View Full Version : Long term storage of vegi oil.

11-05-2010, 07:00 PM
On the way home I stopped by one of these over stock discount stores and bought 30 gallons of Wesson vegetable oil for $18. These are cardboard boxes with collapsible plastic bags inside and a thumb spigot. Besides keeping them cool and in a dark place, what is best for long term storage?

11-05-2010, 07:11 PM
My understanding (I may be wrong) is that unopened vegetable oil stores for about a year or two. I suppose the cooler the better.

11-05-2010, 07:15 PM
Crash is right according to O Chef. At least a year unopend. 4-6 months opened.


11-05-2010, 09:39 PM
What happens after a year does it spoil , And I guess after a year it could be used as a fuel sorce.

11-05-2010, 10:07 PM
over time, oil spoils [becomes rancid] by what i believe is an oxidation reaction. this reaction is known [not speculating on this point] to increase with exposure to atmospheric oxygen [such as at the surface of an opened container, through the walls of a plastic container], increase in temperature and exposure to some spectra of radiation such as Ultraviolet.

storage in a cool dark environment will dramatically extend the shelf life, while storage in exposure to ambient natural light, direct light or warm and hot temperatures will dramatically shorten it. e.g. sitting in a plastic bottle, having been previously opened on the top of the stove [frequently exposed to warm temps from cooking], in the line of sight of a window that gets sunlight is probably the worst storage condition, and in a narrow glass bottle in the refrigerator or dark, cool cupboard/cellar is a very good one.

when oil becomes rancid, it develops a characteristically funky smell [i find it similar to some varnishes/wood finishes], an acrid aftertaste and is at least a hypothetical carcinogen, though as far as i know, research is inconclusive.

you can always tell it's starting to go off by smell. when the smell is only very mild, you know you better use it up soon, and the taste won't be bad. anybody who has ever bought a really old bag of corn chips at an out of the way convenience store will know how nasty it is when it's very rancid.

11-05-2010, 10:15 PM
[disclaimer: i'm not one of those anti junk food nuts who thinks proccessed and mishandled foods are out to kill you, but there are realities about some food substances that can ultimately help give you cancer. when they are as simple as paying attention to your cooking oil, they are a small measure worth taking.]


11-05-2010, 10:24 PM
At the price I got it for, if it goes bad I can use it to light slash fires. Thanks for the information.

11-05-2010, 10:28 PM
or make castile soap. or lamp fuel.

i've even got a bacon fat burning qulliq out in my workshop.

11-05-2010, 10:32 PM
Thank you Canid for the info

11-05-2010, 10:35 PM
or make castile soap. or lamp fuel.

Definitely agree. There is actually a lot one could do with it. I got it so cheap though that it would not hurt my feelings to use it in a wasteful manner if I had too. Not that I would want to, but I am not going to cry over it if I had to.

11-05-2010, 10:39 PM
CanID is a man after my own heart, tho I must admit, I've used the same fish grease for months and it never went bad. I think ultimately you just want to keep it in an airtight container that is solid, so no light passes.
even if a little scum forms, skim it off, the oil still smells good, we use it. Of course I could get a cancer from it in a few more years, but hey, it could've been the mercury in the fish I was eating too...

I would say that even used oil, properly stored would be good for 4 months if you don't burn it. past that, it has a lot of practical applications, from soap to lamp fuel. Around here it wouldn't go to waste.