Depending on its quality, olive oil has a different shelf life. Here are some pointers for keeping it current. Avoid severe temperatures first. It won’t break if you keep it in the fridge, but the temperature changes could diminish its quality. Instead, please keep it away from the heat and in a shaded area. Olive oil may be kept fresh for a long time if it is kept in an airtight container. It can be kept in the refrigerator when not in use.
What is Olive Oil?
Olives, the olive tree’s fruit, are the source of olive oil. A traditional crop in the Mediterranean area is olives. Whole olives are pressed to create olive oil.
Olive oil is used by people as a fuel for traditional lamps, as well as in cooking, soap making, cosmetics, and medicine. Although it originated in the Mediterranean, olive oil is now consumed worldwide.
People preserve olives in salted water or olive oil for consumption. They consume whole or diced, adding them to pizzas and other foods. They can use olive oil as a salad dressing, a cooking ingredient, or a dip for bread. It is spooned into their mouths by some people as medicine.
Reference: Potential Health Benefits of Olive Oil and Plant Polyphenols
How to Store Olive Oil?
Olive oil may be kept longer than most other oils if stored properly because of its high monounsaturated fat content. Oils are delicate and must be handled carefully to preserve their beneficial effects and prevent them from becoming a health risk full of free radicals.
Remember that oil’s enemies when deciding where to store your oil are heat, air, and light. These substances produce free radicals, which ultimately cause rancidity and excessive oxidation in the oil, leaving you with a sour taste in your mouth. Even worse, oxidation and free radicals exacerbate cancer and heart disease.
It may already be there long before you can taste or smell rancidity. Refused oils damage cells and deplete valuable antioxidants. The less oil you consume, even when it doesn’t pose a health risk related to food safety, the better.
The optimum materials for storage containers for olive oil are either stainless steel or tinted glass (to block out light). Avoid using iron or copper-based metal containers since the chemical reactions between the metals and the olive oil can result in the formation of hazardous chemicals.
1. Use that Bottle Up within a Month
Points out that oxygen, in particular, accelerates the deterioration of olive oil, along with heat and light. Like a bottle of wine, opening a bottle of olive oil causes air to flood the oil, which starts the degrading process. Hirschbein advises consuming an entire bottle of olive oil within a month or two of opening it because of this.
If you notice that your olive oil “starts to take on a more crayon or Band-Aid smell,” you’ll know it’s rotten. However, several variables, such as where and how you keep the oil and the temperature of your kitchen, affect how quickly the oil gets rancid. (Hirschbein advises sniffing the olive oil immediately after opening it and before every subsequent use—just like you’d sniff an open milk bottle to ensure it’s still fresh. This will allow you to monitor the oil’s quality throughout time.
Hirschbein reassured me that keeping olive oil close to the stove is not the worst thing you can do if you use it fast in the kitchen; in fact, she also keeps her regular cooking oil close to the stove in a porcelain bottle with a pour spout. (More below about that.) To finish a dish, she utilizes specialty extra virgin olive oils, which she keeps in a dark cupboard away from the heat.
2. Store Olive Oil in the Right Containers
Hirschbein utilises a ceramic cruet. Because of its ability to keep out heat, light, and air, a ceramic jar is particularly useful for preserving olive oil. (Of course, I’ve since ordered one for myself.) however, if you plan to use a bottle, make sure to wash it before each use thoroughly. Otherwise, you’ll be combining old oil with fresh oil, which will change the flavor of the oil.
I like that my bottle of olive oil has a pour spout since it makes pouring it into a skillet so much simpler, but I was concerned that it might let too much air in. Fortunately, Hirschbein claims that the amount of air entering through the pour spout’s tiny opening is not any worse than the amount entering through the opening of your olive oil container. For even greater air protection, you can purchase a spout with a cap on top; however, those with the small metal flap over the top are not airtight. Please read here for more information about our preferred olive oil cruets.
3. If You Must Buy in Bulk, Go for a Bag-in-Box Option
It can be tempting to get extra virgin olive oil in the biggest container because it can be pricey. However, the longer the oil is exposed to heat, light, and oxygen before you use it all, the larger the container must be. Hirschbein advises purchasing a bag-in-box container, which helps prevent oxygen exposure if you wish to buy olive oil in bulk.
Although this packaging style for boxed wine is certainly familiar to you, it is relatively new for olive oil. However, keep an eye out for it because you may get it online, and certain retailers stock it. You’ll follow all the guidelines for storing olive oil if you keep the bag-in-box in a cold, dark location and decant the oil into a ceramic jar (that you’ve cleaned before refilling). (Be sure before making the purchase that you will use up the entire bag-in-box within a few months.)
How Long does Olive Oil Last?
The harvest date is typically printed on the bottle of Kosterina (and other fine olive oils). These olive oils, according to Katerina, will remain unopened for two years from the harvest date. Other olive oils, however, might only have an expiration date listed.
Once the olive oil is opened, that period is altered. According to Catherine Ward, manager of the Taste of Home prep kitchen, the freshest oil will be yours if you use it within three to six months of opening. Katerina advises staying on the shorter end of that period to get the most out of quality olive oil. Use olive oil in unexpected ways around the house, such as shining shoes and clean stainless steel.
How is Olive Oil the Best Stored?
For maximum performance, industry experts advise keeping the oil between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s fine to store the oil at room temperature, roughly 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but for the finest quality, you should refrigerate the oil if your kitchen is frequently warmer.
Is Olive Oil Supposed to be Kept in a Dark Container?
The aging process of olive oil is accelerated by even a brief period of exposure to light. It’s a good idea to keep your oil in a cold, dark cupboard rather than on a countertop, which is probably brighter and warmer, to slow this process.
Is Olive Oil Better in Glass Or Plastic?
Opaque metal containers provide excellent light and air protection for olive oil. Glass bottles that are dark in hue, especially green (to stop chlorophyll oxidation), are also effective at protecting it. On the other hand, transparent plastic bottles offer less security.
Can Old Olive Oil be Used?
Olive oil that has gone rancid and oil that has passed its expiration date are two different things. Although it might not be as brilliant as it was when you first opened the bottle, you can use it if it still tastes and smells excellent. Although truly rancid olive oil won’t harm you, it doesn’t do much for you.
Why Should I Throw Out My Olive Oil?
The Daily Meal advises discarding extra virgin olive oil if it smells excessively sweet. It smells less like a delicious sweet and more like fermenting fruit or Elmer’s glue. Extra virgin olive oil should be consumed within three to six months, advises California Olive Ranch.
Can You Freeze Olive Oil?
Yes, freezing olive oil is a real possibility on a physical level. Olive oil starts to harden at about 54 degrees Fahrenheit and completely freeze at about 10 degrees. In the United States, most refrigerators are kept at 40 degrees or slightly below, and freezers are set to 0 degrees.
Is Olive Oil in a Can Or Bottle Better?
Although olive oil is sometimes marketed in clear bottles so buyers can see what they are buying, dark bottles and tins are preferable for blocking light, which can impair olive oil quality. Although it is not guaranteed quality, a dark glass bottle will probably make your oil last longer.
One of the greatest ways to keep fresh herbs fresh for a long time is to freeze them into cubes. You’ll need an ice cube tray or another reusable container to freeze olive oil. This method of freezing liquids will stop chemical contamination because they expand when frozen. To help remove any extra air, squeeze a glass or small bowl. These cubes can be used to season sauces, salad dressings, and more once they have frozen.