Olive oil Shelf-life
December 29, 2010 5:15 AM   Subscribe

I was given a bottle of homemade olive oil. How long will it last/does olive oil ever go bad?
posted by la_rousse to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Olive oil, like most oils, goes rancid when exposed to heat and air. If you want to preserve it for as long as possible, keep it in the fridge. But it's definitely a perishable product that will decline with age, so use it!
posted by OmieWise at 5:33 AM on December 29, 2010

"Homemade" makes it an interesting question. It might be more acid, which might make it more flavorful but might make it go rancid sooner. On the other hand, it might be fairly fresh.

I'd use it within a couple of months for best flavor. Store away from heat, light, keep in an airtight container. I buy gallons of Costco olive oil a couple of times a year for everyday use and do just fine.
posted by gimonca at 6:07 AM on December 29, 2010

Also, it depends on how the oil was prepared. First cold press oil (the highest grade) is most perishable. The farther it gets processed, the more durable it becomes. Last press, which is usually done with high pressure and chemicals, creates a light flavor oil very like canola that is pretty durable.
posted by I am the Walrus at 6:51 AM on December 29, 2010

Olive oil is perishable, not in weeks but in months, but don't use it for casual frying. It's for salad dressings or topping. Heating up aromatic oils pretty much kills them.
posted by mhoye at 9:12 AM on December 29, 2010

Is it in a dark bottle? Similar to beer, olive oil stored in green or clear glass will eventually react with light and take on a decidedly inferior taste.
posted by Dmenet at 10:05 AM on December 29, 2010

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