Can You Use Out of Date Vegetable Oil? | all questions answered

Imagine this, you’ve just discovered a bottle of vegetable oil that’s been sitting about for a few months after the date it was supposed to be used, and now you’re wondering… “does vegetable oil get rancid”?


Or perhaps you are interested in learning how long vegetable oil stays fresh once the bottle has been opened. These are all valid questions so let’s jump right to it…


Can you use out-of-date vegetable oil?

The majority of oils carry a “best by” date instead of an expiration date. This suggests that the oil can be utilized, however, its quality may be poor. If it tastes and smells good, it’s probably safe to eat. Rancid oil smells musty and tastes harsh and unpleasant.


Does Vegetable Oil Go Bad?

It is possible for vegetable oil to grow rancid after being stored for the average amount of time, which is between 12 and 18 months…


In the same way as other items that are based on fat, it is always in the process of slowly getting rancid, and at some point, it will no longer be suitable for use.


The moment you crack the seal on the bottle, the process of rancidification begins in earnest, and the manner in which you keep it has a direct bearing on how long it will remain fresh.


FYI: Unfortunately, just as it is hard to determine exactly how long other oils (such as coconut oil or avocado oil) will last, it is also impossible to estimate how long one will last.


Instead of depending on the expiration dates, it is strongly recommended to examine whether or not the oil may still be used. 


What Exactly Does the Term ‘Vegetable Oil’ Refer to?

Good questions… In concept, vegetable oil may be thought of as an umbrella word that encompasses any oils that can be classified as “vegetables.”


The list of choices is rather extensive and includes well-known oils like canola or avocado oil as well as much more specialized items like mustard oil or poppyseed oil.


Some of the oils on the list are more popular than others. However, if you go to the supermarket and pick up a bottle of oil that’s labeled “vegetable oil,” it won’t be hard for you to figure out what’s inside.


You are most likely purchasing refined canola oil, refined soybean oil, or another of the several inexpensive and widely used refined oils.


I mean, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that manufacturers don’t offer pricey oils for half of what they normally cost. In addition to that, the oil will very certainly be refined at some point in the future.


This indicates that it will not have much of a taste or scent, and it will also have a reasonably high smoke point, which makes it appropriate for use in cooking and deep frying.


Because of this, you won’t be shocked to learn that what you already know about the shelf life of canola oil and how quickly it becomes rancid also applies to vegetable oil.


What Each Label Identifies As

The majority of vegetable oils do not have an expiration date; rather, they have a date that states “best if used by.” This label just indicates that the oil may still be safe to use after the date that is printed on the container, but that its quality will be at its peak before the date that is printed.


If it has been stored correctly, the vegetable oil will be use for up to a year after the expiration date shown on the bottle.


Does Vegetable Oil Go Bad After Use?

Even though heating vegetable oil to high temperatures does not cause it to spoil, it is best to avoid reusing the same oil several times…


The problem is that oxygen, light, and heat all hasten the process of rancidification, which occurs when oil is exposed to them. And when it is put to use in the kitchen, not only is it subjected to a great deal of heat, but it is also able to rapidly take in oxygen.


This indicates that a cooking session lasting thirty minutes has the potential to have the same effect on the oil as storing it for a couple of months, if not more.


In addition, vegetable oils include a large proportion of polyunsaturated lipids, which, in comparison to saturated fats, are less stable. Because of this, lard is a far superior candidate for reuse as compared to vegetable oil.


Having said that, take the following into consideration if you wish to recycle your used cooking oil:


  • Consider how “filthy” the dish you’re preparing actually is. If you cooked pancakes in oil instead of covered meat, you will end up with a far higher quality oil than you would otherwise.

  • Utilizing the oil substantially reduces the amount of time it may be stored.

  • Never combine new oil with one that has been used previously.

  • Make an effort to utilize it to prepare foods that are comparable or even identical items. Because the oil absorbs the flavor of the food that is cooked in it, using it to fry fish renders it virtually unusable for any other use.


Determining Freshness Yourself?

The date that is printed on the bottle provides an approximative guideline for how long the oil will remain fresh; nevertheless, your personal observations and maintaining records are more reliable techniques for determining whether or not the oil is still fresh.


On average, the shelf life of vegetable oil is six months after it has been opened and up to one year if it has not been opened. If you notice a harsh, bitter flavor or odor coming from the oil, it is likely rancid and has changed color or gotten somewhat foggy while it sits.


However, if the color of the oil has changed or it has become a little cloudy, the oil is generally not rotten. When determining whether or not oil has gone rancid, you should rely on both your sense of smell and taste.


Variants of Oil

The type of oil you use is a contributing factor in determining how long its shelf life is…


Because almost all oils are derived from some kind of vegetable, the phrase “vegetable oil” can be a little bit misleading. The vast majority of vegetable oil is made from soybeans, although some brands also use maize and grape seed oils in their formulations.


Canola oil is another common component of vegetable oils. The shelf life of blended oils is often up to two years longer than that of single oils, regardless of the date printed on the bottle.


Additionally, the shelf life of oils derived from sunflower and safflower is up to two years, although maize oil and vegetable oil should be consumed within one year after purchase.


How to Maintain the Quality of Vegetable Oil

Keep your vegetable oil out of direct sunlight and heat sources like the stove by storing it in a cool, dark place. Also, make sure that it is always firmly packed while it is not being used.


You might choose to refrigerate it if you want the quality to be preserved for a longer period of time. Be aware that putting it in the refrigerator may cause it to get a little foggy if you do decide to do so.


This is not an indication that the oil has gone bad, and the effect may be readily undone by bringing the temperature of the oil back up to room temperature.


However, refined oils often keep their quality for quite some time, which means that refrigeration is not typically required, even in the middle of a hot summer or if you reside in the tropics.


This is because refined oils do not undergo oxidation. Consider putting your vegetable oil into a dark bottle or canister if you want to avoid storing it in a locked cabinet and instead keep it within easy reach on a shelf or counter.


This opaque glass will shield the oil from the damaging effects of sunlight, allowing it to maintain its high quality for a longer period of time.


Related Questions:

How long does sunflower oil last once opened

Use the opened oil within two to three months. If stored in a dry, cool environment with the lid closed, a well-made, high-quality product may last a year.


Can you bake with expired vegetable oil

After cooking, rancid oil may taste and smell better. However, eating too much rancid vegetable oil might cause serious health problems. To clarify, you won’t feel anything right away, but it will harm your health over time.

Can You Use Out of Date Vegetable Oil? | all questions answered