Vegetable oil, also known as cooking oil, is not simply a pantry staple. It is also a common ingredient in processed foods, a preserving agent, and a beautifying elixir.
They come in a variety of flavors, and you’ll need some for whatever you’re cooking.
So, how can you make sure it’s always on hand? Can you freeze vegetable oil simply and store it forever, unbothered?
Sure, you can freeze cooking oil for a longer shelf life. It also has other benefits, and we’ll cover all of them.
Can you freeze vegetable oil?
You can freeze most vegetable oils to preserve them longer. However, it will not necessarily freeze in the true sense in a home freezer. (*)
Some cooking oils need extremely cold temperatures, below 10 degrees Fahrenheit, to truly freeze, a process known as “supercooling.” Still, it becomes solid and lasts longer.
This method is commonly used in the food industry but is hard to replicate at home. When you freeze vegetable oil, it can separate and become cloudy. (*)
Fortunately, when reheated, this has no effect on the taste or smell.
Some vegetable oils, like coconut oil, have unique properties; they freeze at much higher temperatures.
Learn more: Can You Freeze Coconut Oil? Does It Be Frozen?
But what are the specific benefits of freezing cooking oil?
Why should you freeze vegetable oil?
The main advantage of freezing cooking oil is extending its shelf life by up to 2 years. It’s also a simple method and won’t affect its quality in the slightest.
The bane of vegetable oil is oxidation, which can be entirely avoided by freezing it immediately. Freezing them in serving sizes also helps you avoid wasteful cooking. (*)
And yet, before you begin freezing all of your vegetable oil, please read our step-by-step guide below.
How to freeze vegetable oil step-by-step
This how-to guide is suitable for peanut, canola, olive, sunflower, and any other vegetable oil or cooking oil blend. However, never freeze used cooking oil or one that has been defrosted before.
1. Freeze vegetable oil in its container.
Only freeze cooking or frying oil in bigger batches if you intend to use it all at once after it has thawed. Filling a whole fryer with it is one such instance.
- Make sure the container is sealed airtight.
- Place it in the freezer for up to two years.
2. Freeze cooking oil in serving sizes
Make sure to choose serving-sized portions.
- Select a glass jar, a bottle, an airtight container, or an ice cube tray.
- Sterilize it with hot water beforehand.
- Let it dry completely.
- Portion the oil into the containers.
- Label the containers with the date.
- Place them in the freezer for up to 2 years
When freezing cooking oil, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Choose containers with tight-fitting lids.
- Freezing used cooking oil is a big no-no.
There’s only one blind spot left; hitting the right temperature.
Does vegetable oil have a freezing point?
Everything, including vegetable oils, has a freezing point. However, not all of them are the same.
There are various kinds of cooking oils, some of which are a blend of many:
- Coconut oil solidifies quickly, even at cooler room temperatures.
- In the fridge, olive oil hardens in an hour.
- At the same time, canola oil takes a special industrial freezer to properly get the job done.
This complicates things. Luckily, 90% of typical store-bought cooking oils solidify in the freezer within a few hours.
Generally speaking, cooking oils have a freezing point between 1 °F (-17 ºC) and 95 °F (35 ºC). But most commonly, it’s around 45 °F (7.2 ºC).
Now we should talk about the downsides.
Why you shouldn’t freeze vegetable oil?-All the downsides
Bluntly, there is no need to freeze cooking oil and store it for years in an average household with regular cooking sessions.
You’ll probably use it up much faster. However, in some cases, you may end up with a large batch; in that case, freezing is your safest bet.
Another downside is that it’s hard to tell if the cooking oil has gone bad if frozen. You may not realize it has gone rancid until you start cooking with it.
After covering the basics, let’s look at the most frequently asked questions about freezing vegetable oil.
Learn more: Does Vegetable Oil Go Bad If It Freezes?
Cooking oil and vegetable oil can be frozen safely and stored this way for up to 2 years. However, keep the freezing containers sanitized and dry, and avoid freezing used cooking oil.
Although their freezing points vary greatly, all cooking oils will eventually solidify in a typical home freezer.
Before you freeze every oil in your pantry, consider whether it’s even necessary. Will you use them up in the next 2 years? If yes, keep the freezer space for something handier.