Most of us who buy our groceries in bulk know the excitement of a good discount! But we hesitate at the idea of buying a lot of oil. Cooking oil goes rancid in a few months and cannot be stored in bulk. But what if we freeze it? Will it still remain fresh and retain its flavor?
Does Cooking Oil freeze?
Yes, you can freeze cooking oil under certain conditions. It all depends on the type of oil and its composition. Some oils have a lower freezing point than others, and oils that contain a higher percentage of saturated or monounsaturated fats tend to have a higher freezing point than oils high in polyunsaturated fats.
Most cooking oils, including vegetable oil, canola oil, olive oil, and peanut oil, begin to solidify or thicken at temperatures below 32°F (0°C), but may not freeze completely unless the temperature drops further.
If stored in a very cold environment, such as a freezer, the oil may also freeze solid.
Want to know the best way to freeze it? Let’s find out.
What Happens If You Freeze Oil & Is It a Good Idea?
Freezing oil can cause damage depending on the type of oil and the duration of freezing. When oil is frozen, the fatty acids in the oil can break down and form small crystals, which can change the texture and consistency of the oil.
In addition, freezing oil for a long period of time can cause rancidity and off-flavors. This is because freezing slows, but does not completely stop, the oxidation process (contact with air) that occurs naturally in oils.
For these reasons, it is generally recommended not to freeze cooking oils whenever possible. Instead, store them in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat sources, such as a pantry or cupboard.
If you must freeze oil, it’s best to use it as soon as possible after thawing and not refreeze it.
What Oils Can Be Frozen?
You can freeze many different types of cooking oils. Most of the oils have the same procedure. But all of them freeze differently. This depends on the original consistency of each oil. Let’s take a look at how different oils freeze.
Can You Freeze Olive Oil?
Olive oil is used for cooking or even on dressings and as buttery toppings. Olive oil can be frozen for months, and the frozen herbed oil cubes can be used as toppings in soups or spread over overcooked meat or fish. It’s best to avoid freezing high-quality extra virgin olive oil, as it may lose some of its delicate flavors and aromas when frozen.
Can You Freeze Vegetable Oil?
We use vegetable oils for frying or preparing broths. It can easily freeze directly in containers or as chunks in ice-cube trays.
Can You Freeze Frying Oil?
Used frying oil is not good for storing due to the bacteria inside it and its exposure to air. But, raw frying oil can be frozen for later use. The process of oxidation that renders the oil rancid does not occur due to the absence of heat and light.
Can You Freeze Avocado Oil?
Avocado oil stays fresh for about 1 to 2 years. But, unrefined avocado oil lasts for 6 months. Upon freezing, avocado oil becomes cloudy and solidifies but this doesn’t affect the flavor any.
Can You Freeze Almond Oil?
Yes. Almond oils can be frozen and stored for many months. This increases the shelf life of the oil and also keeps the flavor intact. You can even store sweet almond oil by freezing as it tends to go rancid fast.
Can You Freeze Coconut Oil?
Yes, you can freeze coconut oil. You can store it in many portions and freeze it.
This might be also interesting: Can you freeze Coconut?
Before we go into the specific steps here some typical freezing temperatures for various cooking oils
Cooking Oil freezing Temperature
|Oil Type||Freezing Point (°F)||Important Notes|
|Canola oil||-4°F to 5 °F||The freezing point can vary based on impurities, type, and processing. Has a lower freezing point than most oils.|
|Olive oil||21 to 37 °F||Contains a high level of monounsaturated fats and has a higher freezing point than many other oils. May solidify in the refrigerator but will return to liquid form when returned to room temperature. May also become cloudy and thicker when thawed; Freezing can affect flavor and texture|
|Vegetable oil||32°F to 41 °F||Solidifies at temperatures below freezing point but may not fully freeze unless the temperature drops even lower. May become cloudy and thick when thawed; may affect texture and quality|
|Frying oil||32°F to 39 °F||Repeated heating and cooling of frying oil can cause it to break down|
|Avocado oil||32°F to 39 °F||May become cloudy and thick when thawed; may affect texture and quality|
|Peanut oil||-13°F||Has a low freezing point and can remain liquid at temperatures below freezing. May turn cloudy or solidify in the refrigerator but will return to liquid form when returned to room temperature. Freezing temperature is an assumption based on fatty acid composition.|
|Sunflower oil||-13°F to -9°F||The freezing point can vary based on impurities, type, and processing|
|Almond oil||-4°F to 14 °F||The freezing point can vary based on type and processing|
Note: This table is intended for informational purposes only and freezing temperatures may vary depending on the specific brand, the cleanliness of the product and type of oil. Always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for storing and handling cooking oils.
How To Freeze Oil
It’s a very simple process to freeze cooking oils. You can freeze any kind of oil: sunflower oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, olive oil, or rice bran oil. However, don’t freeze oil that has been cooked with, as it will go rancid quickly.
Now let’s get into how to freeze oil:
Freezing Plain Cooking Oil In Containers
Step 1: Pour Into A Freezer Container
Take your cooking oil and place it in an airtight freezer container.
Step 2: Leave Room to Expand
Fill the container only to three-quarters full of the total space so it has room to expand when in the freezer.
Step 3: Freeze
Place the container in the freezer.
Freezing Plain Cooking Oil In Chunks
Step 1: Pour Oil Into An Ice Cube Tray
Take a silicone ice tray and pour the cooking oil into it.
Step 2: Flash Freeze Tray
Place the tray in the freezer overnight.
Step 3: Remove Then Redistribute Cubes Into Bags
The next morning, remove the frozen oil cubes and place them in an airtight or freezer-safe bag.
Step 4: Freeze
Pop your bags into the freezer.
Freezing Cooking Oil With Herbs
- Stuff the silicone ice tray with herbs of your choice.
- Pour the cooking oil carefully over the herbs to fill the tray.
- Freeze them overnight and take out the cubes the next morning.
- Place the frozen oil cubes in bags and store them in the freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Oil?
You can typically freeze oil and store it for up to 2 years. It will not go rancid even while staying frozen. After thawing the cooking oil, however, it is only fresh for 3 to 4 days.
Even thawing and refreezing oil can reduce its shelf life a lot. So it is advisable to store frozen oil in small usable cubes rather than in big containers.
How To Defrost Oil
Different cooking oils are in different forms after freezing. Some oils become solid and opaque on freezing, while others have some cloudy drops and separation. This is nothing to worry about. The cloudy drops go away on heating.
Here are some ways to defrost oil based on your cooking method.
Defrosting For Dressings
In case you plan to use your oil for dressings, simply take out a frozen cube from the freezer and let it thaw. Place the cube in a container at room temperature for a while.
Defrosting For Cooking
If you directly plan to use frozen oil for cooking food, simply take the frozen oil cubes out of the freezer. Throw them directly into the pan to heat them up. You can even microwave them.
Defrosting For Toppings/ Spreads
Some oils can even be used like butter for toast toppings or for topping cooked meats. To maintain their buttery consistency, simply place the frozen chunks in the refrigerator. They thaw down a bit but still remain solid and buttery. You can easily spread them over anything then.
Can You Refreeze Oil?
Yes, you can easily refreeze cooking oil. However, refreezing affects the flavor and consistency of certain oils over time. Therefore it’s better to use up all the thawed oil at once.
Cooking oil can be stored in raw form for many months by freezing it. But, freezing oil after it’s used for cooking isn’t a good idea. Have you ever frozen oil and what were your results? Let us know below!