Coconut oil, with its diverse uses, is a popular cooking ingredient in the tropical areas around the world; mostly, it is used as a common source of fat. Coconut oil is a kind of oil that has a wide variety of uses. However, if you use coconut oil as a regular ingredient in your cooking, you must know about how long it lasts, conditions for storing coconut oil, as well as how to identify whether your oil is spoiled or not. If you use it, you may want to know how to store coconut oil so that it lasts long.
Tips to Identify if Coconut Oil is Bad, Spoiled or Rotten?
The practice of applying proper techniques of hygiene as well as food safety ensures you will avoid food borne illness and lead a long, happy life.
Before we see how to store coconut oil, we need to learn how we can identity if coconut oil is bad, spoiled or rotten. The spoiled oil will have a rancid odor that you may observe when you open the jar of coconut oil. You will also see that the white color begins to fade and a yellow tinge appears in the oil. Extra virgin or virgin coconut oil are those varieties of coconut oil, which last for a considerable time, even after the best-by date mentioned by the manufacturer; usually it lasts for additional 3 to 5 years past the printed expiry date however manufacturers claim that the oil lasts forever. Obviously, you will be exposed to some health risks if you consume spoiled food, therefore try to enjoy foods before the expiry of its shelf life.
Coconut oil is suitable as well as stable oil; you can store the oil in your pantry or shelf for two years. Though, its shelf life depends on the seasonal changes as well as the indoor temperature to determine whether the coconut oil will be in a liquid or a solid state. Alternatively, you may also refrigerate the oil, but it will become hard and you will find it difficult to use the oil. When you store the oil in your pantry, it works best as a spread because you can simply scoop and spread it; the transition from solid to liquid state several times in a day does not hamper the quality or reduce the shelf life of the coconut oil.
How to Store Coconut Oil and Increase Its Shelf Life
You can store coconut oil in your pantry. You need to store it in warmer climates if the oil is in a liquid state or at a cool place if the oil is in a solid state. Either way of storage will not affect its quality. Although the refrigerator is a good storage place for coconut oil, it is less recommended because the oil becomes hard and makes it difficult for people to use it.
Benefits of storing coconut oil properly include healthy eating, reduction of food expenses and maintaining a healthy environment by preventing waste.
Coconut oil begins to melt at 76°F. Hence, coconut oil is one of the very few cooking mediums that frequently change its state around the year. Its quality is not affected by the fluctuating indoor temperature. However, it does not imply that coconut oil has a lesser shelf life. It boasts a slightly longer shelf life compared to other cooking oils and it can be stored at the room temperature up to 2 years; it does not require any special treatment.
1. Storage Containers
You can also store coconut oil in a plastic or glass container. Generally, it is recommended to use a glass container because you will avoid the risk of leaching. However, even among plastic storage containers, you must opt for BPA-free containers to avoid the reaction of harmful compounds with coconut oil. Although, coconut oil is able to withstand greater temperatures while cooking, you must avoid direct exposure of coconut oil into sunlight, especially if you store it in the plastic container.
2. Bulk Storage
People usually buy large quantities of coconut oil to save money. Coconut oil is sold in bulk increments of 5 pounds; therefore, you must prepare well in advance to store these big containers of oil to maintain its safety and health properties. Firstly, you must melt the total quantity of oil in a big pot and allow the fiber and oil to mix thoroughly. You can divide it into smaller portions of coconut oil and store it in smaller containers that are food-safe. Pints and quarts are the ideal size for storing coconut oil. Individual portions can be poured into ice cubes’ tray and stored by placing these trays in the freezer or the refrigerator to save time.
True, you can store coconut oil in your refrigerator but it is a rare option. You must be careful because the oil will turn hard if you store it permanently in the fridge. However, if the oil is in its liquid form, you can pour it into a jar and refrigerate the jar for one or two hours to get a softer consistency.
Learning how to store coconut oil is an important aspect to enjoy its excellent benefits. Follow the tips and have a healthy life.
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