthy tin. Whatever you do, though, don't stash it near the stove or in bright light—remember olive oil needs careful (cool and dark) storage. The oil is made for Pineapple Collaborative, which aims to foster a woman-focused food community. 

Shop Now: Pineapple Collaborative The Olive Oil, 500ml, $34, crateandbarrel.com.

Casas de Hualdo Variety Pack, Four 250ml bottles
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Olive Oil Sampler Set

If you want to explore single variety olive oils, try this sampler pack of extra-virgin olive oils from award-winning Spanish producer Casas de Hualdo. It includes a 250ml bottle of each of four varieties: picual, manzanilla, corniacabra, and arbequina.

Shop Now: Casas de Hualdo Variety Pack, Four 250ml bottles, $51.99, amazon.com.

Oleamea Organic Premium Everyday
Credit: Courtesy of Oleamea

Best Turkish Olive Oil

Another great choice for everyday use, this Turkish olive oil is made with early harvest Memecik olives. Like our other picks here, it's cold-pressed and extra virgin. It has a smooth, balanced taste and aces everything from grilling to baking.

Shop Now: Oleamea Organic Premium Everyday, 500ml, $18.99, oleamea.com.