How to Store Olive Oil to Extend Shelf Life

April 7, 2022

Olive oil, unlike wine, does not become better with time. If you store a freshly harvested olive oil away from heat and light and in an airtight bottle, it will maintain freshness for 18 months.


Best Olive Oil Storage Method

You need to store olive oil in a tightly closed container to prevent it from rapidly oxidizing. Always remember to place the bottle cap back and ensure it’s tightly sealed after using your olive oil. You should never store olive oil in a vessel that doesn’t have a tight-fitting cap or another container sealing method.

Although olive oil can get rancid, it does not do so as fast as other types of oil and thus can be stored longer than most edible oils.

Best Olive Oil Storage Containers 

The ideal containers for storage of olive oil are ceramic, porcelain, glass (more so tinted glass), or non-reactive metals. Do not keep olive oil in vessels made of reactive metals like iron or copper. The reaction between the metal and the olive oil may produce contaminants. Moreover, you shouldn’t store olive oil in plastic as the oil may absorb polyvinyl chloride from the plastic.

Best Olive Oil Storage Temperature 

The appropriate temperature for olive oil storage is 57 °F. However, preserving olive oil in a dark area where the temperatures are constant, at a room temperature of about 70ºF, is also acceptable. Olive oil solidifies at around 36ºF but liquefies the moment the temperature rises. During colder weather, olive oil might turn cloudy if the storage area temperature goes below 50ºF.

Where to Store Olive Oil 

You should preserve olive oil in a dark, cool place. A wine vault is a good place for olive oil storage as it is dark and has cool and constant temperatures. Since most people do not have wine vaults, a kitchen cabinet situated far from the stove and direct sun can work quite well.

Should You Refrigerate Olive Oil Once Opened?

Refrigeration extends the shelf life of oil without spoiling it. Oil becomes cloudy and solidifies once in the fringe, but when warmed to room temperature, liquefies and regains its color. Nonetheless, refrigeration is not recommended for costly extra virgin varieties as condensation in the bottle may affect the flavor.

How Long Does Olive Oil Last?

Olive oil constantly degrades with age and the level of acidity increases. Due to this, older olive oil may have an unfriendly taste and odor, but if it is appropriately stored, olive oil has a shelf life of no less than 15 months. If stored in the original container and corked, it can last for over two years.

Olive oil has the best flavor if you use it within three months after extraction.

Storage of Flavored Olive Oils

Some flavored olive oils contain additives that might need refrigeration to preserve them. Others might not need refrigeration due to the olive oil manufacturing process. Thus, it is necessary to read the label carefully.

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