The Best Place For Storing Your Cooking Oil, According To Experts
If you frequently use cooking oil in the kitchen, there's a fair chance you might have a bottle sitting right by your stove. Yes, it's conveniently placed for quick access—but could keeping oil by the stove make it go bad faster? Here's what experts have to say.
Is it OK to keep oil by the stove?
To find out if keeping cooking oil by the stove is harmful, we asked family physician and New York Times bestselling author Cate Shanahan, M.D., for her take. And according to her, it's likely not going to make your oil go bad that much faster.
As she tells mbg, "Heat could potentially oxidize the oil, and oxidation is terrifically harmful1—but unless you keep the oil right above your stovetop (heat rises) or have a blazing hot counter, we're talking about maybe 5- or 10-degree difference."
That won't be enough to noticeably shorten the life span of the oil, she says, but that doesn't mean it's the best place to keep it.
As Jim Savage of Organic Roots, a California producer of organic extra-virgin olive oil, previously told mbg, proper storage is ultimately the best way to preserve the health benefits of good cooking oils like olive oil. He notes that finding a cool, dark spot is best because oxygen, light, and heat degrade oil the quickest.
So, "the best way to keep oil is in your pantry," according to Savage.
Avoid oxidation with these superior cooking oils.
Whether you choose to keep your oil by the stove or in the pantry, Shanahan says you can also avoid oxidation by cutting out cooking oils that oxidize most easily. "There are eight, so I've been calling them 'the Hateful 8' to help folks remember," she says, noting that toxicologists who test the following eight oils for oxidation problems say they should not be used for cooking.
Unhealthy oils to avoid:
- Corn oil
- Canola oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Soy oil
- Sunflower oil
- Safflower oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Rice bran oil
Healthier oils, on the other hand, are typically extracted from larger nuts or seeds, so they require less processing and have greater health benefits. A few of our top picks for the healthiest oils are as follows.
Healthy oils to use instead:
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Avocado oil
- Sesame oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Almond oil
- Walnut oil
If you've ever worried keeping oil by the stove would make it go bad faster, you were definitely onto something. Even if the heat exposure is small, it's still a factor, along with light and oxygen. So, if you want to maximize the life of your cooking oils and minimize oxidation, it's best kept in the cupboard.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.