Vegetable oil is a pantry staple. But let’s talk about its shelf life and storage methods to determine whether that old bottle kept with you is still safe for consumption. How long does a bottle of vegetable oil last once open?
An opened bottle of vegetable oil typically lasts 6-8 months, and an unopened bottle lasts a year or more. If stored properly, it usually retains quality for at least a couple of months after the printed date.
However, the shelf life of vegetable oil can vary depending on various factors like the type of oil, the processing method, storage conditions, and exposure to light, heat, and air.
Vegetable oil is an essential part of cooking. It not only helps to cook raw vegetables or meat, but it also prevents the ingredients from sticking to the pan.
Many oils come under the umbrella of vegetable oils. These include almond oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, hazelnut oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, etc. While the shelf life of each of these oils differs slightly, it is important to check the label for the best-to-date.
Vegetable oils are safe to consume within the prescribed date. However, their shelf life may increase or decrease depending on the storage method.
What's In The Post
How Long Does Vegetable Oil Last?
|Item||Pantry (Opened)||Pantry (Unopened)|
|Vegetable Oil||6 – 8 months||1 year or more|
Vegetable oils can last for a long time if stored properly. An unopened vegetable oil bottle can last up to a year or more when stored in a cool, dark place. However, once opened, it should be used within a few months.
There are various kinds of vegetable oils available in the market. At the same time, some oils have a longer shelf life than others due to their higher antioxidant content, such as coconut oil and olive oil. Oils like soybean have a shorter shelf life.
However, the shelf life of vegetable oils can be extended by following some storage methods that you will find below.
Does Vegetable Oil Go Bad?
Vegetable oil can go bad. It can become rancid due to air, light, and heat exposure. Rancidity occurs when the oil breaks down and produces free fatty acids. These acids cause the oil to have an unpleasant odor, flavor, and color.
Other factors affecting vegetable oil’s shelf life include the oil type, processing methods, and storage conditions. Therefore, instead of relying on the expiry date of vegetable oil, you should check the taste and texture of the oil to determine its condition.
How To Tell If Vegetable Oil Has Gone Bad?
Vegetable oil can go bad due to wrong storage conditions. But it also goes bad when overused in cooking. Let’s look at the signs that tell that your vegetable oil has gone bad.
If you open a bottle of vegetable oil and sense an off, unpleasant, and rancid smell, it is a clear sign that it has gone bad.
It may have gone bad if the oil appears cloudy or has a thick or slimy consistency. Additionally, if the oil is dark or discolored, it may be past its prime. Another indicator is the presence of mold. If you find mold or microbial growth in the vegetable bottle, throw it away.
If you find an odd, stale, and unpleasant flavor, you should discard the oil at hand.
Can We Use Expired Vegetable Oil?
It is not recommended to use expired vegetable oil, as it may have gone rancid and could be harmful to consume. However, the date printed on your vegetable oil bottle is best-by-date. It is a rough estimate of how long the oil should retain quality.
Thus, if stored properly, the quality of your vegetable oil may remain unchanged. If you don’t find any signs of spoilage 2 to 3 months post its best-by-date, you may use the oil at hand.
How To Use Vegetable Oil Properly In Cooking
Vegetable oil is commonly used in cooking for frying, baking, sautéing, and more. But there are some points that one should remember while using oils for different cooking methods. Let’s take a look at them.
1. Choose the right oil
Different vegetable oils have different smoke points, the temperature at which the oil starts to break down, and smoke.
Therefore, for high-heat cooking methods like frying or stir-frying, you should use oils with high smoke points, such as canola, grapeseed, or peanut oil.
At the same time, olive oil or avocado oils are best suited for low-heat cooking or salad dressings because they have a lower smoke point.
2. Measure The Oil
When used for frying, oils take on the taste of the items fried in them. Therefore, to avoid mixing flavors in different dishes, use only the amount of oil required in your pan. Besides, too much oil can make your food greasy and unhealthy.
3. Watch The Temperature
When cooking, keeping an eye on the heat is the most important part. If the oil smokes or starts to burn, it can not only be dangerous, but it will spoil the taste of your dish and lose its vitamins.
How To Store Vegetable Oil?
Storing vegetable oil properly is important to maintain its quality. Here are some tips on how to store vegetable oil:
1. Store in a cool and dark place
Vegetable oil should be stored in a cool and dark place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. When exposed to heat and light, oil breaks down and becomes rancid.
2. Use an airtight container
Oxidation can cause the oil to go rancid. Therefore, keeping oil in an airtight container prevents air from entering the container and oxidizing the oil.
3. Keep it away from moisture
Moisture can also cause the oil to go rancid. Therefore, keep the container away from moisture-prone areas like the washbasins or the refrigerator.
4. Store in small quantities
If you don’t use a lot of oil, it’s best to buy it in small quantities and store it in the refrigerator. This will extend the shelf life of the oil.
Tips To Extend The Shelf Life Of Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil is a pantry staple that can last longer if stored properly. Here are some tips to extend the shelf life of vegetable oil:
- Store in a cool, dark place: Heat, light, and oxygen can cause vegetable oil to break down and become rancid. Therefore, store it in a cool, dark place like a pantry or a cabinet.
- Keep the container tightly closed: Exposure to air can cause oil to become rancid. So, always make sure to close the container tightly after use to prevent air from entering.
- Use a clean utensil: When using oil from the container, use a clean utensil to avoid contamination. Dirty utensils can introduce bacteria or other contaminants into the oil, which can cause it to spoil faster.
- Don’t mix different oils: Mixing different oils can cause the oil to spoil faster because the different oils have different shelf lives and can interact with each other. Therefore, it’s best to use only one type of oil at a time.
Vegetable oil is a staple in our pantries. It is widely used in cooking. Different types of oils fall under the category of vegetable oils, and each oil comes with a different shelf life.
However, storing them properly can ensure that their quality is maintained and remains in good condition for consumption.
Follow the steps for the storage of vegetable oils mentioned above. If you have any more suggestions to extend the shelf life of vegetable oil, feel free to drop a message in the comments sections below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is it ok to use expired vegetable oil?
If stored properly, vegetable oil can be used past its expiration date.
Does vegetable oil go bad?
Yes, vegetable oil can go bad if not stored properly and exposed to heat and light.
What is the shelf life of opened vegetable oil?
An opened bottle of vegetable oil has a shelf life of 6-8 months.
What is the shelf life of unopened vegetable oil?
Unopened vegetable oil has a shelf life of a year and more.