Does Olive Oil Burn Quickly/Easily?

Last updated on October 4th, 2022 at 06:22 pm

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Olive oil is a healthy oil that is great for your heart. It can help lower your cholesterol and aid in better digestion. 

However, many people believe that when you burn olive oil and cook with it, it can lose a lot of its health benefits. If you do use olive oil for cooking, you will still receive some of the many health benefits. 

When using olive oil, how hot is too hot? Does olive oil burn easily? 

Olive oil will burn at 450ºF. Some studies have shown that the smoke released from cooking olive oil can reach toxic levels around 450ºF as well. However, these studies have all been inconclusive. 

If you prefer to be on the safe side, it is probably best to use olive oil for uses other than cooking. Olive oil can be great as a salad dressing, mixed in with dips, or even drizzled on already cooked vegetables. 

How Do You Treat An Olive Oil Burn? 

Cooking with olive oil can tend to be a bit scary. Once the oil becomes hot, it starts to “jump around” in the pan. 

Unfortunately, the olive oil doesn’t just stay in the pan. Often some oil can hop right out of the pan and onto you! 

Getting burnt is never fun. How do you treat an olive oil burn that you got while just trying to cook for your family? 

  • Run the burned area under cool water. If you have been burned, you need to run the affected area under cool water for about 20 minutes. Be sure the water stays cool and doesn’t get too cold or too warm. 
  • Wash your burn with soap and water. After your burn has been under cool water for about 20 minutes, it’s time to wash the area with soap and water. 
  • Wrap the burned area in gauze. Covering the burn will help you avoid any unnecessary exposure and it is also the best way to prevent the spread of infection. 

You can also add aloe or honey to the burned area as an anti-inflammatory medicine to help your skin recover. Never use milk, butter, or other oils on your burn, it will just make the pain worse and can lead to infection. 

Does Olive Oil Catch Fire? 

Typically no one considers cooking a dangerous job. The most dangerous part of cooking is usually cuts and burns. 

However, there can be dangerous situations in the kitchen, like a grease fire. Grease fires can be extremely dangerous and terrifying. 

How do grease fires happen and what do you do if one happens? 

Olive oil can catch fire when it becomes too hot. When your olive oil or other oils start to boil, they will then start smoking. Most oils will start to smoke around 450ºF. While olive oil itself is not considered flammable, it can be. 

The best way to prevent a grease fire in your kitchen is by staying in the kitchen when you are cooking with oil. Use a heavy pot with a lid to cook your oil in. If you have a clip thermometer, this will help you keep your oil below the fire starting point of around 450ºF. 

If you start to see smoke coming from your pot or smell acid, turn down the heat immediately or remove the pot completely. The oil does not immediately catch fire when it starts smoking, but it is the first sign that a grease fire is coming. 

What Do You Do If There’s A Grease Fire? 

Fire is a very scary and dangerous force of nature. There are different types of fire; you have electrical fires, cooking fires, etc. If a grease fire were to start in your kitchen, what do you do? 

Can you put it out with a fire extinguisher; what if you don’t have one? 

If the worst does happen and there’s a grease fire in your kitchen, follow these steps. 

  • Turn off the heat: DO NOT remove the pot. You can accidentally end up making the situation worse by moving the pot. You could end up splashing yourself with burning oil or spreading the fire further. The first step is to turn off the heat so the fire won’t have much fuel behind it. 
  • Carefully cover the pot with a metal lid: Fires do not exist where there is no oxygen. Very carefully, put a lid on the pot and the fire should hopefully extinguish itself. 
  • Pour baking soda on the flames: You can extinguish the flames of a grease fire with baking soda, but it will take a lot of baking soda. If the flames are large, do not attempt to use baking soda. If there are small flames, then you can carefully toss some baking soda onto the flames and watch them disappear. 
  • Use a class B dry chemical fire extinguisher: If there are large flames and you can’t complete any of the above steps, then use your class B dry chemical fire extinguisher to extinguish the flames. 
  • Get out and call 911: If you do not have a fire extinguisher and the flames are just too large: don’t be a hero. Take your phone, get out of the house, and call 911. 

Never use water on a grease fire. You run the risk of splashing the water and grease throughout the kitchen which can result in the fire spreading. 

Additionally, the water could end up feeding the flames instead of extinguishing them.  Even though a grease fire is a terrifying moment, it is best to try and remain calm. 

You can help make sure the damage stays mainly in the kitchen and does not end up throughout the house. 

Final Thoughts

Olive oil has many health benefits, but might not be a great go-to for actual cooking in the kitchen. Though olive oil isn’t classified as flammable, it can still end up becoming a grease fire in your kitchen. 

If a grease fire does end up happening in your kitchen, be sure to follow the steps for extinguishing a grease fire. Remember, never be a hero when it comes to a grease fire. 

You are more important than any item in your house. 

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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