Q. I was making brownies from a mix that called for vegetable oil. The only oil I had was olive oil. The brownies came out OK, but I wondered if there are times when you shouldn’t use olive oil.
Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fat and is believed to have other health benefits, including antioxidants. It is also sometimes used as a substitute for butter in baking, particularly for vegans. Still, there are differences between olive and vegetable oil in cooking:
Taste. There are rustic-style cakes that use olive oil, but the flavor of olive oil is distinctive. It might not work in all sweet dishes.
Smoke point. Olive oil has a low smoke-point, meaning that it breaks down and can be a fire hazard at higher temperatures. Oils like peanut or canola oil can handle higher temperatures better.