Olive oil is a healthy kitchen staple, and it continues to grow as a popular cooking option. Compared to other common oils like corn, vegetable, and canola, olive oil has a much higher level of monounsaturated fat. It’s considered a superfood for its health benefits, with antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamins, and other key nutrients.
The extra-virgin and unadulterated versions have a high polyphenol content. Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant that can help protect your cells from damage, and certain kinds feature anti-inflammatory properties.
All of these details make olive oil a good choice. But to keep all of its nutritional value intact, you need to know how to store it properly.
The Importance Of Oxygen, Light, And Heat
As a report from Michigan State University explains, when olive oil “is exposed to oxygen, light, and heat, it may become rancid.” But if you store your olive oil properly, this outcome can be avoided.
According to experts, to get the most out of your olive oil you should be storing your bottle at around 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Storing olive oil at the normal room temperature of 70 degrees isn’t going to ruin it. But, if your kitchen tends to run warmer than that, you’ll get better quality olive oil if you store it in the fridge.
For long-term olive oil storage, refrigeration is by far the best option. The only exception would be the premium extra-virgin olive oils, which are best stored at room temperature.
How To Properly Store Your Olive Oil
In addition to the proper temperature, you should also consider storing your olive oil in the proper container. Because light and oxygen are such important factors, tinted glass that keeps air and light out of the bottle is the best option.
When it comes to containers you should avoid, stay away from plastic because the oil “may leach harmful substances from it,” according to the report.
The final thing to remember is to store your olive oil in a dark place—not on the kitchen counter next to a sunlit window or a heat-producing stove.
Olive Oil Storage Options
A good idea is to store your bottle of olive oil in the fridge while keeping a small amount in a container that’s kept at room temperature.
Storing your olive oil in the fridge will cause it to solidify and turn cloudy. This isn’t causing any damage, though. The oil will restore itself quickly and no nutritional value will be lost. But if you keep a small amount in a proper container stored at room temp, you will always have olive oil ready to go. Here are some great options we found online:
Ceramic Olive Oil Cruet
Consider this ceramic olive oil cruet from Claylicious on Etsy to store your olive oil on the kitchen counter. This handmade bottle is wheel thrown with brown clay, decorated with food-safe glaze, and it’s available in a variety of different colors.
This option holds approximately 6 ounces of oil that will be ready to go whenever you are cooking and eating.
Rachael Ray Olive Oil Dispenser
If you would like a little more oil stored at room temperature in your kitchen, try this stylish dispenser from Rachel Ray. This dispenser can hold up to 24 ounces of oil, and the ceramic will protect it from oxidation.
This bottle has a unique spout for the proper pouring of your olive oil, it’s easy to hold, and it’s dishwasher safe for convenient cleaning. This option will match any kitchen decor because it comes in so many different colors.
Misto Brushed Aluminum Oil Mister
An even healthier and more economical option would be this Misto Brushed Aluminum Oil Sprayer/Mister for low fat/high flavor cooking. This reusable oil spray and mister bottle is great for dressing salads, bread, or cooking.
It features an easy-to-use pump-style cap and a pressurized sprayer that will give an even mist. This mister also has a unique filter that will trap herbs and spices to infuse the oil.
No matter how you store your olive oil, just remember that you have about one year to get the best quality and flavor. It will gradually break down, the flavor will weaken, and the acidity level will rise. But, storing your olive oil in the proper conditions with the right container will make it last as long as possible.