You have bought a special chili and garlic-infused olive oil from your weekly trips to the grocers. You rarely use chili oils while cooking, except for the occasional Chinese or Italian. So you wonder if you can freeze your olive oil and use it over the next year.
So, can you freeze olive oil? Yes, it is possible to freeze olive oil and it will easily unfreeze and return to its normal state. But do defrost it at normal temperatures instead of heating it.
However, does olive oil lose its taste or smell if it goes bad? Does the consistency change? There are many such questions and more that people face before freezing olive oil. Let’s check them all out below:
What Happens If Olive Oil Freezes?
Freezing olive oil is a great way of preserving it. Frozen olive oil, when thawed, still retains its original, rich flavor. It is still good for cooking or garnishing.
It is better to freeze olive oil by separating it into cubes. Bulk freezing would mean thawing it every time we need to use just a little and oil does really not like being defrosted and refrozen.
Freezing olive oil has many advantages, and it helps in preserving it over a long time.
- It is easy to thaw and re-use for any time.
- Olive oil can be stored and used over long periods.
- You can add herbs and lock their flavor into the oil after freezing it.
Re-freezing and thawing olive oil can affect it over time.
- The quality of the oil can be affected if re-frozen a lot over time.
- Frozen olive oil can lose its taste over time.
- If a freezer burn occurs, it will severely damage the oil, and the oil ends up losing its texture.
How To Freeze Olive Oil
It’s pretty easy to freeze oil these days. It can be frozen in bulk or cubes or even with herbs. Here are some ways to do it.
Freezing Olive Oil In Bulk:
- Pour some olive oil into plastic containers.
- Keep them in the freezer for a few days.
- Defrost the container whenever olive oil is needed
Freezing Olive Oil In Chunks:
- Take a silicone ice-cube tray and fill it with olive oil.
- Cover the tray and place it in the freezer.
- Flash freeze the tray for a few hours.
- Remove the tray from the freezer
- Remove the different cubes and now put them in a freezer-safe ziplock bag or airtight container.
Freezing Olive Oil with herbs or spices:
- Mince the herbs and spices and mix them into olive oil.
- Heat the oil until there is a slight fragrance.
- Now cool the oil quickly in a bowl of ice water and pour it into ice-cube trays.
- Place the tray or containers in the freezer.
- Flash freeze the tray.
- Remove the tray from the freeze, and move the frozen chunks of olive oil into airtight freezer bags
- Pop these bags into the freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Olive Oil?
Olive oil can be frozen for as long as 12 to 18 months. Scientists have found that freezing olive oil improves its fragrance. Once you defrost and thaw olive oil, its shelf life is good only for a few days. It will remain fresh for 3 to 4 days, after which it goes rancid.
This is why it’s best to freeze in small chunks.
How Do You Defrost Olive Oil?
Depending on how you are going to use it, there are many ways of defrosting olive oil. Most people prefer to thaw it first by placing it at room temperature for a while.
Here are some more methods:
Defrosting Olive Oil For Direct Cooking
For frying or directly using it for cooking, olive oil cubes can be used directly from the freezer. The pan’s heat melts the frozen cubes quickly. There is no need to thaw it beforehand.
Defrosting Olive Oil For Using It In A Cold Dish
Olive oil is mainly thawed at room temperatures when used in large quantities. It can even be used in cold dishes later on. Smaller cubes can be placed in a small bowl and thawed.
Defrosting Olive Oil For A Buttery Consistency
Some of us like the buttery consistency of olive oil on dishes. Olive oil cubes when placed in refrigerators ensures their semi-solid state. They are easy to then spread over pieces of bread.
Freezing Different Types Or Variations Of Olive Oil
Delicious olive oil is available in different flavors and styles. They can even be solidified and stored with the consistency of butter. Here is how we can freeze different types of olive oil:
Can You Freeze Olive Oil And Herbs?
Yes, many homes freeze olive oil infused with herbs and spices. They are deliciously flavorful and aromatic after defrosting.
- Add the herbs and spices to the olive oil.
- Now heat it in a pan slowly until the aroma of the herbs and spices start oozing.
- Cool the oil down over some ice or use ice water.
- Store it in ice-tray cubes or plastic containers and freeze them.
Can You Freeze Olive Oil Spread?
Olive oil spread can be made by solidifying the oil slowly in the refrigerator at 40o C. You can even thaw frozen olive oil to a buttery consistency.
- Freeze olive oil in ice-cube trays or plastic containers in the freezer.
- Once frozen, take them out and place them in a bowl in the refrigerator.
- They will thaw slightly while retaining the buttery consistency.
- You can easily use this as an olive oil spread.
Can You Freeze The Olive Oil Dressing?
As olive oil still retains its amazing flavor even after freezing, it can be frozen as a dressing too.
- Prepare your olive oil dressing and pour it in silicon ice-tray dishes.
- Place the trays in the freezers and remove them after a day.
- Place the frozen cubes in airtight pouches for later use.
Best Tips For Freezing Olive Oil
There are a few tricks that will make sure your olive oil freezes alright. These are great to even avoid freezer burn. We all know how bad rancid olive oil smells.
- Before freezing herbs with the oil, make sure to wash and dry them thoroughly.
- While freezing olive oil in plastic containers or airtight bags, only fill 3/4th of the space with oil. Leave the rest free to avoid freezer burn.
- Label the frozen bags of herbed olive oil cubes to avoid confusion.
Olive Oil Ideas Or Simple/ Favorite Recipe(s)
Many delicious recipes are made with yummy frozen olive oil cubes. Try some of these finger-licking recipes for a unique experience.
- Summer Gazpacho
After blending in the ingredients of the gazpacho, serve it in a bowl. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over it. Add some olive oil ice cubes to serve it chilled.
- Toppings for bread, fish, or beef
Semi-solid buttery olive oil can be used as a great topping over hot potatoes, toast, or cooked beef or fish.
Now, you don’t have to worry about your stock of olive oils going rancid. All you need to do is pop them into the freezer to preserve them. The flavor and consistency of olive oil remains intact on freezing. So, whenever you want to use it, simply thaw or melt it in a pan, and you are good to go! Do let us know with your comments and likes if you liked the tips given above.