I bet the moment you had your first peanut oil encounter, you drifted into a world of unmatched aroma, all packed in a drop. You are one among many. The joys and benefits that follow after you stock your kitchen shelf with a jar or bottle of peanut oil are endless.
In fact, the commercial food industry has peanut oil profiled high as their favorite ingredient due to its versatility. Sadly certain unforeseen circumstances could suddenly limit your regular usage of peanut oil.
For instance, you could, for one reason or another, switch to a temporary dietary plan that does not accommodate any oil, or you could be hosting a guest(s) who are on a long stay and may not like the nutty flavor of peanut oils in the food you serve them.
So, what next if you find yourself in scenarios similar to the one illustrated above but had a large stock of peanut oil? Do you have to watch the rodents throwing a feast over your wasted bottle of nutty magic at your garbage bin?
Fortunately, the answer is no. Aside from its nutty flavor and other nutritional properties that it possesses, peanut oil pretty much behaves the same as ordinary vegetable oil when it comes to its shelf-life.
If you picked it from a retail store, you would be better guided by the expiry date, as stated on its container. However, do not panic if your oil is barely halfway used when its expiry is due.
With proper handling, peanut oil can last way past the estimated expiry date inscribed on its bottle. When used on an occasional basis but is properly stored, it can serve you for even a year past its expiry date.
Extracting the oil from the peanut yourself could mean saving money but at the expense of the oil’s shelf life. Homemade peanut oil can also serve for a considerably long time; some months shy the commercial peanut oil’s shelf life, depending on your storage mode. However, the commercial peanut oil still emerges as the better option as far as longer shelf life is concerned.
If you have to use home-made peanut oil, make sure you do not produce it in large amounts. A little every few months could do. However, your level of usage should inform the rate at which you should process your nuts.
So, what if your stock of peanut oil is still abundant, long past its recommended time of storage? Can it really spoil beyond validity? Let’s find out below;
Without a doubt, we will be on the same lane when I state that it would be quite unusual to find expired peanut oil in your kitchen cabinet or pantry unless you are on a strict cholesterol-free diet. This is because of its long shelf life against its large variety of uses in different dishes.
If you are fond of adding oil to every single dish you plate, your bottle of peanut oil will see the bin even before you begin to imagine that it can go bad. But what if you decide to host a big function, and it gets canceled right after you have purchased large volumes of your peanut oil, amongst other items?
Do you need to worry about its shelf life alongside other raw food items? If the amount is much more than you can consume domestically in years, you need to get concerned.
Like any other form of oil, peanut oil can get to its limits in terms of value and usability. Undoubtedly, you will be worried about the wastage of your precious commodity, not only because of your value for money but also your unfamiliarity with signs of oil spoilage.
The signs of bad peanut oil are pretty simple to identify. If you have used it for a considerably long time, it is obvious that by now, you have become accustomed to its nutty smell. You can, therefore, discern change at the slightest shift in appearance. Usually, peanut oil that has gone bad will have a distinctive, unpleasant, yet mild smell.
The second sign to look out for is a color change. Fresh peanut oil tends to have a reflective golden-brown translucent color. When used or recycled over a long time, it will change slightly to a darker shade of brown and lessen its translucency.
But when it signals hazard, it will have turned from its original golden-brown color to almost black color. At this point, do not hesitate to discard it. In case you find it hard to distinguish the changes, I would recommend that you throw it away about a year after its expiry is due.
However, this is more applicable if you are certain that you have observed all the recommended measures of storage. At this point, you might be uncertain about how to ensure proper storage to facilitate a longer shelf life.
By now, you probably have enjoyed the multiple benefits of using peanut oil over other available options in the market. So you want your oil to serve you for the longest time possible, right? Well, how well peanut oil keeps highly relies on how well you interact with it. By this, I mean the environment and temperature conditions you expose it to.
But even before we get to understand the science behind the degradation of your peanut oil’s goodness and how to counter it, there are a few technical hacks that can help prevent wastage of a few drops that could save you a few coins.
As you may attest to, peanut oil is not a cheap commodity. So you want to avoid spillage at any cost. Make sure you cover your oils container as tightly as you can after you are done using it. This will also be quite a helpful hack in cases where you accidentally kick your bottle and fall, risking the unimaginable.
Also, suppose the manufacturer of your favorite brand of peanut oil you use has not factored in the need for a bottle cap with a narrow, elongated nasal for regulation during pouring. In that case, you can improvise by making a small hole through the lead. This will ensure little or no wastage.
Other than that, ensure that you keep your oil as far away from heating areas of your kitchen as possible. It is advisable to store it in your pantry or the lockable kitchen cabinets furthest from your cooking stove. While there, ensure that your bottle is covered tightly to avoid contamination from any decomposing agents that could be lurking in the atmosphere.
The most favorable temperatures around which you should store your stock of peanut oil are room temperature. Above that, you could be risking your oil decaying.
UV light is also a bad contributing factor that you should prevent your golden ingredient from by all means. Direct exposure to sun rays will render the oil perishable after oxidation. So why not reserve the darkest spot in your pantry for the storage of your flavorful oil?
For the sake of economic factors, or even depending on how frequently you need to use peanut oil, you may want to have it in bulk. This is where the need for the most suitable method of keeping large amounts for an extremely long time comes to play.
As you gamble ideas, the refrigerator must have crossed your mind somehow. This brings us to the question- is it safe to store peanut oil in a fridge? The golden answer about the golden ingredient is YES.
In fact, when your refrigerator is working well and is free of contamination, the oil can last for up to 4 years. Even better, its quality does not change even after such a long time of storage under such extreme temperatures. What a relief!
How about freezing? Unless you suspect that your oil could be some days or a few weeks away from going bad, usually, there will be no need to freeze your peanut oil, thanks to its usual long shelf life.
In case you are determined to stop its aging process, then storing it in a freezer is quite a good idea.
To safely store peanut oil in the freezer, filter the oil, pour the oil into a freezer-friendly container (one that can withstand the harsh low temperatures of a freezer and cannot allow through light), seal the bottle tightly, leaving some allowance between the top level of the oil and the lid for expansion.
To wrap up, make sure you attach a label that clearly indicates the date of storage. In case you are wondering why a label is necessary, this is why; most of the time, you will want to freeze your oil because you want to preserve it over a long period.
Therefore, the chances of forgetting the date of storage over time are very high. The tag will help inform you of the appropriate time to retrieve it. Do not allow a few avoidable setbacks to keep you from the convenience of having your peanut oil in bulk!]]>