So the question has to be discussed: “How long does peanut oil last?” It is safe to say that one of the healthiest options for deep-frying and baking is peanut oil. Most home cooks keep this vegetable oil in their kitchens for infrequent use, but not all are sure how long it can keep.
Peanut oil has a 12-month shelf life if unopened. It only has a six-month shelf life before it needs to be opened.
Are you prepared to get the most use possible out of your bottle of peanut oil? Start the exciting online cooking class now!
What is Peanut Oil?
The edible peanut plant seeds are used to make peanut oil, also known as groundnut oil, a type of vegetable oil. This cooking oil is suitable for high heat cooking methods because of its high smoking point of about 450F.
This means that it’s one of the best oil varieties for deep-frying chicken, baking, and sautéing. I can only immediately recall a few oils having a higher smoke point: avocado oil, which has a smoke point of 520F, and safflower oil, which has a smoke point of 440F–520F.
Peanut oil shares similar characteristics to other vegetable oils in that it is naturally low in saturated fats, cholesterol, and trans fat. It is one of the most heart-healthy oils to include in your diet in moderation because of this and its rich source of vitamin E.
Here’s a rundown on nutritional values for one tablespoon of peanut oil:
|Saturated fat||2.3 grams|
|Monounsaturated fat||6.2 grams|
|Polyunsaturated fat||4.3 grams|
|Vitamin E||11% of the RDI|
Typically, there are two main types of peanut oils: gourmet and refined varieties, which are both made using different processes.
Given that all allergenic proteins have been eliminated during processing, refined peanut oil is made specifically for people who have a peanut allergy. Gourmet oil doesn’t go through the refining process, however. Additionally, it enhances the flavor and aroma of peanuts in stir-fried foods.
This oil is one of the best alternatives to sesame oil in a pinch because of its generally neutral, mildly nutty flavor. Additionally, it has a pale color and a nutty aroma that perfectly complements any dish, particularly when making delectable salads and Asian dishes.
Does Peanut Oil Go Bad?
In short, yes, although it won’t last forever, peanut oil does have a longer shelf life than other oils. The length of time you can keep your peanut oil around throughout each stage of using it is explained in more detail here.
1. Unopened Peanut Oil
Like other types of cooking oils, peanut oil comes with a “Best By” or “Best If Used By” date on the bottle. This is the manufacturer’s prediction for the oil’s expected shelf life, which is typically 1-2 years or longer.
The likelihood of rancidity gradually increases after the expiration date. Naturally, though, as long as you store it properly, it won’t simply go bad overnight.
When kept outside, a tightly sealed, unopened bottle of peanut oil, in case the bottle remains undamaged and there’re no signs of spoilage, it’s still good for consumption for months, if not a few years, past its expiration date.
Though peanut oil doesn’t require refrigeration for storage, you can extend its shelf life by putting it in the fridge or freezer. According to each unique brand and manufacturing process, this usually extends the oil’s shelf life to 3–4 years.
It’s significant to remember that the flavor and aroma of peanut oil tend to change after refrigeration. So refrigeration might not be the best way to store this vegetable oil if you don’t intend to store it for many years before using it.
2. Opened Peanut Oil
Once a bottle of peanut oil is opened, there is a greater chance that it will be exposed to substances that will hasten the rancidity process. Consequently, depending on the oil’s quality and how refined it was during processing, its shelf life is significantly reduced.
If stored at room temperature, like in your pantry or on the shelf, an opened bottle of peanut oil keeps well for 6 months to 1 year at maximum. Be sure to tightly shut the lid after each use to stop the oil from evaporating or spilling and to keep out unwelcome air.
And if you feel like there’s some free space in your fridge, don’t be shy to put the bottle in there. The oil’s shelf life can be extended by a few months with continuous refrigeration, which is especially useful if your bottle is getting close to expiration.
3. Used Peanut Oil
“Should I reuse the oil I used to fry my chicken?” – you might ask. Reusing peanut oil for additional deep-frying of chicken, fish, or turkey is definitely possible. This is due to the clean flavor and high smoking point of peanut oil, which prevents early spoilage and permits multiple uses.
On the other hand, though insignificantly, this kind of oil might absorb some of the flavors from the food that you fry. In order to avoid giving your chicken a fishy flavor, it is best to avoid sautéing chicken breasts in the same batch of peanut oil that you used to fry fish.
When stored properly, peanut oil can be reused up to 3-5 times before it needs to be disposed. You should use the same batch of oil within a short period of time to reduce the risk of rancidity because used oil has a much shorter shelf life than fresh oil.
After frying, strain the oil completely to remove all of the food particles, ideally using a mesh strainer for the best results. If you plan to leave it outside, shift the oil to a glass oil dispenser, seal it tightly, and it should keep well for around two weeks.
However, refrigeration is the best way to store used peanut oil because its slight stability at room temperature can cause it to spoil fairly quickly. Transfer the oil into an airtight container, put it in the fridge, and rest assured that it can last for a good three months.
Importantly, mixing used and unused oils in your kitchen should be avoided because fat should be thrown out after a few uses because of a drop in quality and flavor.
How to Tell When Peanut Oil is Bad?
Fortunately, spoiled peanut oil can be quickly identified. If you observe any of the three symptoms listed below, it’s time to either buy a new bottle or find an alternative to using peanut oil. Useless health risks and flavor changes to your food can result from attempting to use spoiled oil.
1. Unpleasant Odor
When exposed frequently to light, air, and heat, peanut oil undergoes a chemical breakdown that causes rancidity. The end result is a smell that is metallic, somewhat rank, and pungent. If you can’t smell something from a distance, you should conduct a quick odor test to see if it’s rancid.
To get a good whiff, pour a little peanut oil into a cup. If the oil is rancid, it will emit a foul odor resembling fermented or rotten fruit. It’s best to discard it right away in this situation.
Initially, refined peanut oil is a clear, slightly golden hue. Gourmet oil, however, typically has a deeper shade of brown. Your oil’s color will deteriorate and will typically darken as it gets older.
You should throw away any unused peanut oil that has a color that is noticeably darker than when you first bought it because that indicates that it has gone rancid. The color is a good indicator of how rancid something will become; the darker the color, the more rancid it becomes.
Additionally, it’s best to switch to a new batch of oil after using peanut oil for a few reuses and noticing that the oil is gradually turning darker.
3. Cloudy Consistency
It’s time to discard the peanut oil if you see that it has become cloudy, foam has formed on top of it, or the fats have begun to degrade. It’s possible that this change in clarity won’t make you sick right away, but it does indicate that the oil is no longer safe or suitable for use.
Please be aware, though, that this isn’t always the case. Storage of peanut oil at low temperatures can also lead to cloudiness. Normal solidification of chilled oil doesn’t significantly alter its flavor or quality.
After removing the bottle of peanut oil from the refrigerator, you should let it sit out at room temperature for a while so that it can revert to its liquid state before using it in cooking.
Fresh peanut oil has a flavor that is mild, unassuming, and occasionally faintly nutty. It’s time to conduct a final taste test on your bottle of peanut oil if it has been sitting around too long without being used but shows no signs of deterioration in terms of color or clarity.
To do this, add a small amount of peanut oil to a cup and warm it in your hands until it reaches room temperature. Start by putting about a tablespoon of oil in your mouth and exhaling. To fully experience it, be sure not to swallow or exhale any.
If the peanut oil still tastes great at this point, continue and incorporate it into your recipe. Toss it out, though, if the flavor is rancid or completely tasteless, such as fermented wine or fruits.
How to Properly Store Peanut Oil?
It goes without saying that a proper storage strategy has a significant impact on maintaining the quality, flavor, and freshness of peanut oil over time. Let’s look at some suggestions for maximizing the oil’s use and shelf life.
Storing Peanut Oil in the Pantry
The best location to keep peanut oil if you intend to use it frequently in your meals is in your pantry because it is there and is very convenient to have there. Both newly opened and sealed bottles fall under this description.
The peanut oil needs to be stored in a high-quality, consistently tightly-screwed container in a cool, dry, and dark location. The primary causes of the oil turning rancid over time are direct sunlight, warm temperatures, and humidity.
Given the extreme temperature changes near the stove and dishwasher, you should also pick a cabinet or pantry that is far from these appliances.
For home cooks who keep a large can of peanut oil in their kitchen, a great solution is to remove some oil in a small bottle for daily cooking and refill the bottle when it is empty. It will stay fresher for longer because you won’t have to open and shut the large can as frequently.
Storing Peanut Oil in the Refrigerator
Refrigeration may be your best option if your kitchen is cramped or if peanut oil isn’t used extensively in your cooking recipes. Make sure to transfer oil to a glass jar or another cold-resistant container before storing a bottle of oil in the refrigerator.
In the refrigerator, the oil may begin to thicken or become cloudy. But don’t worry, this is completely normal and has no impact on the flavor or quality of the product. Simply remove the oil, let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, set your kitchen timer, and watch for the oil to become clear once more.
It’s essential to confirm that the container’s lid is tightly closed after each use. This not only keeps the oil fresh but also deters frosting from growing in the refrigerator.
The same holds true for preserving peanut butter, another item made from peanuts. While the answer to “Can peanuts really go bad?” is still up to debate, there’s no doubt that improper methods means that you’ll have to find other alternatives for peanut butter soon. So be careful!
How should you actually store cooking oils in your kitchen, including peanut oil? Let’s hear it from the expert!
Can You Freeze Peanut Oil?
In general, peanut oil is more frequently viewed as a product with shelf stability. Because of this, freezing this kind of oil is a possibility but is not the best option for storage. It’s also important to note that after freezing, the flavor and aroma of the oil often change.
If you have to freeze your peanut oil, think about doing so in small batches using an ice cube tray to make later thawing simpler. These cubes can be transferred to an airtight, high-quality freezer container, such as a non-reactive metallic or glass jar, once they have reached full freezing.
Mark the day you freeze this oil as well, don’t forget. Peanut oil, like other vegetable oils, solidifies and loses clarity in the freezer, making it more difficult to tell if it has gone rancid if stored for an extended period of time.
How to Defrost Frozen Peanut Oil?
It’s very simple to defrost frozen peanut oil. If you have plenty of time to prepare dinner, just take the oil out of the freezer, place it on a sizable, attractive defrosting tray, and let it sit at room temperature until it turns back into liquid.
However, if you’re pressed for time and need to start cooking your dish right away, you can hasten this thawing by putting the oil in the microwave or a pan on the stove.
In fact, any skilled cook is aware that the molecule structure of peanut oil tends to deteriorate after thawing. Therefore, if the oil is not cooked and used right away after thawing, it will quickly turn rancid.
The Best Way to Dispose of Peanut Oil
You’ll eventually have oil that is spoiled, rancid, or just leftover that you don’t want to use.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to properly and easily dispose of used peanut oil rather than pouring it down the drain or outside on the ground, which can cause clogging or numerous wildlife issues.
Step 1: Let the Oil Cool Down Completely
Extreme dangers can arise from hot oil. Burns are greatly increased when handling hot peanut oil carelessly. You must wait until it has completely cooled before deciding how to get rid of it.
Another choice is to pour the oil into an old can and place it in the freezer for a few hours if you’d rather handle solid waste to reduce mess than liquid oil.
Step 2: Pour It into a Sealed Container
Pour cool liquid peanut oil into a solid, unbreakable container with a lid that can be closed, like an empty can or plastic bottle. If at all possible, add some absorbent materials, such as coffee grounds or food scraps, along with the oil to help absorb the liquid.
On the other hand, if the peanut oil has solidified, you can scoop it out with a spoon and place it in a plastic-lined or take-out container so that it is prepared to be used.
In both situations, it’s best to avoid using a delicate plastic bag because it could break under the weight of a lot of waste. The last thing any homeowner wants is for their trashcans to turn into a pool of sticky oil, so make sure to seal the container that you intend to throw away tightly.
Step 3: Put It into Your Waste Bin
Finally, throw the tightly sealed container containing the used peanut oil into your garbage can for food scraps. In order to completely remove the oil, make sure to wipe your cookware with a damp cloth afterward.
Here is a quick guide on how to properly get rid of cooking grease, including peanut oil!
Because of all the health benefits and adaptability that peanut oil offers, it has become one of the most popular cooking oils worldwide.
We have even more reason to adore peanut oil now that we are aware of its impressively long storage life.
So, to answer the question, does peanut oil spoil, yes.
Yes, it spoils, but if you store it properly, it should keep you going for a couple of years.