Grilling With Olive Oil (Ultimate Guide + Health Benefits)

Grilling is a popular cooking method, especially during the warmer seasons when we all love to be out enjoying the fresh air. Its popularity stems from its ability to quickly and easily produce flavorful meals with minimal effort. Grilling with olive oil is even more popular due to its health benefits and its ability to add even more flavor.

The Benefits of Olive Oil Grilling

1. Olive oil grilling helps to reduce the formation of potential cancer-causing compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs). By grilling with olive oil, these compounds are kept to a minimum.

2. Additionally, grilling with olive oil helps to preserve the flavor and integrity of foods because it is a healthier alternative to other grilling oils. Olive oil has a high smoke point which makes it a good choice for grilling. This means that your food will be cooked evenly without burning or becoming too greasy.

3. Lastly, grilling with olive oil adds a delicious and distinct flavor to the food which enhances its overall taste profile. Olive oil has been used for grilling for centuries and can help you elevate your grilling game!

Can you use olive oil for grilling?

Yes, olive oil is an incredibly versatile grilling option. You can use it to grill meat, seafood, and vegetables. It’s also perfect for making a variety of sauces and marinades. Olive oil grilling helps to keep food from sticking to the grates and prevents it from becoming dry and overcooked.

It can be used on both flat top grills and regular grills with grates. A small coating with olive oil on the grate can actually help keep your grill from rusting!

Olive oil smoke point

If you’re a fan of cooking with olive oil, you may have heard concerns about its smoke point. The smoke point is the temperature at which an oil begins to smoke and break down, potentially destroying the benefits of the olive oil and creating an unpleasant taste.

However, there’s some debate over the smoke points of different types of olive oil. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) generally has a lower smoke point than other types of olive oil, ranging from 350⁰F to 410⁰F according to However, this can vary depending on factors like the quality of the olives used and how the oil was processed.
  • Regular olive oil can have a higher smoke point than EVOO, with some sources citing a range of up to 470⁰F.

So should you be worried about cooking with olive oil? According to experts cited by, as long as you’re using high-quality EVOO and not overheating it, there’s no reason to avoid cooking with it.

What is the smoke point of olive oil and how does it affect grilling?

Smoke point is an essential factor to consider when grilling with olive oil. The smoke point of an oil is the temperature at which it begins to start smoking. When grilling with olive oil, it’s important to ensure your oil doesn’t exceed its smoke point.

If you exceed the smoke point it can cause food to have a weird taste, and at a temperature beyond the smoke point, the benefits of the olive oil begin to diminish.

Also, if all the oil smoked up there will be no oil left on the grill and food may stick to the grill.

Is it safe to use extra-virgin olive oil for grilling?

 In a study by Acta Scientific Nutritional Health, olive oil has a higher oxidative stability compared to oils with higher smoke points due to its high amount of antioxidants.

So, although the smoke point is lower than other oils, it has more health benefits than others oils. Such as canola oil which is unhealthy for and very high in unhealthy compounds.

Though, we would not recommend it for very high-temperature cooking due to the fact that it will produce abundant amounts of smoke at temperatures over 410 degrees.

For example, we would not recommend deep frying in olive oil. For higher-temperature applications like deep frying, a healthy alternative is avocado oil.

The health benefits of extra-virgin olive oil

  • Rich in healthy monounsaturated fats
  • Contains antioxidants that fight inflammation
  • May lower the risk of heart disease
  • Can help regulate cholesterol levels
  • Has been linked to improved brain function and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease
  • May have anti-cancer properties

How much olive oil should I use when grilling?

When grilling with olive oil, it’s important to use the right amount. Too little oil will cause food to stick to the grates and become dry or overcooked. Too much oil can lead to smoke and flare-ups that can char your food.

The general rule of thumb is to use just enough olive oil to coat the grates. You can do this by pouring a small amount of oil onto paper towels, dipping them in a bowl of warm water, and rubbing them on the grates once they are heated up. This will give you an even coating of oil without leaving puddles that could cause flare-ups.

You should also consider the type of food you’re grilling. Thicker meats, like steak or chicken thighs, will need more oil than thinner meats, like ground beef or fish.

Finally, if you’re grilling vegetables, brush them lightly with olive oil before grilling to keep them from sticking and enhance their flavor.

Can olive oil cause flare-ups on the grill?

Flare-ups on the grill are caused by the dripping of fat, oil, and juices from grilling food onto the grates. When these hot liquids hit the grates, they create flames that can quickly char and burn your food.

Olive oil is no exception when it comes to flare-ups. If you use too much oil or pour it directly onto the grates, it can cause a flare-up. To minimize the risk of flare-ups, be sure to follow the instructions above and apply just enough olive oil to coat the grates.

Final Thoughts

Grilling with olive oil is a great way to impart flavor and moisture into food without using unhealthy fats such as margarine, canola oil, or sunflower oil, etc.

Olive oil’s smoke point is lower than other grilling oils, usually ranging from 350–410°F, so it’s important not to overheat the oil as it can break down and create acrid smoke.

It’s recommended to brush grates lightly with oil and to use just enough oil to coat the grates without leaving puddles that could cause flare-ups.

The best way to really get the flavor and health benefits of grilling with olive oil is to use pure extra-virgin olive oil. It may cost more, but it will provide the highest quality and most robust flavor. Additionally, it contains more antioxidants and monounsaturated fats than other grades of olive oil.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be grilling with olive oil like a pro in no time!

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