What Is the Best Way To Store Olive Oil?

Good Cure Questions

Q: I've been trying to find a best way to store olive oil, since I got a larger bottle than normal and don't want it to go bad. Some sources advise to store it in the fridge... but there's counter-advice on that as well.

What's your opinion? — Anna

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Editor: Anna, when it comes to storing olive oil we like to quote Nadim Beyrouti of Oliviera in Nice, France. He says that there are three enemies of good olive oil: Light, heat, and hungry friends!

We don't mind sharing our good oil with the third enemy, but we're careful to keep oil away from the first two. But we also buy our oil in large, economical tins. So we pour out oil as we need it into a tall, dark-colored glass bottle with a pour top. We use this up quickly enough that it doesn't go bad, and the dark color of the bottle also protects it from sunlight.

The rest of the tin is stored in the back of a dark cupboard, where it always seems to store fine. So we'd suggest that you do something similar: store what you need for a week or two in a pour bottle, which you can leave in a convenient spot. Then stash the rest away in the coolest part of the kitchen.

For pour bottles, any glass bottle with a cheap oil pour spot works great. Or you can find something cute like the bottles pictured above, left to right:

Aosta Olive Oil Decanter, $39 at NapaStyle
Damask Pattern Oil Bottle, $12.50 at Etsy

The worst thing you can do is keep your container of oil on a windowsill, on the back ledge of your stove, or even in a cabinet right over the stove. You might be surprised at how often we see oil stored in those ways. It does not take long for the oil to turn rancid when it is exposed repeatedly to light and heat.

We definitely agree with Harold McGee and the article you referenced above: it doesn't seem necessary or good to store olive oil in the refrigerator.

Readers, how do you store your olive oil?

(Top image: By Flickr member evanosherow licensed for use under Creative Commons.)

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