Olive oil is one of the most popular kitchen staples. And it's not surprising to find that the storage of olive oil is essential to its preservation. But what is the best container to store olive oil? We've researched the answer to this question, and in this post, we will share it with you.
The best container for olive oil is either a glass or ceramic container. It's also important that the container has a dark tint to filter out light and is airtight so that the oil won't oxidize within the container. If the lid isn't airtight, you'll find at the olive oil become rancid relatively quickly.
Olive oil is a natural product that requires certain storage conditions for its longevity. This is largely due to the fatty acids in the oil, which are sensitive to temperature, light, and container materials. Continue reading to learn more about olive oil containers as well as ways to store olive oil so that it lasts as long as possible.
Recommendations For Storing Olive Oil
You may notice that most olive oil bottles are dark green and only slightly transparent. Also, they're either made of glass or plastic that contains no BPAs or PVCs. This is due to olive oil's sensitivity. Glass and ceramic containers are also easier to clean and contain no chemicals that will potentially leak into the oil.
Also, olive oil shouldn't be kept in metal containers such as iron or copper as these are reactive metals and will react negatively with olive oil, causing it to become rancid and even harmful to ingest. You'll also want to ensure that the container's lid is sealed tightly so that no moisture or oxygen can sleep inside of it--this can also cause the olive oil to become rancid.
It's best to keep olive oil stored in a cool and dark such as the back of your pantry or a cupboard. Doing so will minimize the container's exposure to light. Even fluorescent light can cause the oil to turn, in addition to sunlight. Basements and cellars are great places to store olive oil long-term as they are typically dark and have cooler temperatures.
The ideal temperature for olive oil storage is around 57 degrees Fahrenheit. However, a typical room temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit can also work well if the olive oil is stored in an area with minimal light. It's also important to the room at a constant temperature, as extreme temperature fluctuations can cause the oil to go bad.
If olive oil is exposed to air, it will begin to oxidize, though it'll still be safe to use at this time. However, it will negatively affect the taste of your olive oil over time, making it bitter or fishy. Be sure to keep the oil in a container that has a tight-fitting lid to prevent this.
Average Shelf Life
Olive oil can last up to 12 to 15 months if it is stored properly. If the olive oil is kept in its original container, it can last about two years or longer. Keep in mind that olive oil has the best flavor when used within 12 months after its pressed date. Unlike wine, olive oil doesn't get better with age. Instead, it degrades, and the amount of acid within the oil increases.
This noticeably alters the taste of the oil, and if the oil is too old, you may notice that it has a strong taste or odor. Keep in mind that lower quality olive oils will have a shorter shelf life than high-quality extra virgin olive oil due to the level of acid they contain when they're bottled.
How To Know When Olive Oil Is Bad
If you detect that your olive oil is bad, it's best not to consume it. So, how can you tell when olive oil is bad? Let's take a look at a few common tell-tale signs.
It has a fishy odor
Olive oil generally has a mild nutty aroma, but once it goes bad, this can change to a rancid fishy smell or that of stale peanuts.
It's months past the expiration date
It's always best to double-check the expiration date before consuming stored olive oil. If you notice that the oil is past the expiration date, perform a smell check to see if there is an odor. If so, it's best to throw it out.
The color has changed
Olive oil has a gold-greenish tent when it is edible. If your olive oil has been stored and is over 18 months old, take a look at the color to determine if it's still good. If you notice that the color has changed from a golden color to a much brighter yellow, chances are that the oil is no longer edible.
It doesn't taste good
You can always do a quick taste test to determine if olive oil is still edible. Take a sip of the olive oil and let it roll around in your mouth for a second or two. If the oil has a pumpkin-like taste or is bitter on your tongue, it's likely gone bad. The oil should have a nutty and even fruity taste to it.
Can you put olive oil in a plastic spray bottle?
It's not recommended to place olive oil in a plastic spray bottle. Most plastic spray bottles are transparent in color or are white, and olive oil needs a tinted bottle to shield the oil from sunlight and fluorescent light. Also, the chemicals from the bottle can transfer from the container directly to the olive oil, altering its flavor and potentially exposing anyone who consumes it to harmful chemicals.
If you must put olive oil in a plastic bottle, be sure to use it immediately and make sure that the bottle is BPA-free. After use, it's best to place the remaining olive oil back in a dark glass or ceramic container.
Should you keep olive oil in the refrigerator?
For the most part, it's recommended to keep olive oil at a temperature between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. However, long-term refrigerated storage of olive oil is fine. Storing the oil in the fridge doesn't necessarily extend the shelf life of the olive oil; it'll only keep it cool. Remember that this will cause the oil to solidify, so you'll need to let it sit at room temperature before using it.
Certain varieties of flavored olive oils contain additives that may require refrigeration for their preservation. However, it's best to read the label of the bottle before storing it in the refrigerator, as some flavoring agents can also promote the growth of bacteria.
How long can you store olive oil?
Generally, you can store olive oil for about 18 to 24 months from the time that it is bottled. Virgin olive oil, however, can typically be stored around 12 to 18 months before it goes bad.
Can you refill an olive oil bottle?
It's generally safe to refill an olive oil bottle as long as the previous oil has been completely cleaned out for the bottle. If not, the old oil may contain harmful bacteria that affect the new oil. It's best to place the oil in a new olive oil container made of glass or ceramic instead of refilling the previous bottle.
How to clean an olive oil pour spout?
The best way to clean an olive oil pour spout is to allow it to soak in soapy water for about 5 to 10 minutes. Afterward, take a clean dish towel and wipe the exterior of the spout. Next, take a straw cleaner and move it around the inside of the spout to remove any remnants of olive oil. Lastly, run the spout under hot water for a few seconds and let it air-dry completely before placing it back on the bottle for use.
How to dry an olive oil bottle?
After washing the bottle simply turn it upside down and place it on the dish rack. Be sure not to place the bottle directly on a flat surface, as you want it to air out so that the interior does not create an environment for bacteria or mold.
Wrapping Things Up
We hope that this post has helped illustrate the best way to store olive oil. Remember, it's always best to check the expiration date before using stored olive oil.
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