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

Coconut oil is a useful and very popular food item to enjoy. You might be wondering how long your coconut oil is going to last; read on to find out!

Quick Answer

While coconut oil doesn’t spoil as easily as other foods, it can go bad.

  • Both refined and extra virgin coconut oil last for about the same amount of time.
  • The pantry is the ideal place to keep coconut oil; it will keep for three to six months this way.
  • Coconut oil doesn’t need to be refrigerated to be kept good.
  • Frozen coconut oil will last for several months.

Coconut oil’s shelf life is an interesting one among other foods. Let’s explore some of the different ways you might think about keeping your coconut oil.

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

When kept and handled properly, coconut oil can last for several months. Depending on your circumstances, you might consider keeping your coconut oil in one of the following ways.

How Long Does Coconut Oil Last Outside?

Coconut oil doesn’t need to be kept cold, so it’s pretty easy to keep outside, if you wish to do so. It’s important to consider the climate of your location when keeping your coconut oil outside. Coconut oil won’t go bad if it gets cold, but it will cause it to become very firm and harder to use.

Try to avoid keeping your coconut oil in direct sunlight, or in a place where the temperature might fluctuate a lot over the course of the day. Preferably, your coconut oil shouldn’t be exposed to any light at all. Make sure you keep it in a dry location as well, and sealed tight.

If kept properly, your coconut oil can last for three to six months outside after the best by date stamped on the jar. Once this timeframe has passed, your coconut oil won’t necessarily spoil, but the quality will deteriorate.

How Long Does Coconut Oil Last in the Fridge?

There’s no need to keep your coconut oil in the fridge. Coconut oil is completely shelf-stable, so it can stay perfectly fresh and safe when kept in a temperature-stable environment, such as in a cellar or in your pantry.

If you put coconut oil in the fridge, it won’t necessarily ruin it, but it will cause it to become very firm and hard to use. If you’re reading this article after you’ve already put your coconut oil in the fridge, don’t fret. It isn’t ruined, but you should take it out of the fridge and store it somewhere else.

You can keep your coconut oil in the fridge if you really want to, but there’s no benefit to doing so and you’re only going to create more hassle for yourself.

How Long Does Coconut Oil Last in the Freezer?

Like with refrigeration, coconut oil doesn’t need to be kept in the freezer. It can last for an extremely long time otherwise, so putting it in the freezer won’t necessarily do anything extra for it like freezing does with other foods.

However, if you plan on keeping your coconut oil for a very long time and don’t want it taking up room in your pantry forever, you can freeze it. When frozen, coconut oil will last for several months, just like when it’s on the shelf.

Now you know all about how long coconut oil will last outside, in the fridge, and in the freezer. Let’s move on to talking about how to tell if your coconut oil has gone sour.

How to Tell if Your Coconut Oil Has Gone Bad?

While coconut oil doesn’t spoil as easily as a lot of other foods, it can still go bad if improperly stored or handled. Here are some ways that you can tell if your coconut oil has gone bad and needs to be thrown out. As always, when in doubt, throw it out.

Looks: If your coconut oil has any obvious signs of mold, it’s gone bad. You might see some people suggest that you can just scrape off the mold and use the oil as normal; this isn’t necessarily safe, since mold can be present on other parts of the coconut oil and still not be visible. In addition, brown or green particles may form on the bottom of the coconut oil, or the oil might turn a yellowish color. These are both signs that your coconut oil has gone bad.

Smell: As with many foods, if your coconut oil has a funny or sour smell to it, then it most likely has gone rancid. If the smell coming from your jar of coconut oil is unexpected or unusual, and you’ve had the jar for a while or may have exposed it to too much light or heat, throw it out.

Taste: If your coconut oil has passed the other tests and you’re still not sure if it’s good or not, give it a taste test. If it tastes off, it may be beginning to go sour.

How Should You Store Coconut Oil?

You know that you can keep your coconut oil outside, in the fridge, or freezer for so long, and how to tell if it has gone bad. Now, let’s talk about how to make sure you’re storing it in the correct way.

Keep it sealed tight: It’s very important that your coconut oil is not exposed to oxygen, as this can cause it to go bad. Keep the container it’s in sealed as tightly as possible to prevent unwanted exposure to open air.

Keep it cool: Keep your coconut oil in a place that doesn’t experience hot temperatures. Coconut oil doesn’t do well at all when exposed to heat, and you’re risking its shelf stability by doing so. If you’re struggling to come up with a cool place, a dark and dry place in your cellar might work.

How to Freeze Coconut Oil?

We established above that you can in fact freeze coconut oil, so how do you do it? Let’s talk about it so that you know exactly how to keep your coconut oil in perfect condition for months.

Do you really need to?: Really ask yourself if you really need to freeze your coconut oil before you do. It’s a lot of extra hassle for not a lot of gain; coconut oil will last for a very long time without being kept cold, and stays in best condition when kept at room temperature. So even though you can freeze coconut oil without necessarily ruining it, make sure you really want to.

Freezer-safe container: Keep your coconut oil in a freezer safe container when freezing it. Before putting the container in the freezer, make sure it’s sealed tight and labeled with the date of initial freezing, so you can reference it down the line and know for sure how long your coconut oil has been in there for.

How to Thaw Coconut Oil?

Now that you know how to freeze your coconut oil, it’s time to learn how to thaw it back out again when you’re ready to consume it.

There’s one simple way to thaw out coconut oil. When you’re ready to use it, simply remove it from the freezer and from the freezer-safe container that it’s in. Leave it out at room temperature for a bit, and it should thaw out and return to a usable state.

If you’ve put your coconut oil in the fridge, you can use this same method to bring it back into a more usable state. It should only take a few minutes to restore your coconut oil after it has been refrigerated.

Frequently Asked Questions About Coconut Oil’s Shelf Life

Is the best-by date on my coconut oil the same as an expiration date? No, it isn’t. A best-by date is a suggestion for when the coconut oil should be used by to maintain the highest quality. An expiration date tells you that you must use the product by that date, or else it has gone bad. Use your coconut oil’s use-by date as a guide, along with the information in this article. Coconut oil that is stored properly will last for three to six months past the best-by date.

How should I handle my coconut oil to keep it in good condition? Make sure you’re always using clean utensils to scoop out your coconut oil, as coconut oil can be contaminated easily and will go bad as a result. In addition, make sure no foreign liquids or foods get inside the container with your coconut oil in it.

Wrap Up

Coconut oil is a bit of a unique food to store, but it’s one that’s not too difficult once you understand what to do. Keep the information in this article handy, and you’ll be enjoying your coconut oil for many months! Remember to keep your coconut oil cool, and that it doesn’t need to be frozen to enjoy a super long shelf life.

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