The Best Way to Store Olive Oil

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Suto Norbert Zsolt)

Where do you store your olive oil? It’s tempting — and awfully convenient – to store oil right next to the stove, within arm’s reach, but is that really the best spot?

Olive oil is a pantry staple that we use almost daily, and whether you have a standard work-a-day oil, or fancy bottle of extra-virgin, the key to making sure it lasts is proper storage. So, now that you know the difference between regular and extra virgin olive oil, it’s time to make sure you’re storing it properly.

3 Things to Keep Away from Olive Oil

Olive oil has three enemies: oxygen, light, and heat. When exposed to those elements, the oil will turn rancid more quickly. The best way to prevent this (and extend your oil’s shelf life) is proper storage.

The Right Way to Store Olive Oil

When it comes to storing olive oil, there are two things to consider: where you store it and how you store it.

Where to Store Olive Oil

Olive oil should be stored in a cool, dry, dark cupboard, away from the heat and light. Choose a spot in the kitchen that’s away from the oven. The best temperature for storing oil is 57 degrees, though room temperature, or 70 degrees, is also okay.

How: For a longer shelf life, don’t store oil in direct sunlight.

How to Store Olive Oil

Store olive oil in a dark-colored glass bottle, which helps to keep out the light, or in a stainless steel container. This will protect the oil from exposure to sunlight. If you buy your olive oil in a large tin, consider pouring smaller amounts in a dark-colored bottle to use as you need it.

Avoid storing oil in plastic containers because chemicals from the plastic can seep into the oil. Also avoid reactive metal containers, like iron or copper, which can cause a reaction with the oil, making it unsafe.

It’s also important to limit the oil’s exposure to oxygen. Over time, oxygen can degrade the quality of the oil, eventually turning it rancid. Use oil soon after buying it, and always keep it stored with a cap or lid.

Do you have a favorite container for your olive oil?

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