The smoke point of an oil is when it reaches its burning point, stops shimmering and starts smoking. To that end, some olive oils are better for high or low-heat cooking than others.

butter to olive oil CONVERSION CHART


Olive Oil


1 teaspoon


3/4 teaspoon


1 tablespoon (1/8 stick)


2-1/4 teaspoons


2 tablespoons (1/4 stick)


1-1/2 tablespoons


1/4 cup (1/2 stick)


3 tablespoons


1/2 cup (1 stick)


1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons


2/3 cup (1-3/8 sticks)


1/2 cup


3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks)


1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon


1 cup (2 sticks)


3/4 cups


2 cup (4 sticks)


1-1/2 cups


Q: Is placing olive oil in your refrigerator overnight the best way to know that it’s extra virgin?

A: Well, some extra virgin oil will solidify, but that’s really not an indication of the quality and purity of the oil. Extra virgin olive oil might freeze due to traits of the actual olives, including the climate, harvesting time, location and latitude of the specific olive grove they were picked from.

In fact, both high- and low-quality olive oil can freeze when exposed to cold temperatures, so that’s really not the best way to judge the quality of your olive oil at all.

The most important takeaway here: Refrigerating EVOO will cause it to eventually lose its antioxidants and polyphenols. For that reason alone, we strongly recommend storing it in a cool, dark place (like a pantry) rather than your fridge.

Q: So what exactly does “cold pressed” mean?

A: The short answer? “Cold pressed” signifies the olive oil was cultivated by pressing crushed olives with a mechanical press at a cold temperature, which creates the oil without any thermal alteration whatsoever.

Q: Why is the “first pressing” important?

A: The first pressing of olives by hydraulic pressure is what yields Extra Virgin Olive Oil; a pure “juice of olives” that meets the highest standards for quality, antioxidants, content and flavor.

Q: Why does extra virgin olive oil seem bitter to some people?

A: Extra Virgin Olive Oil easily has the most robust flavor of any olive oil variety because it’s a pure, natural product. The peppery or bitter flavor is an acquired taste for some Americans, but olive oil connoisseurs prefer it since it signifies a truly desirable olive oil — one that’s been newly pressed and thus offers the strongest flavor and extremely low acidity.

Q: How should olive oil be stored?

A: Store olive oil away from heat and light in an airtight container — preferably inside your kitchen pantry. Pompeian suggests storing your olive oil for no more than 2 years. So that you can easily gauge freshness, we provide a “Best By” date on every bottle you purchase.

Q: Is Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil lower in calories?

A: No, it’s not. In fact, “Extra Light” means that the olive oil possesses a light flavor. Olive oil and all other edible oils contain about 120 calories per tablespoon.

Q: Why are there different colors of extra virgin olive oil if they are all “extra virgin”?

A: The color of olive oil largely depends on the type of olives that were used to produce it — and whether a single variety of olive was used or different types were blended together. The color can also be greatly influenced by the soil, climate, and seasonal weather conditions in which the olives were grown. The “extra virgin” grade is determined by an olive oil’s acidity, not its color.

Q: Why does olive oil cost more than other oils?

A: Two factors influence the cost of olive oil. 1.) Olive oil production is rather labor-intensive. The fruit must be carefully picked and collected for pressing, because bruising will inevitably influence the acidity of the olive oil and affect its flavor and grade. 2.) The amount of olives it takes to create a bottle of olive oil is ridiculously high: It takes approximately 2,000 olives to produce just one quart of olive oil!

Q: Is expensive olive oil better than cheaper olive oil?

A: Not necessarily. A high price point certainly doesn’t ensure quality, since the quality of your olive oil depends on a number of factors — the type of olives that were used, how the olives were handled both before and during pressing, how the oil was stored, and the quality standards of the producer. In fact, the best way to choose your olive oil is to follow your own individual taste preference.

Q: Can I use olive oil to replace other oils or fats in my recipes?

A: Olive oil can indeed replace nearly any oil or fat, even in your baking and dessert prep. Use Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil in full-flavored recipes, when a hint of fresh olives will enhance the taste. Use our Classic Pure Olive Oil for more mild-flavored recipes. And when you want the benefits of olive oil without the flavor of olives — such as when you’re making desserts — we heartily recommend using our Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil.

Q: Is the smoke point the same for all of Pompeian’s olive oils?

A: No, it’s not. In fact, it varies rather significantly depending on the type of olive oil. For example, Pompeian Grapeseed Oil has one of the highest smoke points — at around 420–510° F. That makes it a great choice for frying or deep frying.

Meanwhile, Pompeian Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil has a high smoke point of 390–410° F, so it’s ideal for high-heat sautéing and stir-frying. On the other hand, Pompeian Classic Pure Olive Oil has a 370–390° F smoke point, which means it can be used for lower heat sautéing. Finally, Pompeian EVOO is best suited to basting and sauces, since it has a smoke point of 310–340° F.

Any and all of the above can be used for baking based on your personal taste preference.

Q: Is Pompeian olive oil cholesterol free?

A: You know it. In fact, every Pompeian olive oil is 100% cholesterol-free, unlike animal fats.

Q: Why should I consider olive oil as an alternative to butter?

A: That’s an easy one. Olive oil contains a lot less saturated fat than butter (only 2g, compared to 7g!) and, again, no cholesterol. (Butter contains 33 mg of cholesterol per serving, eh?) You can even use olive oil to grease pans for a healthier alternative. Honestly, it’s kind-of a no-brainer.

Q: Can olive oil be used in sweet recipes?

A: Absolutely. For desserts, we highly recommend using Pompeian Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil as an alternative to plain margarine, butter or plain vegetable oil. It’s healthier, light in taste, and brilliantly effective.

Q: Which has more calories: Fruity olive oils or vegetable seed oils?

A: Are you sitting down? They’re the same! But many people find that the more flavorful taste of olive oil means they wind up using less of the stuff, which ultimately reduces calories.

Q: Are Pompeian olive oils produced in a facility that produces peanut oil?

A: Nope. Our products can’t be cross-contaminated by peanut allergens during production.

Q: Are Pompeian olive oils kosher?

A: Yes indeed.

Q: Where can I buy Pompeian products?

A: Pompeian products can be found at many large supermarkets, small grocery stores, drug chains, discount retailers and military commissaries. Sizes and varieties may vary based on location.

If you can’t find our products, let us know! Email your town/city, state and zip code to, and we’ll be happy to assist you.