Naturally, you can’t use just any oil for deep frying foods. If you desire your food to have a crispy coating without absorbing the oil and becoming greasy, you need oils like sunflower, canola, or peanut oil.
That’s because these oils have a higher smoking point and therefore are the best for higher temperature deep frying and pan cooking. But as we don’t use these oils so often (we frequently reuse some as well), they tend to linger for a more extended period in our pantry.
For example, peanut oil is often found in most households and is commonly used in cooking. The one you found in your cabinet looks like it has been sitting there for quite a while. The question here is obvious – Does Peanut Oil Go Bad?
This article is all about peanut oil, its usage, shelf life, and more. So if you’re planning to deep fry some food, but you’re not sure whether the peanut oil you have has gone bad, read along and find out!
Read More: Does Peanut Butter Go Bad?
Does Peanut Oil Go Bad?
The short answer is – yes, peanut oil can go bad. Peanut oil has a pretty long shelf life, but it won’t last indefinitely. However, if you store it properly and purchase the right version, the chances it will turn on you in a short period are low.
But before we reveal other important information, let’s learn more useful stuff about the oil.
About Peanut Oil
Peanut oil, also known as groundnut oil or arachis oil, is a vegetable oil made from peanut seeds. Peanut seeds grow below the ground, hence the name groundnuts.
Peanut oil is mostly used in American, Chinese, Southeast Asian, and South Asian cuisine. This oil has a high smoking point of 437 ℉, and it is commonly used for frying.
Furthermore, peanut oil can have a wide range of flavors that vary from strong and nutty to mild and sweet. That depends on the type of processing, and thus, there are several types of peanut oil:
1. Refined Peanut Oil
This type is bleached and deodorized and free from allergenic parts. That’s why this version is safe for people with allergies. Refined peanut oil is often used in restaurants for fried foods like french fries and chicken.
2. Cold-pressed Peanut Oil
Cold-pressing means that peanuts are crushed to force out the oil. This type is processed in low heat, and much of the nutrients and flavor are preserved. If you’re allergic to peanuts, definitely stay away from this type.
3. Gourmet Peanut Oil
This type is unrefined and usually roasted. It also has a deeper and more intense, nutty flavor than refined oil.
4. Peanut Oil Blends
This type is often blended with similar but more affordable oils like soybean oil, and it is usually sold in bulks for frying foods.
Let’s have a look at the nutritional profile of peanut oil per one tablespoon:
|Saturated fat||2,3 grams|
|Monounsaturated fat||6,2 grams|
|Polyunsaturated fat||4,3 grams|
|Vitamin E||11% of *DV=Daily Intake|
The primary type of monounsaturated fats found in peanut oil is oleic acid or omega-9. It also contains linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid type, and some palmitic acid, a saturated fat type.
Peanut oil is trans-free and cholesterol-free oil, making it one of the healthiest vegetable oils. It is also a good vitamin E source, a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage.
Phytosterols are found in plants and are similar to cholesterol in the human body. Except they block the cholesterol from being absorbed, which is why they should be part of the healthy eating and well-balanced diet.
Now, let’s review our overall pros and cons for peanut oil:
- It is free of cholesterol and trans-free
- It contains healthy fatty acids such as omega-6 and omega-9
- Vitamin E protects from free radicals damage and reduces the risk of heart disease
- Healthy fatty acids (mono and poly) may reduce insulin sensitivity
- It has a higher boiling point, which makes it a perfect oil choice for frying
- Contains a certain amount of omega-6 fatty acids, which in high amounts can cause inflammations and other health risks
- Because of the higher amounts of unsaturated fats, peanut oil is more prone to oxidation when exposed to higher temperatures and can pose specific health risks
How Long Does Peanut Oil Last?
Now that we know more about this oil’s nature, it is time to find more about its shelf life. Like all other vegetable oils, peanut oil also comes with a best-before date.
That date is meant to be an indicator of how long a product can last. However, unopened peanut oil won’t just go bad overnight if stored properly. In fact, it can be used months if not years after its date on the label. Still, this does not mean it will stay at peak quality forever.
Your peanut oil’s shelf life will depend on its processing (whether refined or not) and storage conditions. More quality and refined oils tend to keep better.
Nevertheless, let’s start with unopened peanut oil. So, an unopened bottle of peanut oil typically lasts from 1-3 years, depending on the brand and processing, of course. It can be used months after its best-by date if the storage conditions are adequate.
An opened bottle of peanut oil can last from 7-12 months, sometimes more or less. Although, we recommend using it within the first 3-5 months to enjoy the best possible quality.
Can You Reuse Peanut Oil?
You can, but it is recommended to reuse it only 2-3 times after the first usage. That’s because it tends to lose its quality quickly after you heat it and often takes on the different foods’ flavors.
If you’re planning on reusing it, choose the refined version rather than the unrefined one because it has a longer fry life. Also, don’t wait months in between reusing the oil as it will go rancid. Instead, opt to use it within a week.
How To Tell If Peanut Oil Has Gone Bad?
Vegetable oils tend to deteriorate slowly and won’t pose harm to your health even if consumed rancid. In the worst-case scenario, your food will not taste as good as expected.
It’s also not likely you will notice signs of mold and some significant changes in the texture. However, there are other signs by which you will know for sure your oil has turned rancid.
The first sure sign is an off odor. Rancid oil will have metallic, soapy, or bitter aromas. If you sense rancidity, your oil has turned bad, and it’s time to toss it.
Next off, touch the bottle or put a little amount of oil between your fingers. If there’s a sticky residue or the oil is tacky, throw it away.
If the oil has discolorations such as a much darker color, it is a sign of rancidity, and you should not use it.
Furthermore, if the oil fats have started to break down or the oil has cloudy consistency, it is no longer safe for usage. However, note that oil cloudiness can also result from lower temperatures, so check for other signs if you see this.
How To Store Peanut Oil?
An unopened bottle of peanut oil does not need to be kept in the refrigerator. You should store it like you store other vegetable oils. That means you should keep it in a dark, dry, and cool place, away from the light and heat sources.
A pantry, cupboard, or root cellar will work just fine. Just remember to seal it tightly to prevent the oxidation process from deteriorating the product.
Once you open the bottle, you can either store it in the refrigerator or pantry. Lower temperatures might prolong its shelf life, so consider stashing it in the fridge if you have some free space.
You should always store used peanut oil in the fridge sealed in an airtight container. Also, let it cool off after usage and filter out the remaining food particles.
Lastly, you can freeze the peanut oil but keep in mind that it may have altered taste and texture after you thaw it.
Does Peanut Oil Go Bad – Final Thoughts
In conclusion, peanut oil will last a long time, but not indefinitely. It is considered one of the most shelf-stable oils as it has a high boiling point.
Unopened peanut oil will last more than a year, and can even be used after its best-before date. Once you open the container, the oxidation process begins, and you have less than a few months to consume it. Furthermore, you can reuse peanut oil several times after the first usage.
The telltale signs of rancid oil are pretty obvious – an unpleasant, rancid smell, much darker color, cloudy texture, and stickiness. If you notice any of these, throw the oil away.
As for storage, you don’t have to keep the bottle in the refrigerator. You can just keep it in the pantry. In contrast, store the already used oil in an airtight container in the fridge.