Vegetable oil is a regularly used cooking ingredient, especially if you fry foods very often. It’s a pantry essential in most households. Some households buy it in bulk to save money.
No matter how often you use vegetable oil or how much you have on hand, you need solutions for storing your vegetable oil for the long haul. You want to make sure that you can put it away in the best possible manner and not have to worry about it going bad.
Can you freeze vegetable oil? The answer is yes, you can freeze vegetable oil. We’re here to guide you through the process. Freezing cooking oil of any kind is a great option for preserving the oil and extending its shelf life.
Don’t worry, freezing your vegetable oil will not alter its usefulness or consistency. It may appear to have a different consistency when stored in the freezer but when you heat the oil, it becomes exactly the same and works the same way as well.
We’ve put together this guide to help you through the process and inform you of everything you should know about vegetable oil. From sharing the pros and cons to the process of freezing and then the process of using the oil after it’s frozen, we are here with you the whole way.
Keep reading through this guide to find the details on freezing vegetable oil and so much more.
A Vegetable Oil Guide – Freezing and More
Vegetable oil has many uses, some of which you may not even be aware of. There are also several storage options for your vegetable oil that can come in quite handy when you need a long-term storage solution.
If you keep vegetable oil on hand but simply don’t use it very often, freezing is the right option for you. If you buy your vegetable oil in bulk and it takes quite a bit of time to use, freezing is right for you.
We will share the various storage options with you and you can determine which you think is best for your vegetable oil.
What do you use vegetable oil for? Here are some common and maybe not-so-common uses of vegetable oil:
- Frying foods
- Common baking practices
- Use in an old oil lamp or to boost your fire
- Use to help remove rust
- Seasoning cast iron and non-stick cookware
- Use to grease a key that sticks
- Use as a deep conditioning treatment for your hair
- Remove splinters that are hard to get out
- Remove labels or stickers from unwanted areas
- Use to moisturize feet
As you can tell, vegetable oil can be used for much more than just cooking purposes. Now that you know some of the uses you might decide to keep more around the house!
In recent years, vegetable oil has taken a lot of heat for being the unhealthy oil for cooking but even if you don’t want to use it for the majority of your cooking it has a lot of other functions that you can use it for.
What is in Vegetable Oil?
Vegetable oil is a combination of various seed oils or other parts of fruits and vegetables. These vegetable fats are considered triglyceride mixtures. This mixture of fats is a liquid ingredient when at room temperature.
Of course, there is a process that manufacturers complete that involves far more than just the natural fruit and vegetable oils in order to make vegetable oil. There are chemical additives in the typical bottle of vegetable oil.
Additionally, there are purer oil options and other types of oil as well. Here are some examples of other oil types:
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Sunflower oil
- Canola oil
- Peanut oil
These are just a few examples of some of the most popular oil varieties. There are many others available on the market as well.
The storage tips we share with you can be used across the board for each of these types of oil. Most of these oils are considered forms of vegetable oil but when you purchase oil from your local grocery store, the bottle labeled vegetable oil is a less pure form of oil than many of these others.
How to Freeze Vegetable Oil & Other Storage Options
Freezing vegetable oil is a great option for making the most of your vegetable oil. Because of the ingredients and the makeup of vegetable oil, it does not truly freeze but is preserved by the freezing temperatures.
Let’s start by discussing some of the pros and cons of freezing vegetable oil.
Pros to Freezing Vegetable Oil
- Extends shelf life to up to 2 years.
- Freezing vegetable oil is simple.
- There are no complicated freezing steps required.
- Using after freezing is not complicated.
- The integrity and texture of vegetable oil is not affected by freezing.
Cons to Freezing Vegetable Oil
- Your oil will most likely not truly freeze but is still preserved.
- You may notice a difference in consistency when removed from the freezer (a fixable con).
- Refrigerating vegetable oil can extend the shelf life similarly to freezing.
- Freezing vegetable oil can make it hard to determine if the oil is rancid when ready to use.
Freezing vegetable oil is an option but is not the recommended storage option for vegetable oil. The results are quite scattered and you just don’t know for sure what will happen when you freeze the oil.
In order for vegetable oil to truly freeze, it has to reach approximately 12 degrees Fahrenheit. It is still preserved in the freezer but you may notice cloudiness or separation of the compounds while in the freezer. Not to worry, this will not affect the vegetable oil when you remove it from the freezer.
Freezing Vegetable Oil
Freezing vegetable oil is not a complicated process. In fact, you don’t have to really do anything special at all. But we should cover the entire topic so you know what to expect.
- Freeze oil in its original container or in an airtight container.
- Make sure it is well-sealed and airtight.
- Place in freezer.
- Freezer will preserve up to 2 years.
You should allow some extra time to prepare the vegetable oil for use when you remove it from the freezer.
You will need to warm the vegetable oil for use. If your freezer did reach freezing temperatures for the vegetable oil, you may need to allow some thawing time before you use it.
The biggest thing to be aware of is that even if your oil is not frozen to a solid form, you will need to warm the oil to use it. You can warm it slowly in the microwave or warm it in a pan on the stove.
If you remove your vegetable oil from the freezer and notice cloudy drops or separation do not be concerned, this is just from the cold and it will not affect the viability of the vegetable oil overall.
Additional Storage Options
If you decide that freezing your vegetable oil is not the best option, don’t worry. You can store your vegetable oil by other means.
- Refrigerator – You can store your opened vegetable oil in the refrigerator up to 1 year without any concern of it going rancid. Simply seal the lid of the container tightly.
- Pantry – You can also store your opened or unopened vegetable oil in the pantry for also up to 1 year.
No storage method is better than the other, however, it is recommended that you simply use the refrigerator or the pantry rather than trying to shelf the vegetable oil longer in the freezer.
We hope that you have found this guide to be helpful and informative for your needs. We have compiled a question-and-answer section that provides some additional information.
We encourage you to take a look and see if it could be helpful for you as well.
How Can I Tell if My Cooking Oil is Rancid?
While a bottle remains unopened, it is likely that you won’t have to worry about it going bad. Once you open the bottle and break the seal, the typical shelf-life is about 1 year.
You can’t tell that cooking oil has gone bad from looking at it most of the time. It typically does not grow mold or rot like many foods.
The easiest way to tell if oil has gone bad is the smell. It will have a strong bitter odor if the oil is rancid.
Can I Use These Methods on Used Cooking Oil?
We do not recommend freezing used cooking oil. Used cooking oil can be saved and reused however it has been subjected to air and bacteria and therefore does not last as long. Seal your used cooking oil tightly and store it at room temperature.
You should only store your used cooking oil for up to 4 months to ensure that it does not go rancid or lose any of the viability of cooking oil.