Some people don't think twice about what kind of bottle their olive oil is stored in, but any experienced cook knows that a dedicated dispenser is a must. A good olive oil dispenser should protect from any outside elements to keep the oil fresh (everyday exposure to common elements like air, heat, and light can cause olive oil to go bad), while also providing a spout that makes pouring oil easy and mess-free. After comparing 18 popular olive oil pourers, we believe the PER-HOME Olive Oil Bottle is the best olive oil dispenser. Its stainless steel body is the best you can get for protection from the elements and its spout offers perfect, clean pours. Article Summary
Olive oil is one of the healthiest choices you have for frying and cooking your food. Compared to other types of cooking oil, it offers a whole host of unique benefits from superb nutritional value to surprising disease prevention. Olive oil is sold in various containers like cans and bottles, but the issue here is that most of these containers are not really designed to be used on an everyday basis. In order to manage pours, avoid spilling, and most importantly, keep it from going bad, you need a dedicated oil dispenser.
To some, the idea of buying an olive oil pourer might sound silly, but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to be able to protect, preserve, and truly enjoy your chosen brand of oil. If stored incorrectly, olive oil can become rancid – in other words, exposure to everyday things like air, temperature, and even light can cause it to oxidize and go bad. Naturally, all oil will go bad at some point, but how and where you store it will determine how long it takes to reach rancid levels.
With the help of a local master chef, we looked at 18 popular olive oil pourers. We compared all of their designs, some more unique than others, with priority placed on the ability to protect the oil from the outside exposures mentioned above. With that said, we also considered convenience and cleanliness, since we wanted to find bottles that were easy to use and leakproof so that you don’t end up with tons of greasy dripping down the sides. After discussing the pros and cons of each bottle, we’ve found three pourers that we’d say are the best olive oil dispensers to use. Each bottle has its own unique benefits, which we’ll talk about below.
The best olive oil dispenser
Some people may argue that a stainless steel pourer is a bit overkill, but we think the PER-HOME Oil Bottle offers the best combination of quality, convenience, and protection (in terms of oil preservation). Considering how affordable this dispenser is, there’s really no reason NOT to go the stainless steel route as opposed to a traditional glass or plastic bottle.
The PER-HOME dispenser comes in two sizes: 500ml and 1000ml. The former is a decent amount for regular home use, while the latter would be best for more frequent cooks. In addition, if you are buying in bulk, it might make more sense to go with the larger bottle.
The design of the bottle is pretty simple, however there are few design details that make PER-HOME stainless dispenser a very good choice. As mentioned above, the PER-HOME uses high grade 304 stainless steel. This particular alloy has numerous applications in the food industry, so you don’t have to worry about it being toxic in any way. If you look at the bottom of the bottle, you will see that it features a couple of grooves which help increase its grip and prevent it from slipping.
Now let’s get to the important stuff: the pour spout. The PER-HOME dispenser’s pour spout is tightly fitted and tapered for easy pours and to prevent drips, which means you can say goodbye to the greasy mess on the side of the bottle. Right next to the spout is a breather valve that keeps the flow of oil uninterrupted. While the spout itself is not hinged with a flip top, PER-HOME does include a cup cover to prevent anything from contaminating the spout when the bottle isn’t in use.
On top of all that, having a cap means that the oil won’t be exposed to air all that much, which is crucial in preserving oil life (we’ll talk about that more later on). When you want to fill the dispenser with oil, all you have to do is twist the top off and you have a wide opening to pour into – much easier than trying to work with traditional glass or plastic bottles which have narrow tops.
Overall, the PER-HOME Stainless Steel Oil Dispenser is incredibly easy to use and offers all of the necessary features to keep the bottle clean and the oil protected. With an equally reasonable price tag, it’s really no question why we consider this the best olive oil dispenser.
A more traditional glass pourer
The next dispenser we chose is a lot more traditional: the NiceBottles Dispenser. The branding is a bit generic, but we are talking about a glass bottle with a high quality hinged flip-top spout. What makes this particular glass bottle better than most you will find out there is that it’s made of dark green glass, which protects from light exposure (one of the key factors that contributes to the rancidity process).
The NiceBottles dispenser holds 500ml of oil, just like our top pick, which makes it a decent size. However, this being a glass bottle and rather slender, it’s a little easier to tip over so it’s important to mind where you put it so that it doesn’t fall and break. The spout is made of your typical stainless steel, but the important thing here is that it has a flip top in order to keep dust out and provide a little more protection from air oxidation.
The only slight concern to this bottle’s design is that it’s a push-in spout; in other words, the spout is removable and must be manually inserted. A removeable spout is beneficial because it makes it easier to refill the bottle, but it’s also a minor drawback because it opens the door for potential leaking when you’re pouring oil. After looking through the consumer reviews of this particular bottle, we didn’t see many complaints of spillage (which is great!), but it’s still something to keep in mind.
All in all, the NiceBottles Dispenser offers all the right design elements for ease of use and oil preservation. The spout isn’t as tightly secured as our top pick, but this certainly isn’t a deal breaker. If you prefer a more traditional glass bottle over the modern-looking stainless steel, there’s no doubt this is the best olive oil dispenser to go with.
A modern dispensing bottle designed by a pro
Our third choice is a very stylish oil pourer designed by none other than Rachael Ray . This cooking show TV star has designed a whole line of dishes and kitchen accessories, and her EVOO Dispenser is praised by many for its attractive, modern design.
The first thing you notice right off the bat is the shape of the bottle. It boasts a contemporary design that’s far different than most others on the market. The body of the dispenser is made of stoneware and comes in a variety of colors, but what’s more interesting is that the interior is completely glazed so no light can penetrate the container. As we’ve learned by now, light is one of the three things that can cause oil rancidity, so this is important. On top of that, stoneware used to make this container is completely dishwasher-friendly, which is a great thing considering how hard it is to clean this unusual shape.
Similar to our previous pick from NiceBottles, the EVOO dispenser comes with a removable spout and a hinged top to protect against air and dust. It is made out of stainless steel, while all you need to do in order to remove it is to pop it out. According to users, the spout secures tight into the bottle, so you need not worry about having the tip fall out as you’re pouring oil.
However, with that said, there is one small flaw to this dispenser’s unique design, which explains why this bottle was our third choice when scoring pourers. Although the design is definitely attractive, it’s slightly impractical because of the angle the spout sits at rest. Unlike most olive oil pourers, this spout is not vertical – in fact, it’s almost completely horizontal (roughly 75 degrees, to be precise). This leads to occasional dripping and also makes it a little more difficult to manage your pours because of how fast the liquid comes out.
Overall, we’d say Rachael Ray’s EVOO Bottle is the best olive oil dispenser for those with a modern kitchen who can appreciate the bottle’s unique design. While it certainly takes some getting used to (in terms of managing your pours), it does a perfect job at protecting oil from everyday exposures to preserve its flavor.
How we picked our top three
At the end of the day, most olive oil dispensers are going to be pretty similar in nature because of how simple they are as a product. This is why you see vastly different shapes and designs; brands are trying to make their bottle stand out among a sea of options. However, despite their flashy appearances, there are a few less obvious aspects to look at that go a long way when finding the best olive oil dispenser – namely, the materials used to make the bottle, and the spout.
If there is one type of material you don’t want to use as a container for olive oil, it’s plastic. Right off the bat, we have ignored all dispensers which are made of plastic of any kind. Instead, we were looking for either glass, stainless steel or ceramics. The issue with plastic is that it reacts to environmental changes such as exposure to heat or similar. The next thing that happens is a degradation process of the plastics, which in turn affects numerous properties of your oil. Glass, stainless steel, and ceramics are unaffected by these variables, making them much better choices to protect your oil.
Half the reason to get a dedicated olive oil dispenser is to preserve the flavor of your oil; the other half is to make the actual pouring process as easy and mess-free as possible. So unless your dispenser has a spout, it’s really just a regular bottle. With that said, not all spouts are made equal. Some are sealed tight with a hinged flip top to prevent spills, whereas others are more basic and act like a basic nozzle. The only real measurement of quality when it comes to spouts is how efficient they are, which is why we largely turned to user reviews here to see most users’ experiences have been. According to our research, our top two picks have great spouts which almost never drip or leak. However, Rachael Ray’s EVOO did have some complaints, although those were mainly blaming the shape of the bottle as opposed to the quality of the spout. Still something to be aware of, though!
Although size isn’t a very serious factor, it’s still nice to have a bottle that can hold a decent amount of oil. If it’s too small, you’ll need frequent refills; if it’s too big, it’ll be a little difficult to hold and manage pours. We ideally looked for bottles in the 500ml-1000ml range, which all of our top picks are.
What causes olive oil to go bad
Olive oil is more delicate than most people think. As we’ve mentioned earlier, it can easily go rancid on you, especially if you don’t store it properly. Different types are more or less sensitive as well, but in general, there are three common exposures that cause olive oil to go bad.
The number one thing that can ruin a perfectly fine batch of oil is heat. Given enough time, the compounds that form the flavor and aromas will react to heat. The result will be a completely different taste which can sometimes be intolerable. On top of that, excessive heat will cause free fatty acid levels to skyrocket, thus ruining your batch.
Photo-oxidation is a real thing. When exposed to light, olive oil will quickly start to lose its antioxidants such as tocopherols. The end result is an increase in rancidity and change in color of the oil. This is why we recommend going with an opaque dispenser, or at least one with a dark tint to the glass, as opposed to any old regular transparent bottle. In all cases, it is still recommended that you store your bottle in a dark place to be sure it isn’t exposed to light.
Leaving olive oil exposed to air for is one of the quickest ways to kill its taste and cause it to go rancid. Oxygen is extremely quick to impact a whole range of properties of your oil, so make sure that you seal your dispenser when not in use.
How to check olive oil quality
What is passed as extra virgin olive oil (otherwise dubbed EVOO) in most stores today is anything but. That leads us to the next logical question – how can we check quality? Well, there are few things you can do to reduce the risk of being tricked.
Check the acidity level
EVOO needs to have acidity levels below 0.8 percent. Anything more than that and it can’t be labeled as extra virgin. Checking the acidity levels might be too difficult for most people, but it is the only real way to know for sure.
Look for the QvExtra seal
QvExtra seal of approval is given by an international organization whose sole purpose is to test extra virgin olive oils. Their methods are so thorough that any brand that bears this seal has been tested no less than three different times. Only the finest olive oils will be awarded the QvExtra seal. Since it is fairly easy to check whether a brand has passed this test, you will rarely find brands forging this seal.
FDA and NAOOA databases
The US Food and Drug Administration tests olive oil in an attempt to regulate fraudulent labeling, so they periodically release reports on their findings of which brands are true. One quick glance at that list will tell you whether the brand you have bought (or plan on buying) offers real EVOO. There is also a list from the North American Olive Oil Association which is frequently updated; that’s worth checking too.
Taste the oil for yourself
Last but not least, you can determine the quality of extra virgin olive oil to a certain extent simply by tasting it. The taste needs to be bitter, strong but not musty in nature. In other words, those tasteless and colorless olive oils can’t be classified as extra virgin.
Additional tips for keeping your olive oil fresh
Aside from their protective functions, a dedicated dispenser can do only so much to preserve the taste and aroma of your oil. Because of that, we need to discuss some things that you need to consider when using olive oil dispensers in general.
Wash your dispenser before every refill
Making sure that the container of your dispenser is clean before filling it is essential. This goes both for your first time using it as well as any future refills. If you don’t wash out previous oil, chances are you will taint your new batch with old sediments that can easily spoil the whole batch. Using a dishwasher to clean the bottle before a refill is a great way to get the job done as hot water tends to loosen up even the most stubborn traces of old oil. If you don’t have a dishwasher, you will want to fill it up with hot water and leave it for a minute or two to achieve same results.
Consumer your oil within an appropriate time period
The moment oil is extracted from the olive, it starts to deteriorate. This process is only slowed down by packaging and storage. A general rule of thumb is to consume within a year of harvest date. Using it past that time frame will result in steady deterioration of taste, color and smell. On a similar note, avoid using super old oil as it is most likely rancid by that time. Unless used in restaurants, olive oil isn’t typically something you buy in extreme bulk. Find amounts that you can comfortably consume in the stated time frame. This is also where your choice of dispenser comes into play as well. Try to find one that fits the amount you will reasonably consume within the harvest date time period.
Wrapping it up
Finding good quality olive oil is getting harder and harder. However, there are still ways you can determine whether your bottle contains the quality that is advertised on the label. Using a dedicated dispenser can help you prolong the life span of your oil and prevent it from losing any of its properties. The bottles we’ve chosen as the best olive oil dispensers are specifically designed to protect from everyday exposures, not to mention they make your pours predictable and completely mess-free. Choose the one that best fits your preferences and enjoy the taste of pure, unaltered oil.