Cooking oil is tricky to store for the long term and, as with many households, it’s important that it’s stored properly as the average family will not be using copious amounts of vegetable oil all at once.
Polyunsaturated oil can become rancid before it starts to actually smell bad. The problem with rancid oil is that it loses much of its nutritional value and so you’re not actually consuming something that’s particularly healthy. It can also pose some health risks as rancid oil contains free radicals.
This is why it’s important that we start storing our oil properly for the long term, ensuring it’s safe to use and healthy to consume for as long as possible. So how can you keep vegetable oil fresh for the long term?
Store oil in the dark
It’s essential that you do not store oil where direct sunlight can hit it. It needs to be kept in a dark, cool cupboard or somewhere with similar conditions. Oil suppliers make this as easy as possible by storing it in a dark-coloured bottle.
They’re either black or extremely dark green and the glass is often opaque. This helps to keep the oil fresh for as long as possible if you do not have a dark, cool place to store the bottle. If the bottle comes in a box, make sure you keep it in there for added protection.
Keep the oil cool while in storage
We’ve already touched on the fact that oil needs to be kept somewhere cool. If you’d like to elongate its lifespan even further, you could try keeping it in the fridge or even in the freezer. If it starts to thicken due to the cold temperatures, then leave it out at room temperature and it will soon revert back to being runny.
Vegetable oil doesn’t have to be kept refrigerated, but coconut oil does as it’s a form of saturated fat. As long as your oil isn’t stored anywhere that’s hot or that experiences hot spells (such as near a boiler or an oven, for example), then your oil will last for as long as possible.
Don’t keep the oil open for too long
This can be difficult for families who don’t regularly use oil for cooking. You might find that it takes a few months to get down one bottle of supermarket-bought vegetable oil and this is alright as long as it’s not kept for a considerable amount of time.
Keep checking the best before and/or use by date on the bottle. As soon as that date is reached, it might have gone bad and so you should refrain from using it. Be sure to dispose of it responsibly.
This is where Cater Oils come in as we’re able to collect your used cooking oil for free and turn it into biofuel, thus helping to lower both your carbon footprint and our own. If you find that you can’t get through a big bottle before the use by date hits, then perhaps opt for a smaller bottle.