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10 Tips for Storing Olive Oil (and Other Cooking Oils)
You've bought a wonderful set of olive oils. You're ready to start using them in your recipes. However, you aren't going to use them all right away. If you want to make them retain their flavor until you can use them up, you're going to need to store them properly. The following ten tips should help you get the most from your olive oil through proper storage. Incidentally, they work for most other types of cooking oil as well (such as sunflower oil or canola oil).
- Olive oils should be stored in glass. It is possible to store olive oil in metal but you have to make sure that the metal that you choose is non-reactive. You don't want the metal taste getting into the taste of the olive oil. It's far better to just keep things simple and choose glass containers for olive oil storage.
- Olive oil needs to be stored in a dark container. Even though you are storing olive oil in glass, you don't want the light to get into it. That's going to negatively affect the taste and shelf life of the olive oil. Choose a glass storage container that is tinted or opaque.
- Make sure your olive oil container is airtight. You want your glass container to have an air tight lid on it. Make sure that you close the lid properly when you go to store the olive oil. This prevents air from getting into the olive oil and shortening its shelf life.
- Store your olive oil in a cool or room temperature place. The ideal temperature for storing olive oil is around 60 degrees which is a common temperature in basements and wine cellars. However, it is acceptable to store olive oil at room temperature assuming that you keep your kitchen at a reasonable temperature and not an excessively hot temperature. If your kitchen is hotter than seventy degrees then you'll want to look for a cooler room to store your olive oil.
- Keep your olive oil away from heat-generating devices. A room temperature room is great for your olive oil but it's useless if you're storing it near the refrigerator, stove or microwave which all give off heat and can alter the taste and shelf life of your stored olive oil.
- Make sure you put the olive oil in a dark storage space. Even if you use an opaque glass container for storage, you want to do all that you can to keep the light out. A cupboard or cabinet is a better choice for olive oil storage than leaving it out in the open where the light can affect it.
- Think low when storing olive oil. Heat rises in your home so it's better to store your olive oil in low cupboards than in ones that are up high.
- Consider storing your olive oil in a container that has a pouring spout. This will allow you to access the olive oil without opening the container and letting air into it every time that you use it. This can help to keep it fresh for a longer period of time
- Return refrigerated olive oil to room temperature before using it. Some people opt to store their olive oil in the refrigerator. There is a lot of debate in the food community about whether or not this is a good choice. If this does interest you, see the related link below about proper refrigerator storage. Know that if you store olive oil in the fridge, it will separate and harden. To use it, you need to return it to room temperature before including it in your recipes.
- Don't store your olive oil for longer than one year. Although completely unopened olive oil may be good in storage for as long as two years, it's best to aim to use it within one year.