Friday, November 22, 2019

Four Ways To Maximize the Shelf Life of Cooking Oils

This is one topic that preppers pay attention to. We know that oils deteriorate. We've both smelled and tasted rancid foods. We know there's no fixing rancid oil. We know that oil is an integral component of our food storage. And we all know it's relatively expensive. And every prepper out there, including me, has opinions on which oils are best. We have favorites for cooking and baking and our own dietary needs. There's so much to consider. So how do we keep from wasting money on it?

Here are four ways to maximize the shelf life of your cooking oils, plus a handy chart for making comparisons about which aspects of each individual oil are important to you.

  • Buy the right oil. In general, the more saturated a fat is, the longer the shelf life. Coconut oil is the most saturated. And it has a great shelf life, at least five years in my experience.
  • Store it in the right container. Oxidation is what makes oil rancid. Reduce the oil's ability to become oxidized as much as possible. Oil has the longest shelf life if stored in glass or metal. All plastics are somewhat permeable. Glass is better than high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PETE), which are both better than low-density polyethylene (LDPE). If possible, transfer your oils to glass jars. 
  • Vacuum seal your oil. Along with storing your oil in glass jars, also vacuum seal it for best results.  
  • Store your oil in a cool, dark place. Light and heat accelerate oxidation. 

Here's a handy table to help you identify which oils will be best for your situation.



Saturated (in grams per tablespoon)
Smoke point (in Fahrenheit)
Unopened
Opened
Butter
7.2
350
In refrigerator, 1 month past printed date.  In freezer, 6-9 months past printed date.
Canola
0.9
400
2 years
1 year
Clarified butter (ghee)
9.0
450

3-6 months past the best-by date, if refrigerated
Coconut (refined)
11.8
400
Months to years
Months to years
Coconut (unrefined)
11.8
350
Corn
1.7
450
1 year
1 year





Lard
5.0
370
3-6 months in cabinet
up to 3 years if refrigerated
Olive (refined)
1.8
465
3-4 years
3-4 years
Olive (extra virgin)
1.8
325
2-3 years
2-3 years
Peanut
2.3
450
3 years
2 years
Safflower
0.8
510
2 years
1 year
Sesame
1.9
350
1 year
6-8 months
Shortening
3.2
360
1 year
1 year
Soybean (vegetable)
2.0
450
1 year
1 year
Sunflower
1.4
440
2 years
1 year
Tallow
6.4
400



Please note that the figures for all these fields varied quite a bit among the various sources I consulted, but the rankings were consistent across the board. Hopefully, this will give you an idea of what you want to store. Unfortunately, some of this information is hard to come by. And then you have to look at the source. If the information is from a California company selling their own olive oil, the shelf life is apparently a whole lot shorter than every other source indicates. Most individuals report that their oils last a lot longer when properly stored. Most businesses state that the shelf life of oils is shorter. Perhaps it's to err on the side of caution and avoid unhappy customers.

The numbers in the table come from more scientific research than what goes on at my house. However, my personal experience with cooking oils is that they can last longer, in some cases much longer, than indicated by the numbers in the chart.

Links to related posts:  
Oils  
Lard  


For further information:
http://www.eatbydate.com/other/condiments/how-long-does-oil-last/
https://www.thespruceeats.com/all-about-fats-995463
https://www.eatthismuch.com/food/nutrition/clarified-butter,137399/

© 2019, PrepSchoolDaily.blogspot.com 

5 comments:

  1. You could also place the oil jugs in a larger, airtight container and flush it with CO2 or preferably dry nitrogen before sealing it. That would add another level preservation. Just my opinion......

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    Replies
    1. That is a really interesting thought. I'm going to have to think on this one. It would be safer, earthquake-wise, to store oil in PETE bottles in a plastic bucket for sure. What happens if the dry ice comes in contact with the plastic bottles? Do you have any sources for how this works?

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    2. I was thinking of CO2 from a tank, but dry ice would work fine. I don't think that it would harm the bottles if it wasn't a massive amount that would flash freeze the plastic and possibly cause it to crack. I'm not sure what you mean by sources of how it works. I just know from being a retired chemist that eliminating air(oxygen) from the containers with an inert gas with keep the oil from getting rancid which is caused by oxidation. You should also treat anything containing corn, such as cereal the same way. I think that oats are also an oily grain. If you store quantities of grains, noodles, pasta or beans, purging your containers with inert gas also prevents any insect eggs from hatching. Hope this little bit of info helps..........

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  2. Why is the life of "opened" Olive oil (refined) longer than that of unopened??
    A typo ?

    ReplyDelete