How to store frying oil without losing its quality

Frying oil is one of the essential supplies in the kitchen, regardless of whether you’re in a domestic or commercial setting. The most common issue with frying oil, though, is how to store it without reducing its quality. If you’re seeking the best way to store frying oil, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best ways to store frying oil to keep it fresh, reduce waste, and save you money.

The Importance of Storing Frying Oil

Frying oil is vital that it preserves its quality throughout storage. When oil is not stored correctly, its quality degrades, leading to less-than-favourable results when used for frying. Rancid oil is likely to produce poor-quality fried foods and may also negatively affect the health of those consuming the food.

It is critical that you store frying oil correctly to ensure that you get the best results from your fried food.

The Best Way to Store Frying Oil

There are different ways to store frying oil, but some methods are more effective than others. Here are some of the best ways to store frying oil:

Store in a Cool, Dark Place

Frying oil needs to be kept away from direct sunlight, heat, and air. Exposure to these elements affects the quality of the oil, which can lead to rancidity. Keep your oil in a cool, dark place where there is no direct contact with sunlight or heat.

Use an Airtight Container

When exposed to air, oil will oxidise and become rancid over time. Using an airtight container will prevent air from getting in and thus extend its shelf life. Airtight containers come in different sizes and shapes, and you can choose what works best for you. Additionally, make sure that the container is made of a material that does not reactivate with the oil.

Strain the Oil

Once the oil is cooled, it would help if you strain it properly to remove any leftover food particles. The particles can cause the oil to spoil quickly and is a typical source of foul odour. It would be best to use a cheesecloth, fine-mesh sieve or paper towel to strain the oil.

Label the Container

It is essential to label your oil container with the date, contents, and storage location. This information will come in handy when monitoring the oil’s freshness and usage. Always use the oldest oil first and maintain rotation to ensure you have the freshest oil in your container.

The Shelf Life of Frying Oil

The shelf life of frying oil depends on several factors, including the type of oil, storage temperature and conditions, and the number of times it was used to fry food.

Below is a table that provides an estimate of the shelf life of various types of frying oils:

Type of Oil Shelf Life (Unopened) Shelf Life (Opened)
Corn oil 12 months 6 months
Canola oil 24 months 6 months
Sunflower oil 12 months 6 months
Peanut oil 24 months 6 months
Olive oil 24 months 6 months
Soybean oil 12 months 6 months

Cleaning and Maintenance of the Container

To preserve the quality of your frying oil, you need to maintain the container’s cleanliness. Below are some tips on how to clean and maintain your container:

Washing and Rinsing

Clean the container by thoroughly washing it with hot water and soap, then rinse it off properly. Make sure that there are no traces of soap left in the container. Let the container dry through natural air. It would help if you avoided using heat, which might change the characteristics of your oil.

Frequency of Cleaning

The frequency of cleaning your container depends on how often you use the oil. It is recommended to clean the container after every use of the oil or when it has been stored for long. Doing so will help remove all the impurities that might cause the oil to spoil.


In conclusion, storing frying oil is vital to ensure it remains fresh, safe for consumption and maintains its quality. The tips provided in this article will help you store your frying oil effectively, and you will enjoy frying delicious foods time and time again. It is good practice to rotate your oil frequently and dispose of rancid oil responsibly. This will save you money in the long run, reduce waste, and provide you with healthy, tasty meals.

Common Questions and Answers

Below are some of the most common questions people ask about storing frying oil:

  • Can I store frying oil in a plastic container?
  • Yes, you can store frying oil in a plastic container provided the container is food-grade plastic and airtight.

  • How often should I change my frying oil?
  • You should change your frying oil every 8-10 uses or whenever it becomes rancid. It would be best if you did not store used frying oil.

  • Can I store frying oil in the fridge or freezer?
  • No, you should not store frying oil in the fridge or freezer. Cold temperatures will cause the oil to solidify or thicken, making it unsuitable for frying.

  • How can I tell if my frying oil has gone bad?
  • You can tell if your frying oil has gone bad from the smell, look, and taste. It will have an off odour, color, and taste.

  • How long does frying oil last?
  • Frying oil last between a few weeks and a few months, depending on the type of oil, storage temperature and conditions, and the number of times it was used to fry food.


  1. Abdelhadi, O., Kim, Y. J., & Park, J. W. (2013). Role of aeration in oxidation of frying oil during intermittent frying of chicken nuggets. Food chemistry, 136(1), 19-24.
  2. Albertí, P., Llorca, E., Rodríguez, M., & Cañellas, J. (2003). Stereospecific analysis of triacylglycerols in used frying oils and fats by means of chromatographic techniques. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 51(10), 3029-3035.
  3. Basuny, A. M., Othman, I., & Khalil, E. M. (2021). Optimizing frying conditions for enhancing the quality attributes of freshly prepared extruded snacks. Food Science & Nutrition, 9(5), 2432-2442.

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