Our Favorite Extra-Virgin Olive Oils for Everyday Cooking—Plus, Our Picks for Salad Dressings and More
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
- Our Test Kitchen's Everyday Olive Oil: California Olive Ranch 100% California Bag in a Box
- Best Olive Oil for Finishing: Frescobaldi Laudemio Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Best Olive Oil Sampler: Casas de Hualdo
- Best All-Around Olive Oil: Jenin Olive Oil
- Best Grocery Store Olive Oil: Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil