The 10 Best Olive Oil Dispensers
This wiki has been updated 30 times since it was first published in January of 2017. Unlike for wine, aging is harmful to the quality of olive oil. Over time, oxidation can negatively affect its flavor and, perhaps, negate its health benefits. One of these practical and stylish dispensers can help to limit waste and preserve the condition of the oil by shielding it from sunlight, air, and heat. They're also great for assisting with portion control and make pouring easier. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
July 15, 2020:
We decided to finally remove the Vremi Pouring Bottle, as it creates as many problems as it solves and frustrates too many users to merit keeping it around. We said goodbye to Tablecraft 16-Ounce in favor of the equally attractive, but more practical, Zeppoli Dual Spout, which also come with a polished caddy for transport. Then, when the Juvale Cruet became unavailable, we took the opportunity to recommend the Oxo Good Grips Precision, a clever selection that allows you to adjust your pour speed based on the angle you tip it at. It's attractive without sacrificing practicality and is straightforward to clean.
We brought on the FineDine Superior, a set of two that come with removable filters for making infusions, which can be especially delicious when using a higher-grade olive oil. They also have measurement marks on them, which helps eliminate the need to dirty another dish when doling out specific amounts, as long as you can work with milliliters.
Most selections across this category are designed not to leak but can begin to if their gaskets become loose. Don't get too frustrated when this happens, as it's a common issue that's usually easily remedied by buying a replacement at myriad home improvement stores. Also, remember that clear glass options won't block UV light, so keep them stored away from it, and while many of these items are heat-resistant, try to move them away from the stove or oven when you're cooking.
February 28, 2019:
After some consideration, we decided to leave the Vremi Pouring Bottle. It's quite polarizing, this dispenser, because its measured pouring spout can be super handy, but it does occasionally have flow issues that render it frustrating. For those who may not have the patience to make some adjustments, it might be best to give this one a swerve. We also opted for a few other clear glass options. They of course won't block light, but they look quite fetching on a set table, providing just the look some users want (but be sure to store them away from a window). But when it comes down to a blend of ease of use, good storage, and simplicity, it's still hard to beat the Chefvantage Cruet Set, which is priced well considering its overall quality.
Ponsas Porcelain Made in France by a family-owned company, this oil container is crafted from nonporous porcelain that resists chipping and is hand-glazed inside and out. The stainless steel nozzle has two holes for a controlled pour, with a stopper to close it, and the handle makes for easy carrying and pouring. williamssonoma.com
Farmhouse Pottery Olive Oil Bottle Wheel-thrown in Vermont, this rustic vessel from Farmhouse Pottery is offered in two sizes and features a stainless steel dispenser and charming two-toned glazing. Its durable, American stoneware construction is oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe, and will keep out damaging sunlight. farmhousepottery.com
Lastra Can Made to order by skilled artisans in Italy, this selection from Lastra is fired in a special kiln at the highest possible temperatures to create organic depths of color and movement on each piece. It undergoes a two-step glazing process that provides it with a unique saturation and consistency. It's extremely durable, temperature-resistant, nearly airtight, and protects from UV rays. vietri.com
Do You Really Need An Olive Oil Dispenser?
This prevents dust, bugs, and other contaminants from getting into your oil.
Single-use kitchen gadgets are often ridiculed, and rightly so — there are some truly pointless cooking "tools" out there. From banana slicers to tiny forks designed specifically for retrieving pickles from their jars, there's no shortage of utensils that you may only use once or twice per year (if that), but mostly they just take up space. But if you cook on a regular basis, an olive oil dispenser is not one of those things.
Most of the time, when you buy a bottle of olive oil, it doesn't come equipped with a pour spout that can dispense precise amounts. The little plastic inserts that come with most bottles can help to direct the stream of oil, but they don't do much in terms of regulating how much comes out at a time. A dispenser gives you more control over whether you want to pour a teaspoon or a quarter cup, and some of them can even measure for you.
When you're choosing the best dispenser for your kitchen, it all depends on how you use it. If you're the type to use vast quantities of olive oil in a short period of time, the material your dispenser is made of won't make much of a difference. But if it takes you a while to go through a bottle, you'll want to choose a dispenser that's made of ceramic, stainless steel, or a dark-tinted glass. Sunlight and heat can cause the oil to oxidize, which compromises its flavor, so a material that limits exposure can help to preserve the quality of your oil.
Even though many of us (myself included) are in the habit of keeping frequently used oils right next to the stove so they're always within reach, it's better to store them in a cabinet or pantry. If you buy your oil in bulk, be sure to keep the container in a cool, dark place and only take it out when you need to refill your dispenser.
If you hate cleaning up the little drips of oil that run down the side of the bottle after pouring, there are dispensers that can help with that, too. Almost all of them come with drip-free spouts, and some also have spill guards to catch any excess so you don't end up with oil rings on your table or counter.
Many dispensers have hinged lids that automatically flip down to cover the spout after you finish pouring. This prevents dust, bugs, and other contaminants from getting into your oil. Some also come with an airtight stopper or a lid you can screw onto the bottle if you're not going to use it for a while.
Health Benefits Of Olive Oil
In addition to being delicious, research has shown that olive oil has a lot of potential health benefits. It's full of antioxidants, which help to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation has been found to be a contributing factor to many diseases, including several types of cancer.
After five years, the people in the groups who ate olive oil and nuts were 30 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke than those in the control group.
Olive oil is also rich in monounsaturated fats, including oleic acid, which can reduce bad cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes. These healthy fats are also associated with an increase in energy, better moods, an improved memory, and overall cognitive function.
But perhaps the most significant effect that olive oil has on your health is its ability to reduce the risk of heart disease. A 2013 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine followed three groups of people: a control group who ate a low-fat diet, another who ate a Mediterranean diet with nuts, and a third who ate a Mediterranean diet that was rich in olive oil. After five years, the people in the groups who ate olive oil and nuts were 30 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke than those in the control group.
Where There's Smoke: When You Should And Shouldn't Use Olive Oil
If you're new to cooking, it may seem like all oils are pretty much interchangeable, but that is very much not the case. Like any other ingredient, each one is better for some uses than others.
When choosing the best type of oil for the task at hand, consider its smoke point. As the name suggests, this is the temperature at which an oil begins to smoke. Any hotter and the oil starts to break down and release free radicals and a substance called acrolein, which causes fats to smell and taste burnt.
For jobs like searing, deep-frying, and stir-frying, you're better off going with an oil that has a high smoke point and a mild, neutral flavor.
There are two different types of olive oil and they have vastly different smoke points. Unrefined olive oil is extracted without the use of heat or chemicals in order to retain its flavor and nutrients. It has a low smoke point of 325-375 degrees Fahrenheit, so it can be used for sautéing, but will burn at the higher temperatures required for searing and stir-frying. Both virgin and extra-virgin olive oils are unrefined, but extra-virgin has a stronger flavor and is held to stricter standards of production.
While you can cook with extra-virgin olive oil, it's better suited for homemade dressings, as a dip for crusty bread, or for drizzling over pasta and other dishes just before serving. Using it raw allows its flavor to shine, and the really good stuff is too pricey to waste on everyday cooking and baking.
Refined olive oil, often labeled "light," has been treated to have a more neutral flavor and aroma and is much paler in color than its unrefined counterpart. That treatment process also gives it a higher smoke point of 465 degrees, so it can handle many high-heat applications that extra-virgin oil can't.
But what if you're cooking something that requires such high temperatures that even refined olive oil won't work? For jobs like searing, deep-frying, and stir-frying, you're better off going with an oil that has a high smoke point and a mild, neutral flavor. Some of the best options are sunflower, peanut, vegetable, and canola.