Does Canola Oil Go Bad?

Canola oil is a popular oil known for being a healthy oil that is low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat which can lower your risk of heart disease by improving cholesterol. You may be wondering if it can go bad. Read on to find out.

Canola oil can and does go bad. This will most likely occur after the bottle has been opened or if it has been improperly stored. Unopened canola oil should last for about 1 to 2 years depending on storage conditions.  Opened canola oil is good for about a year. If the oil smells or tastes funny, it would be best to throw it out.


Opened or unopened, you may be wondering how long your canola oil is good for. Additionally, you may want to know the best way of storing it to make it last longer. Read on to find the answer to all of those questions.

Does Canola Oil Go Bad? How Long Does Canola Oil Last?

Similar to most other oils, canola oil has a pretty long shelf life. Keep reading to find out how long it lasts in different storage locations.

How Long Does Canola Oil Last Outside?

Canola oil, both opened and unopened, can be left on the counter but is best kept in a location such as a pantry or a cabinet.

Unopened canola oil will last for up to 2 years if stored in a pantry. If you don’t have a food pantry, store it in a cupboard or somewhere dark.

Opening canola oil and exposing it to oxygen will shorten the shelf life of the oil but even then, stored in a pantry it can remain good for up to a year.

How Long Does Canola Oil Last In The Fridge?

You can store canola oil in the refrigerator, however, it may congeal. This does not mean it has gone bad. It will simply need to warm back up to return to its liquid state.

Storing canola oil in the fridge will not lengthen its shelf life. Unopened bottles of canola oil stored in the fridge can last 1 to 2 years.

Opened canola oil stored in the fridge has the same shelf life as opened oil stored that has been stored in the pantry and that is 1 year.

How Long Does Canola Oil Last In The Freezer?

Freezing canola oil isn’t recommended. It will freeze and its shelf life will not be extended. If you keep it in the freezer, it will be at its best quality for about a year.

However, there is a downside to freezing your oil. Freezing oil can change the structure of the oil which can shorten the shelf life once it has been thawed out.

When freezing, it does not make a difference if the oil is opened or unopened. If you do choose to freeze it, make sure it is in a tightly sealed container.

As you can see, the best option for storing canola oil is in a pantry. They can be stored in the fridge and maintain the same shelf life. Storing it in the freezer is not ideal for canola oil.

How To Tell If Canola Oil Has Gone Bad/How To Know If Canola Oil Is Fresh

There are ways to tell if your canola oil is good. If it has been properly stored, it should remain good for quite some time.

Best by date: If your canola oil has been properly stored, you can check the “best by” date located on the bottle. This will be a good indication of whether or not your oil is good.

As a result of improper storage or long storage time, your oil could begin to go bad. Here are some ways to check it to see if it’s still good.

Smell it: The first way is to smell it. If it has gone bad, it will smell rancid. If it smells metallic, bitter, or soapy, you should get rid of it.

Feel it: If you can’t tell by smelling it, pour a little on your finger and see if it is tacky or sticky. If it does, throw it out.

Look at it: A change in color can be a sign that the canola oil is going bad. If it begins to turn a darker color or starts growing mold, it is no good.

Taste it: Similar to telling oil is bad by smell, sampling a small taste can tell you if it is bad. Bad canola oil will taste a little sour or similar to wine.

How To Store Canola Oil

Canola oil should be stored a certain way to make sure it keeps its quality for longer.

Store in a cool, dark place: Canola oil should be stored away from light and heat. It shouldn’t be kept in windows or near appliances. Heat and light speed up oxidation and reduce the quality of the canola oil.

Store in an airtight container: Canola should be stored in an airtight container made of either glass or plastic. Similar to heat and light, air exposure speeds up oxidation.

Where do I keep it? The best place to keep canola oil either opened or unopened is in a pantry or cupboard that is away from appliances and has a door that can be closed.

Can You Freeze Canola Oil?

If you ever want to freeze canola oil, while not recommended, it can be done. Follow this quick and easy guide to freezing canola oil.

Keep it in its original container: Canola oil can come in glass or plastic containers of various sizes. It is best to keep it tightly sealed in the original container when freezing.

Keep it airtight: If it has been opened, or if for any reason it cannot be frozen in its original container, make sure the lid seals tightly and properly to prevent air from getting in and oil from leaking out.

Place in the freezer: Place the container upright in the freezer. It will not freeze like ice but it will solidify

How To Thaw Canola Oil

Thawing canola oil is a breeze. There are a couple of ways to accomplish this.

Let it thaw naturally: Remove the canola oil from the freezer and let it sit on the counter to come to room temperature. As it heats up, it will return to a liquid state.

Warm bath: If you need it to thaw out quicker, you can stick the bottle of canola oil in a bath of warm water. This will speed up the process.

Frequently Asked Questions About Canola Oil’s Shelf Life

If you still have questions about canola oil and how long it lasts, see the answers to some frequently asked questions.

Why is there stuff floating in my canola oil? Even at room temperature, canola oil can congeal. It is even more common when it turns cold. In the winter, in your house and at the store, you may notice what looks like wax balls floating in the oil or settling in the bottom. This is nothing to worry about and will return to liquid when it is warmed.

I keep my oil in a cruet. Does that affect shelf life? The degradation of canola oil is affected by light, heat, and air. A cruet that does not allow light will maintain the quality of the oil longer. Most cruets are sat on the counter so make sure to keep them out of direct sunlight and away from warm appliances like the stove and microwave. Those precautions should keep the oil good for about 6 months.

Whether you love canola oil for cooking, marinades, or on salads, you now know how to properly store it to ensure it lasts as long as possible.

Leave a Reply