Can You Freeze Olive Oil?
Can you freeze olive oil? If you have purchased a large container of olive oil or do not use it very often, you may be wondering if you can freeze olive oil. If you’re looking for information regarding freezing it this article is for you.
Olive oil is a commonly used ingredient in cooking, especially in Mediterranean cultures. It contains monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, which make it a healthy choice for use in salad dressings, marinades, and other dishes. Olive oil should ideally be stored away from light, heat, and air, which causes it to go rancid.
Olive oil can be safely frozen and later thawed for use in cooking. The oil begins to congeal at temperatures below 40° Fahrenheit, though the actual freezing temperature varies because of natural differences between batches.
If olive oil is being used for a refrigerated product such as salad dressing, manufacturers will often chill and filter the oil in a process called winterizing to prevent clouding and congealing at refrigerated temperatures.
Unwinterized oil will take on a cloudy or clumpy appearance as it chills or is frozen but will return to its normal state after coming back to room temperature.
Olive oil should be stored away from heat, light, and air. Exposure to these elements can shorten the life of the oil, causing it to go rancid. Olive oil should not be stored in plastic containers because it can absorb chemicals from the plastic.
Image used under Creative Commons from Arthur Caranta
A glass or non-reactive metal container with a tight cover is the best storage choice. Unopened, olive oil can be safely kept for approximately 2 years. Once opened, it should be used within 1 year. Flavor and health benefits may deteriorate over time, so you should use it within a few months for optimal quality.
Freezing oil will maintain its health benefits, but once thawed it should be used quickly, as its shelf life is reduced to days. For this reason, you should consider how you plan to use the oil before making the decision to freeze it.
Refrigeration will not have these same negative effects, and will also help maintain the flavor and nutritional qualities. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze olive oil:
If you want to freeze olive oil, consider freezing it in small single-use quantities. You can freeze it in ice cube trays either alone or with herbs to use as a base for soups, stews, or other cooked dishes. Once fully frozen, these cubes should be transferred to air-tight containers. Freezing olive oil in a marinade or cooked dish are other ways to freeze your oil.
To thaw your oil, simply allow it to return to room temperature. If you are using frozen cubes, you can put them right in your pan to start your dish.
Some people like to thaw their oil to refrigerated temperatures and use it as a spread. The flavor and texture of the oil will not be changed by freezing and thawing, and it should return to its normal state once it has reached room temperature.
The molecular structure will be weaker, and the oil will go rancid quickly, so it is best to use the oil immediately upon thawing.
As you can see, freezing olive oil is so easy. As long as you know the right steps, you can freeze large batches of olive oil with little to no flavor changes! Now that you know how can you freeze olive oil, you can finally buy this product in bulk and save what you don’t need in the freezer.