Store olive oil in a cool, dark, dry place away from heat, light, and moisture.
Always buy oil that's in a dark glass bottle or metal tin, to help prevent photo-oxidation. In addition, make sure the bottle has a screw cap, this allows you to tightly close the top and prevent new exposure to oxygen.
Store olive oil away from heat because it accelerates the process at which the product becomes rancid.
Appliances such as the stove, oven, microwave, dishwasher, and refrigerator can give of heat quite regularly. Storing a high-quality extra virgin olive oil directly next to these appliances can expose it to constant or repeated heat which essentially homogenizes the product, which is a process used to produce commercially refined olive oil.
The keywords here are constant and/or repeated. This does not mean stop cooking with olive oil, it means stop storing it in a place where it's exposed to constant or repeated heat.
Would you cook your steak or vegetables 3 times in a row and then eat them? No way!
Can I Store Olive Oil in the Fridge or Freezer?
No, exposure to cold temperatures deteriorates the product and causes it to solidify and lose flavor.
Light (Photo-oxidation) Damage
Always store olive oil in a dark glass bottle or tin. Light deteriorates the product at an alarming rate.
In addition, store bottles or tins in a dark place away from both natural and artificial light. A lot of people believe that only natural light can deteriorate the product, but constant artificial light can be just as damaging over time.
This is why it’s so important to purchase product that's in a dark glass bottle or tin.
Air (Oxidation) Damage
Olive oil begins to oxidize the moment it comes in contact with air. Therefore, it's best to consume open bottles within 60 days to enjoy peak flavor profiles.
After a few months, an open bottle begins to lose some of its zing. The flavors don’t disappear, but, they do start to fade away. You may notice that the oil doesn’t have quite the same punch.
It's also important to properly close bottles and tins after each use. The best tops are DOP screw tops because they make it more difficult for air to enter the nozzle. These types of tops are popular for European brands because the EU requires them.
Do not replace a regular top, stopper, or nozzle with a pourer (or spout). As beautiful as they are, pourers cannot close properly which exposes the product to oxygen and damages the product.
Find a detailed study of lipid oxidation here.
Damage of Time
Olive oil should be consumed within 24 of the harvest date or it can become rancid.
Rancid oil can smell of crayons or plastic and is not pleasant to eat. Read more about rancidity here.
Best Storage Practices
Store olive oil in a cool, dark, dry place away from appliances.
We realize it’s not convenient to store your favorite cooking fat far away from your stove, however, this is the best way to preserve the product. We store ours in a closed cabinet in the kitchen away from all heat and moisture.
It's also best to practice first in, first out so you don't forget about product.
If you live in a place with extreme temperatures and/or humidity throughout the year (i.e. Arizona, Minnesota, Florida) try storing bottles in a box under the stairs or a closet in another room.
Apartment dwellers, it may be difficult to find space for multiple bottles or tins, maybe try a storage cabinet in the living room that has doors. Be sure to label the boxes with the harvest year.
For many home cooks, olive oil is one of the most expensive ingredients in their kitchens so we want to make sure you're storing the product properly. This allows you to get the most use and enjoyment from each bottle!
Now is an excellent time to do an audit of your current cooking fat selection and storage situation. Go through your cupboards and check if you have any rancid products. And if you do, that's okay. This post has a few good options for expired product.
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