Olive oil has been recognized as a healthy oil alternative for use in the kitchen for centuries. More and more people are using olive oil as they learn of its health benefits. If you’re new to the wonders of using olive oil, there are a few things you should know about storage. One of them is, can extra virgin olive oil be stored in the fridge?
Extra virgin olive oil can be stored in the fridge if your kitchen room temperature is warmer than 75 degrees Fahrenheit. A high-quality extra virgin olive oil will store better at room temperature. If not, the best way to store olive oil is in a darkened, airtight container at a temperature of 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
You may wonder what all the fuss is about regarding storing your olive oil correctly. The way you store your olive oil not only keeps it from going bad faster but also preserves its health benefits for longer. In addition, to informing you the best storage methods, this article will cover for how long olive oil can be stored.
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Can Extra Virgin Olive Oil Be Stored In The Fridge?
Regular olive oil can be stored in the fridge, which helps to extend its usable life. However, if your preference is extra virgin olive oil, then it would be better not to store it in the fridge. While it’s possible to store extra virgin olive oil in the fridge, it’s a delicate product and the refrigeration will detract from its flavor.
If you buy extra virgin olive oil, one reason is because you prefer your olive oil to have more flavor. Therefore, it would be best to not put it in the fridge because you’d be disappointed with the flavor when you decide to use it.
If you want to store your olive oil in the fridge, you may want to buy regular olive oil instead. You can safely store regular in the fridge since it’s a more robust product and generally has less subtle flavor tones than extra virgin olive oil.
I sometimes will add extra virgin olive oil to an Amazon order because it can found cheaper with free shipping. If you want to compare the current prices on Amazon, you can click right here, extra virgin olive oil. In addition, the taste test winner in the video below can be found there.
What Is The Best Method To Store Your Olive Oil?
The best method to store your olive oil, whether the regular variety or extra virgin olive oil is rather straightforward and simple.
It should be stored in a tinted, dark glass bottle or a stainless steel container. Either way it should be airtight. Keep your oil stored away from direct sunlight and any heat source, like your stove or oven. It’s best to keep it in a cool, dark location, like a cupboard, cool pantry or cella 1.
Storing your olive oil in such a manner will ensure the olive oil stays usable without degrading too quickly. This brings us to another aspect of storing your olive oil, how long you can store it.
Refrigerating Olive Oil
It’s possible to refrigerate regular olive oil which will help extend its lifespan and limit its exposure to light and air 2. However, you may notice some changes to the olive oil if you store it in the fridge.
The colder temperature will cause the olive oil to become cloudy and eventually solidify into a creamy paste, similar in density to coconut oil at low temperatures 3.
When your oil undergoes this change, it’s still safe to use and will return to its normal liquid state when you bring it back to room temperature. The changes to the oil will not harm it. The process of the oil returning to its liquid state takes about 30 minutes from when you take it out of the fridge.
If you’re going to refrigerate your olive oil, it may be better to pour it into a wide mouth jar. This way you can scoop out some of the solidified oil when you need to use it.
A good idea may be to decant the olive oil into smaller dark glass bottles and place them into the fridge. Store the one you’re currently using in your cabinet so don’t have to deal with it changing. Then, when your current one runs out, simply take another small bottle out of the fridge and store it in the cabinet 4.
Time is the last factor besides light, heat and exposure to air that affects the quality of your stored olive oil.
How Long Does Olive Oil Last
Olive oil is a product that’s at its best as close to harvest and pressing of the olives as possible. Once the olive oil has been pressed and bottled, it’s a race against time to use it within its shelf-life since it starts to degrade from that point on.
The fresher after harvest the olive oil is, the better its health benefits and flavor. Therefore, it’s better to purchase quantities of olive oil you’ll use within a few months.
Since it’s expensive, you may be tempted to buy it in bulk to save money. I used to do the same but the taste will suffer. A company called Corto sells it in a bag within a box with a spout. This technology is similar to what they’ve been doing with wines for years. The olive oil will stay fresher and allows you to buy in bulk. They sell it on Amazon which you can check out right here, Corto Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
The “expiration date” on the bottle of olive oil pertains to the shelf-life of the unopened bottle. Once you get the olive oil home and you open the bottle, the oil is exposed to the air and the process of oxidation speeds up. For this reason, the method of storing is important to get the maximum life out of the olive oil.
Olive oil does not go rancid overnight, but the actual shelf life is very dependent on how it’s stored. Olive oil has a shelf-life of up to 24 months if it’s stored correctly. Extra virgin olive oil about half that, around 12 months, since it’s a much more delicate product 5.
Even though olive oil has a fairly long shelf-life, most olive oil producers recommend you use the olive oil within 3 to 6 months to still enjoy a fresh and flavorful oil.
What Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
You may be wondering why extra virgin olive oil stores differently than regular 6. In addition, what makes it extra virgin and what does it mean.
Extra virgin is a classification of the extraction type and quality of the oil. The term “extra virgin” denotes the oil is of the highest quality and purity and has no defects pertaining to taste and smell. In addition, the oil has been extracted from the olives via the cold press method and has not been subjected to heat 7.
The grading of extra virgin is usually given by a panel of sensory evaluators who physically taste, smell and examine the product to make sure the standards are met. This is not a laboratory test, but a panel of people experienced in judging the quality of olive oils 8.
Producers cannot claim their olive oil is extra virgin if it’s blended with any other type of vegetable or cooking oil since this contradicts the term. They may have used extra virgin olive oil in the blend, but they cannot market it as extra virgin.
It’s worth your while to buy the best olive oil you can. The better the product, the more health benefits it will give when you use it in the kitchen.
The benefits of using olive oil are plentiful and olive oil simply tastes good! This makes it a versatile cooking medium or an accompaniment to meals in its raw state. Whichever way you use your olive oil, it’s important to remember to store it correctly so it will be good to use as long as your supply lasts.
If you buy an expensive bottle of olive oil, it’s unwise to store it for special occasions. Rather use it since the oil starts to degrade over time and lose flavor and quality. The fresher the oil, the better the flavor, so make use of your expensive olive oil every day.
Don’t use the expensive oil for cooking. Instead use a cheaper olive oil for that purpose and use the expensive bottle in its raw state as a dressing over a cooked dish or a salad.
Remember the main criteria for storing your olive oil; protect it from light, heat and air. In addition, use it within 6 months if possible to get the best out of the product
Read Next – More Food Storage
- California Olive Ranch: How To Store Extra Virgin Olive Oil: The Dos And Don’ts For Keeping It Fresh
- Michigan State University: Store olive oil to avoid spoilage and maintain nutritional quality
- Olive Oil & Beyond: Olive Oil Storage & Handling
- Practical Gastroenterology: How to Buy, Store and Eat Olive Oil
- Iowa State University: Olive Oils
- Wikipedia: Olive Oil
- USDA: Grades of Olive Oil
- International Olive Council: Trade Standard Applying To Olive Oils And Olive-Pomace Oils