Coconut oil is a staple in most kitchens and natural medicine cabinets, but it doesn’t last forever. This article includes tips for storing coconut oil so you don’t end up with an expired jar of the good stuff.
Coconut oil is a popular ingredient in many recipes. It has a long shelf life and can be stored for up to two years unopened. Once the jar is opened, it will only last about six months. Read more in detail here: unopened coconut oil shelf life.
You’ve got some coconut oil that’s a few weeks (or months) old, and you’re wondering whether it’ll go bad.
It won’t last indefinitely, but just because it’s “expired” doesn’t mean you have to throw it away right away. Not at all.
Coconut oil, if stored correctly, may survive for months beyond its expiration date. However, this does not imply that yours is faultless.
Instead, you should be aware of the indicators of coconut oil deterioration and how to determine if yours is rotten or not.
This is where the content of this article comes into play. We discuss deterioration, shelf life, and storage methods for coconut oil in it.
Isn’t it intriguing? Let’s get started.
Jar of coconut oil
Does Coconut Oil Have a Shelf Life?
Coconut oil, like all other oils, degrades with time.
While coconut oil doesn’t normally get moldy (though it might), it can develop rancid after a lengthy time of storage. That’s when you throw it away.
In a moment, we’ll get into the details.
But, before you go any further, check your jar to see whether you have virgin or processed coconut oil. They have distinct aromas and flavors, which is crucial when inspecting yours for deterioration.
Is that clear? Continue reading.
Coconut oil, both extra virgin and virgin, is the same thing. In the case of coconut oil, the term “additional” makes no difference.
What Is The Best Way To Tell If Coconut Oil Is Bad?
Examine the sight, smell, and taste of your coconut oil to see whether it has gone bad. Here’s what to look out for:
- Color. Coconut oil is transparent in liquid form and white in solid form (like milk). It becomes creamy when it melts and solidifies again (see below). However, if yours turns yellow, it’s time to get rid of it.
- Any organic growth, such as black patches. It’s advisable to discard the fat if you discover any symptoms of organic development, either on the surface or floating about while the oil is liquid. If your oil is exposed to mold spores often enough, it may begin to develop mold.
- It has a rotten odor. To begin, you should be aware that virgin (unrefined) coconut oil smells nutty and coconut-like. Refined coconut oil, on the other hand, has a very neutral aroma (which is why it’s often used in cooking). If yours smells different, particularly bitter, sour, paint-like, or chemical-like, the oil is rancid and must be discarded.
- Tastes rancid. Again, virgin coconut oil has a subtle coconut flavor, but processed coconut oil lacks flavor. It’s not good if yours tastes sour or unpleasant.
After melting and hardening coconut oil
As you can see, the elephant in the room – the melting and solidification of coconut oil – went unnoticed. This is due to the fact that neither is an indicator of rotting. In the next part, I go through this in further depth.
If anything else appears that doesn’t suit the above-mentioned indicators, trust your instincts and follow the “better safe than sorry” suggestion.
If you’re not sure if old coconut oil is okay to consume because it looks or smells wrong, assume it’s gone bad. You may also use coconut oil in a variety of other ways than cooking.
Coconut oil that is solid
Coconut Oil, Melted
It is still okay to use coconut oil that has melted or melted and solidified again. That is true even if it has occurred many times.
Also, since there is no nutritional loss throughout the process, you won’t be alarmed if you open your kitchen cabinet on a hot day and discover your coconut oil has melted.
You may change where you store your coconut oil to keep it solid (or liquid) if you like it that way. In the storage portion, I go through everything in great depth.
Last but not least, coconut oil isn’t the only fat that melts and solidifies in response to temperature changes. Consider olive oil, which is often more viscous in the fridge than at room temperature, or butter, which melts on the stove.
If you’re wondering what temperature is required to melt coconut oil, the answer is 75 degrees Fahrenheit (or 24 degrees Celsius). That’s why, when kept in the kitchen, it only becomes liquid in the heat of summer and hardens after a few days of somewhat cooler temperature.
Coconut Oil, Melted
When it comes to coconut oil, how long does it last?
Coconut oil has a shelf life of one to two years and may be kept in good condition for at least a couple of weeks longer if stored correctly.
The first time you open the jar, it has little effect on the shelf life. It does expose the oil to fresh air, which may hasten the rancidification process a little, but that’s not a major concern. Unless, of course, you leave the jar open for an extended length of time.
There is a difference in shelf life between refined and virgin coconut oil, in case you were wondering. The latter seems to persist longer than the former, although no one knows for sure how long each one is effective.
Refined coconut oil has a two-year shelf life, whereas virgin (unrefined) coconut oil has a three-year shelf life. However, I’ve read claims that virgin coconut oil (or VCO) may last up to five years, so there’s that.
The simplest approach for me to do this is to start with the date on the label, assume that the oil will last a few months longer, and always double-check before using.
It’s a basic method, but it gets the job done.
On the lid of the coconut oil, there is a best by date.
Coconut Oil That Has Been Expired
First and foremost, the date on the container of coconut oil is a best-by or best-if-used-by date, not an expiry date. It’s not about food safety; it’s about food quality.
In other words, it does not mean that the oil is no longer safe to ingest after it reaches that date.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, you may be wondering how long coconut oil can be used beyond its “expiration” date. Unfortunately, there isn’t a satisfactory response.
It all comes down to the oil’s quality and how properly you preserve it. But I can’t promise you anything even if you follow all the guidelines to the letter.
Your coconut oil should keep its quality for at least a few months beyond its expiration date. That’s the best I can come up with. It may take a month, a half-year, or even longer at times. That’s just the way the beast is.
How To Keep Coconut Oil Safe
Coconut oil may be kept at room temperature in a kitchen cabinet, in the pantry, or even refrigerated. Make sure the oil is well sealed in its glass jar, that the temperature is steady, and that it is kept away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
The glass container in which coconut oil is normally packaged is ideal for long-term preservation. It’s not necessary to move the oil into a more appropriate container after it’s been opened.
Coconut oil, like all other oils, requires adequate food hygiene to last as long as feasible. This includes the following:
- After scooping the quantity needed, immediately seal the container.
- Never double-dip and always use clean spoons.
Following such procedures assures that no mold spores or other pollutants are mistakenly introduced into the jar.
It all depends on whether you want liquid, solid-but-scoopable, or plain solid when it comes to where the jar should rest.
Keep it someplace warm, such as on top of your hot water heater, to keep it liquid. Keep the oil in a cold pantry or kitchen cabinet while it’s in the intermediate condition, when it’s solid yet easy to scoop. The fridge is the way to go if you need it to be very firm for whatever reason.
Coconut oil may be easily melted in a warm bath. Scoop as much as you need into a dish and submerge it in a larger basin of boiling water. Warm tap water also works, albeit it takes a little longer.
Coconut oil and applesauce are prepared in muffins.
Is it necessary to keep coconut oil refrigerated?
Coconut oil does not need to be refrigerated. A jar that hasn’t been opened or one that has just been opened doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
If you like the oil to be solid and hard, you can refrigerate it, but that’s about the only reason to do so. Otherwise, just store it in a cool, dark cabinet throughout the summer.
I keep coconut oil in a kitchen cabinet where it remains solid yet scoopable for the most of the year. I’m alright with the oil melting if there are two or more consecutive days of hot weather in the summer.
Coconut oil is a highly saturated fat that can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 18 months. It’s best to keep it in the refrigerator or freezer after opening. Reference: how to store coconut oil after opening.
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