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L.A. Times Test Kitchen tips: Storing oils

OilsI'm often asked by new Test Kitchen interns why we keep our oils in the refrigerator.

We refrigerate our oils to keep them fresh and from going bad.

Because of their high fat content, oils can go rancid quickly when left at room temperature or exposed to light. Refrigerating them extends their shelf life.

It's a great tip, especially when you're trying to figure how to store that expensive olive oil you bought to use just on special occasions.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an e-mail at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

-- Noelle Carter

Photo: Jonathan Wing

 
Comments () | Archives (5)

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I've never heard of this tip before, so guess I'll give it a try, except for the olive oil that I use almost daily. That sits near the stove top ready to go into the pan.

Plus I've got a delicous red chili and black peppercorn infused olive oil sitting in a very attractive bottle, so I'm not hiding that away in the fridge.

I don't see the point in freezing oil, but refridgeration, yes.

Heat, light and air are all enemies of oil. Oil can be stored at room temperature provided you are buying in small amounts and using quickly (within a few weeks of purchase), and can store the oil in a cool, dark place. However, refrigeration (or even freezing) will help to keep the oil in good condition, particularly if purchasing in larger amounts. Because oil will partially solidify in cooler temperatures, simply take the oil out shortly before you plan to use it so it can liquefy as it warms, then refrigerate again until needed.

As for where to keep it in the fridge, we tend to keep ours in the door for handy retrieval!

Rachel Ray and other TV chefs recommend not refrigerating olive oil.

Rachel Ray and other TV chefs say not to refrigerate olive oil!

I am looking for a new refrigerator and have been reading refrigerator reviews all morning and came across this tip. What a great idea?!?! I have lost more good oils then I would care to admit.

Though I have a question, is it better to keep the oil in the body of the fridge or on the door?


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