The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Oils


Storing and Disposing Cooking Oil

Keeping cooking oil in a dark, cool space will prolong its use.
Keeping cooking oil in a dark, cool space will prolong its use.
Brian Hagiwara/FoodPix/Getty Images

Both refrigeration and a good-quality container can extend the life of the oil, but nothing lasts forever. Though expiration dates for cooking oils vary, most begin to go rancid within six months to a year. Rancid oil lacks the flavor and health benefits the oil had in its prime, and it's darker in color. You'll also notice a change in odor. And, like oils that are cooked past their smoke points, rancid oils can produce free radicals. All in all, it's better to cut your losses and get rid of rancid oil.

But disposing of used or rancid cooking oil isn't as easy as you'd think. Rinsing it down the drain isn't a good idea, since it can build up in your pipes and lead to slow or clogged drains. It can even result in problems for city sewer systems. Public works departments recommend putting cooled oil into a sealable, non-recyclable container and disposing of it.

There's certainly more to cooking oils than meets the eye. Still have questions? See the links below for lots more information.

Related Articles

Sources

  • Alleman, Gayle A. "How Olive Oil Works." HowStuffWorks.com. (June 27, 2010)https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/how-olive-oil-works.htm
  • Blonz, Ed. "You'll Know if Cooking Oil Becomes Rancid." San Diego Union-Tribune. Aug. 20, 2008. (June 25, 2010)http://ww.uniontrib.com/uniontrib/20080820/news_1f20focus.html
  • Chu, Michael. "Smoke Points of Various Fats." Cooking For Engineers. June 10, 2004. (June 9, 2010)http://www.cookingforengineers.com/article/50/Smoke-Points-of-Various-Fats
  • Elaioladiki Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. "Storage Tips." (June 9, 2010)http://www.elaioladiki.gr/en/olive_oil_storage.htm
  • Mayo Clinic. "Dietary Fats: Know Which Types to Choose." (June 10, 2010)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fat/nu00262
  • Mayo Clinic. "Trans Fat: Avoid This Cholesterol Double Whammy." (June 10, 2010)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/trans-fat/cl00032
  • New York City Department of Environmental Protection. "Grease Disposal Tips to Help the City's Environment." Jan. 19, 2007. (June 26, 2010)http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/residents/congrease.shtml
  • Tsang, Gloria. "Cooking Oil: How to Choose a Good One." HealthCastle.com. May 2007. (June 10, 2010)http://www.healthcastle.com/cooking-oils.shtml
  • WellSphere.com. "Right Way of Storing Cooking Oil." Sept. 13, 2008. (June 10, 2010)http://www.wellsphere.com/healthy-cooking-article/right-way-of-storing-cooking-oil/352858
  • WhatsCookingAmerica.net. "Olive Oil." (June 9, 2010)http://whatscookingamerica.net/OliveOil.htm

UP NEXT

Ketchup: How to Keep the Non-Newtonian Fluid From Messing Up Your Next BBQ

Ketchup: How to Keep the Non-Newtonian Fluid From Messing Up Your Next BBQ

Scientists dive into the physics of getting ketchup out of the bottle without making a mess. Learn more about non-Newtonian fluids at HowStuffWorks.


More to Explore