Sometimes, it’s hard to remember how long you’ve had that cooking oil sitting in your cupboard.  Is your cooking oil still good?

Many people do not realize that cooking oil has a lifetime.  Once opened, good quality oil will last approximately a year, but lower quality oils will last maybe a few months.  So if you have an open bottle of cooking oil from a few years ago, you can bet it’s no longer good to use.

It may be a good idea to write the date the bottle was opened on the bottle to help know when the oil may be rancid.  If you have any doubts, you better throw it away.

Generally, if cooking oil is unopened and stored in a cool, dry place, it can last up to 2 years, but once opened, it should be used in two to three months.  High quality oil could possibly last one year if it’s stored in a cool, dry place and tightly sealed.

The container the oil is stored in affects its exposure to light and therefore the shelf life of the oil.  If you want to use a more attractive canister or container, choose a small opaque or tinted one that you will cycle through more quickly.  This limits the amount of oil exposed to light.

Extra virgin olive oil will last the longest, but all oil will expire as it is a fresh pressed fruit.

When your cooking oil goes bad, it will taste rancid, sharp and/or sour.  It probably will not make you sick, but it will give your food a bad taste.  It is better to buy only what you will use within the next few months than buy too much and have it go bad.

Have old cooking oil that you think is bad?  Recycle it!