Substituting oils, butter, and margarine for olive oil is a heart-smart move when cooking. In order to get the most out of this delicious ingredient, consider the following tips that will make life much easier:
1) To save money on expensive oils, purchase large bottles that you can split with family and friends.
2) If you buy olive oil in bulk, it is suggested to transfer to smaller containers - most preferably a can or dark-colored bottle.
3) Keep in mind that olives are a fruit; therefore you are purchasing a fruit juice that can become rancid when exposed to too much air, light, and heat.
4) You can tell when your olive oil is rancid when it possesses a buttery taste.
5) The best temperature for storing olive oil is 57 degrees. Typical room temperature of 70 degrees also works well.
6) When storing olive oil, make sure that the cap to the container is on tight.
7) If you wish to refrigerate your olive oil, keep in mind that this does not compromise most grades of oil, but it isn't suggested for an expensive extra virgin since condensation may develop in the bottle, which can ultimately affect the flavor.
8) In cold temperatures, don't forget that olive oil may cloud or become solid. Once the olive oil is taken out of the refrigerator, it will resume its original, liquid composition when exposed to a room temperature environment.
9) The best kind of containers for olive oil is made out of tinted glass, porcelain, or stainless steel. Never store olive oil in a plastic container or something that is made out of reactive metals.
10) When cooking with olive oil, the most expensive kind (extra-virgin) is best saved for salads, dressings, and vinaigrettes. Extra virgin olive oil also adds life to cooked vegetables, fish, and meat.
11) When sautéing or frying, it is OK to combine extra virgin and regular olive oil. As for deep-frying, choose regular olive oil, as virgin or extra virgin oils tend to smoke quicker.
12) When substituting olive oil for butter, you will not use the same measurements. One teaspoon of butter equates to 3/4 teaspoons of olive oil. Also rely upon the following butter-to-olive oil conversions: 2 teaspoons = 1 1/2 teaspoons; 1 tablespoon = 2 1/4 teaspoons; 2 tablespoons = 1 1/4 tablespoons; 1/4 cup = 3 tablespoons; 1/3 cup = 1/4 cup; 1/2 cup = 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons; 2/3 cup = 1/2 cup; 3/4 cup = 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon; 1 cup = 3/4 cup