Grape seed oil is an extremely versatile and useful item in any kitchen, though it can be difficult to know if it goes bad and what the shelf life of the oil is. If you plan on using grape seed oil in your kitchen you will need to know how to keep it from spoiling.
Grape seed oil, like all cooking oils, will eventually go rancid over time as exposure to oxygen causes the chemicals the oil to go bad. Once opened, grape seed oil will only last six months at most before it begins to go rancid, and even in a sealed bottle grape seed oil can expire in a little over six months after the best-by date.
Grape seed oil can last a very long time in the right conditions, but for that to happen you need to know how to store and use the oil.
Does Grape Seed Oil Go Bad? How Long Does Grape Seed Oil Last?
Grape seed oil does have a noticeably short shelf life compared to other cooking oils, so it is important to know how long it lasts in different conditions.
How Long Does Grape Seed Oil Last Outside
The shelf life of grape seed oil depends on whether or not it has been unsealed, as the seal on olive oil is designed to protect it from oxidizing and becoming rancid from exposure to air.
Until it is opened, grape seed oil can last up to six months past the best-by date, meaning that grape seed oil can easily survive for months if you don’t open them up until you get close to the best by date.
Once it grape seed oil is opened, however, it will only last another six months at most past that point, and will likely go bad before that if you use it regularly.
How Long Does Grape Seed Oil Last in the Fridge
The cold and tightly sealed space of a fridge can extend the life of unopened grape seed oil, but it is less helpful for oil that is already opened.
The refrigerator can keep unopened grape seed oil fresh for up to a year past the expiration date, meaning that grape seed oil can actually last more than a year in the fridge.
At the same time, opened grape seed oil only lasts six months at most, the same as outside the refrigerator, but grape seed is more likely to keep the entire time in the refrigerator than in the pantry.
How Long Does Grape Seed Oil Last in the Freezer
Freezing grape seed oil is a bad idea for a variety of reasons, the first of which being that freezing oil actually does very little to stop oil from going bad so putting the oil in the freezer is pointless.
In fact, prolonged freezing can actually cause grape seed oil to become unstable at room temperature, as the chemicals that make up the oil do not react well to extreme cold.
While freezing grape seed oil isn’t guaranteed to ruin the oil, it does provide no benefits to its shelf life and can be dangerous long term, so you should keep your oil away from the freezer.
Opened grape seed oil can last from six months to a year past the best-by date, but opened grape seed oil will only last six months at most.
How To Tell If Grape Seed Oil Has Gone Bad / How To Know Grape Seed Oil is Fresh
When grape seed oil goes bad there are very few obvious clues to give away the state of the oil, and there are some traits of grape seed oil that might look like spoilage but are actually perfectly natural. It is important to know the difference between these traits so that you don’t accidentally use bad oil, or throw away good oil.
Bad Odor. The only way to tell is your grape seed oil has gone bad is to check it smell and taste, since oil can only go bad by oxidizing and this has no effect on the appearance of the oil. It does, however, turn the taste and aroma of oil rancid, so unpleasant oil that tastes or smells awful has likely gone bad.
Solid Chunks. If your entire bottle of grape seed oil has congealed, you should throw it out, but if you only have a few flecks or solid chunks in the liquid then you should be fine, especially if you keep your oil somewhere cold. These small solids are just parts of the oil that solidify or separate faster than the other ingredients, and are harmless.
Milky Color. Just like with chunks, while this is generally a bad sign in other foods you shouldn’t worry about this in oil, as long as the problem is small. As oil cools and settles its ingredients begin to separate, creating milky or opaque streaks in the oil that might look like rot but are actually perfectly safe.
How to Store Grape Seed Oil?
Grape seed oil already has a rather short shelf life for cooking oil, and this can be made even worse by not storing the oil properly. The chemicals in grape seed oil react negatively to heat, light, and moisture, which can cause a bottle to go bad much faster than normal under these conditions.
You need a cool, dark spot. Oil goes rancid faster when exposed to heat and light, since this causes the chemicals in the oil to react, so keeping your grape seed oil away from these conditions is key. Pantries and cupboards are all great places to keep oil since they are not only cool and dark, but will be relatively close to your kitchen.
Can You Freeze Grape Seed Oil? How?
Grape seed oil can be frozen if you place it in the freezer, but you should avoid freezing grape seed oil as it is not only useless for long term preservation but can actually damage the oil. Because of this, you should keep grape seed oil away from any temperatures that might be cold enough to freeze it.
Freezing doesn’t preserve the oil. No matter how thoroughly you freeze grape seed oil it does not increase the shelf life by any noticeable degree. You may get a few extra days out of frozen grape seed oil, but considering how hard it is to thaw frozen oil and the other threat freezing poses it is hardly worth the risk.
Extreme cold can damage oil. While grape seed oil won’t go bad the second it freezes, the longer it spends in a frozen state the more likely it is to go bad. This is because the cold damages the chemicals in the oil that make it useful, and the longer the oil remains frozen the more it breaks down and becomes unusable.
How to Thaw Grape Seed Oil?
Since freezing can be dangerous for grape seed oil in the long term, you should know how to unfreeze grape seed oil safely.
You shouldn’t try to heat the oil manually, as cooking oil is highly flammable, so instead you should let it thaw slowly over a few days in the refrigerator.
Frequently Asked Questions About Grape Seed Oil’s Shelf Life
There is more to understanding grape seed oil than simply knowing how to store it and how long it will last when stored properly. Grape seed oil is an interesting cooking ingredient with a variety of uses both in and out of the kitchen, so this article will take a look at two common questions about grape seed oil and answer them.
How should I use grape seed oil? Grape seed oil has relatively little natural flavor and a high smoke point, meaning that it burns at higher temperatures than regular plant oil. This makes grape seed oil great for frying, baking, searing, and grilling foods that call for oil, but might pick up an off flavor from other ingredients.
Is grape seed oil healthy? Grape seed oil is, in some ways, healthier than other cooking oils because it is lower in fat and high in vitamin E, but it also has drawbacks. Grape seed oil is high omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause inflammation, as well as cholesterol, so the oil is not a healthy alternative in every case.
Grape seed oil is a useful item to have around the kitchen, but it can go bad quickly if you don’t know how to store it. Under the right conditions, grape seed oil can last over six months in the pantry or over a year in the fridge.