The Ultimate Guide to the Best Olive Oil

The Best Olive Oil can enhance your food

Extra Virgin Olive oil for your marinade is a staple in lots of marinade recipes, but people generally don’t give much thought to which of the best olive oil their choose to use. Like vinegar, different olive oils have different flavors and qualities and your marinade can gain an extra layer of flavor by picking the right one.

You wouldn’t use apple cider vinegar for a recipe that calls for balsamic, and choosing the best olive oil can make the same difference.


Steak Marinades

Red meat does well with robust olive oil. The Italian varietals are particularly appealing here and several varietals are commonly blended that create a wonderful flavor profile for steak.

This is one of our favorite marinades and it’s become a staple in our home. It usually goes on flank steak, but could easily be used on any steak that you’re grilling. While you can get away with marinating your steak for only hours, we recommend you let any tougher cuts sit overnight.

  • Steak about 1 – 2 lbs.
  • 1/2 cup of Robust Olive Oil
  • 1 Lemon
  • 4 Medium Cloves of Garlic
  • 1/4 cup of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tsps. salt
  • 2 tsps. fresh ground pepper

Start with a Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This recipe has several strong flavors and you’ll want to have an olive oil that can stand up to them. If you have a tougher cut of meat, you may want to use a fork to dock the meat.

In a large plastic Ziploc bag or a ceramic or glass baking dish, pour in the olive oil. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the bag or dish. If you’re using a bag, add in the squeezed lemon halves, too. If you’re using a baking dish, you may need to cut these into smaller pieces. Crush the Garlic Cloves with your hands or the flat side of a knife and remove the skins. Place these in your bag or dish. Add in the rest of your ingredients.

Massage the meat with the marinade for a few minutes and make sure that the meat is completely covered. Refrigerate overnight.

Lamb and Game Marinades

Lamb and game marinades benefit from using robust, grassy olive oil with strong flavors. With lamb and game, the meat itself has a strong flavor your marinade will need to be strong as well for the flavors to come through.

  • Typically, with a leg of lamb, we go with a thin wet rub. Massaging the meat with liberal amounts of it gets flavors going.
  • 1 Leg of lamb
  • 1 Bunch of Rosemary
  • 4 Medium Garlic cloves
  • Robust, Grassy Olive oil 2 – 3 tsps.
  • Salt 2 – 3 tsps. Pepper

Remove the bone from the lamb or have a butcher remove it for you. Remove any stems from the rosemary and place in a food processor Remove the skin from the garlic cloves and add the food processor Add the salt and pepper to the food processor Turn your food processor on and slowly pour in your olive oil until you have a thin paste

Open up your leg of lamb. If you have any thick pieces of meat, butterfly them so that you have an even thickness. With a paring knife, poke some small holes all around the leg of lamb with your hands massage the wet rub all over the leg, and into the holes, you created with the knife. Wrap the lamb up with some butcher’s twine Cover with plastic wrap Refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

Pork Marinades

Marinades can help out pork. The meat dries out pretty easily when cooking and no one likes a chewy pork chop. If you don’t cook much pork because of this, consider trying it again, using a marinade.

One other recommendation is to go to your butchers to pick up some thick, bone-in pork chops. They can handle a lot of flavors and tend to be juicier with the bone. For this marinade, we suggest a medium-bodied olive oil. Something with some apple notes would go well, too.

  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 tsp lemon peel (grated)
  • 1/4 c medium olive oil
  • 2 – 3 sprigs fresh rosemary sprigs (stems removed) minced
  • 2 medium fresh sage leaves minced
  • 3 – 5 sprigs of fresh thyme (stems removed)
  • 2 tsps. salt
  • 4 pork chops (thick)

Combine all the ingredients in a plastic bag or baking dish Massage them into the meat Refrigerate for at least 8 hours

Chicken Marinades

Chicken does not require very much time to marinate. The meat is delicate and if your marinade has a lot of citruses, it will begin to protein cook the chicken. Your marinade will need to compensate for that by carrying intense

Every year we throw away untold amounts of Champagne after New Year’s Eve. Once it’s gone flat, it might not taste very good, but it will make a very nice marinade.

  • 4-6 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
  • 1/3 cup delicate olive oil preferably with apple /almond notes
  • 1/4 cup dry champagne
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic, whole,
  • crushed 2 pinches of salt

If your champagne isn’t flat yet, it’s still OK to use. Just be aware that as you mix things it might get messy. If some of your chicken breasts are very thick at some points, you may want to consider pounding them a little flatter, butterflying them, or cutting them in half length-wise so that the meat cooks evenly.

Combine all of the ingredients in a plastic bag or baking dish. Refrigerate for 4 – 8 hours. If there is still carbonation in the champagne, stick to the 4-hour side of the time frame.

Fish Marinades

A lot of times, the best thing to do with fish is to brush it with some of the best olive oil that you like, sprinkle on some salt and pepper and it’s ready for the grill!

For meatier fish like Halibut, you can increase its flavor with a quick, fresh marinade.

  • 1 small clove garlic, minced 6 tablespoons delicate – light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 (6 ounce) fillets of halibut Combine all of the ingredients in a plastic bag or baking dish

Refrigerate for 1 hour We’ve found lots of really wonderful Extra Virgin Olive Oil and we hope you enjoy them too!



The Best Olive Oils for Delicious Home-Cooked Meals

The Best Olive Oil for Cooking

If you look around the landscape, it’s hard not to notice the almost inordinate amount of best olive oil for booking shows on the air, a testament to changing views on food in this day and age. Even with the amazing amount of variety in these cooking shows, one of the topics that come up on an almost daily basis is trying to identify the best extra virgin olive oil for cooking.

Extra virgin olive oil is an ancient ingredient that has been used for everything from religious ceremonies to meal preparation. One would think that over the course of thousands of years, someone would have been able to aptly answer the question of what the best olive oil for cooking is, right? I mean, someone must have made a note somewhere. The problem is that many folks have come right out and said that olive oil should never see heat because it does untold damage to the structure of the oil. So, what’s an amateur chef to do?virgin olive Oil

Listen to the great chefs out there who’ve been doing it long enough to tell you one thing — don’t be afraid of using olive oil. Here are a few more things you should know regarding olive oil and cooking:

Use It in All Applications — Cook with it, bake with it, and use it as a garnish. There are a lot of great recipes out there that use olive oil as an ingredient. Don’t start immediately looking for an alternative. Extra virgin olive packs such amazing flavor, and you don’t want to miss out on it. It’s all good.

Use It in Moderation — Don’t go overboard with it, though. It can be easy to just start adding it to everything, kind of like a popular rooster-emblazoned hot sauce we all know. Make it a bit of a treat.

Check the Dates — Look the bottle over while you’re shopping, and see when the product was harvested and bottled. The more time between when the oil is first packaged for sale & when you actually buy it, the higher likelihood that the oil may not be up to par.

Seals of Approval — Try to find governing bodies for olive oil who have designated the oil you’re holding is the real things & good to go. If you’re not seeing these, you’re taking a bit of a chance. virgin olive Oil

Smell and Taste — Once you get home, smell & taste the extra virgin olive oil. You should not get any ‘off’ notes in flavor or scent. If something seems wrong, you may have rancid oil on your hands. Take that back to the store you purchased it from, and get that squared away.

Keep Things Local — States like Texas are becoming major players on the olive oil front, so keep things local, support small businesses, and take advantage of serious freshness.


Choosing the best olive oil for cooking seems like it could be pretty relative. As such, the best advice from the best chefs out there is basically use something that tastes good, don’t overuse it, and understand that you don’t need a plane ticket for great olive oil.

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