Olive oil can spoil within three months or last for three years, depending on the type of olive and the time of the harvest. For safety's sake, once you've opened a bottle of olive oil, use it up within six months.
Does Olive Oil Expire?
Late harvest olive oil comes from extremely ripe olives. It's very flavorful, but has a very short shelf life. If you're lucky enough to own a bottle of this delicious oil, you have three months to enjoy it.
Light and air will negatively impact any vegetable oil, causing it to oxidize and allowing it to turn rancid. Oxidized oil offers less nutritional punch as the anti-oxidant qualities have been lost.
Rancid oil gives off a terrible smell and taste. While the risk of ingesting rancid fats is low, olive oil should not be kept for more than six months once it's been opened.
How To Store Olive Oil
To keep oil as fresh as possible, keep it in the dark and avoid exposure to heat. This can be a challenge if you prefer to keep oil close to your stove.
However, by keeping all your oils at the far end of the cupboard by the stove, you may gain a bit of grace in your storage time!
Olive oil can be refrigerated. If you notice the oil growing thick, simply bring it to room temperature before using it.
How long does olive oil last? A good assumption is six months from the date the bottle is opened. Depending on the storage conditions before opening, the oil may turn sooner than that.
If you notice any of your regular cooking times or temperatures being thrown off, or if the oil starts to smoke, it may be too oxidized to keep. Discard and get a fresh bottle for consistent flavor and cook time.
Types of Olive Oil
Olive oil is available in four different grades or colors. Per healthy living expert Melissa Valliant darker oils are better in cold applications but will burn easily when heated.
Their names indicate purity, but for most cooks, the thing to remember is that the lighter in color the olive oil, the more heat it can tolerate.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This is the gold standard of olive oils. It's collected by cold pressing the best olives, has a very low smoke point, and should not be used for cooking.
Instead, use this delicious oil for salads and for dipping bread, because this oil retains the flavor of the olive.
Virgin Olive Oil: Virgin oil is made in a similar process to Extra Virgin, but the olives are a bit riper when pressing virgin olive oil.
This oil can take a bit more heat if you'd like to cook with it, but take care not to heat it past the smoke point.
Burned oil is a smelly waste. Both Extra Virgin and Virgin Olive oils are loaded with anti-oxidants because they are cold processed.
Pure Olive Oil/Olive Oil: Pure Olive Oil still comes from the first press of the olives, but is heated during the blending of olive oil and virgin olive oil. This product offers fewer anti-oxidants, but will tolerate more cooking heat.
Light Olive Oil: This oil has the highest smoke point of any olive oils, so you can cook almost anything in it. The flavor of this oil is extremely light.
If you prefer not to cook with corn or canola oil, light olive oil can be used as a substitute in many baking applications as it doesn't have a strong olive flavor.
Olive oil offers many rich flavors for salads, bread dipping, or just a drizzle over soup. If you need a cooking oil, use the Light version for a high heat tolerance. Once opened, you have six months to use the oil for the best flavor and heat tolerance.