Olive oil is a liquid fat produced by pressing olives. Though olive oil is mainly used for cooking, it’s also used to moisturize, nourish skin and hair, and it’s even used in soap! But if you came to this page, you are probably wondering if you can freeze olive oil?
Yes, you can easily freeze olive oil. Freezing olive oil requires little to no preparation and takes just a few minutes to have it ready for the freezer. Freezing olive oil increases its shelf life as the oil can last up to two years in the freezer.
In this article, you will learn more about the proper way to freeze olive oil, why freezing it is ideal for long-term storage and much more. Keep reading.
How To Freeze Olive Oil
Olive oil has a relatively long shelf life, however, it often comes in large containers. If you’re unlikely to use up your olive oil before the “best by date” on the container, you should consider freezing it.
Freezing olive oil is easy and doesn’t require any preparation. It’s the storage that is essential to the process. Olive oil should not be stored in plastic containers. Many plastic containers contain toxins, and the oil can absorb and leach these chemicals from the plastic, which will lead to you eventually ingesting those chemicals. Not ideal!
Glass or metal are the preferred materials when it comes to storing olive oil. So, if you bought olive oil in a plastic bottle, you would need to pour it into something more suitable and less dangerous to your physical well-being.
A freezer-safe glass or metal container with an air-tight lid will do the trick.
Once you’ve gotten your olive oil in a proper container, label the container with the day’s date and place it in the freezer. Labels are essential because olive oil can last two years in the freezer, and you’ll want to know if the oil is past its freshness date before you thaw it.
Important Note: If left sitting too long, olive oil can produce a dangerous toxin known as clostridium botulinum if the oil contains garlic. Clostridium botulinum is the same toxin that can be found in foods stored in dented or rusty cans. Consuming the toxin can make you seriously ill, so the best way to avoid it is to freeze your garlic-infused olive oil if you have more than you can use within a few months.
Freezing Olive Oil Into Cubes
Freezing olive oil into cubes is a popular method because it’s so easy and fun to use. The cube method is more commonly used for freezing herbs but works just as well with olive oil.
Grab a stainless steel, aluminum, or silicone ice tray and pour in your olive oil. (Don’t fill the cubes up to the top because the olive oil will expand when you freeze it.) Then, simply put the tray into the freezer. The olive oil should freeze in the tray, giving you a lovely set of olive oil cubes to be pried out at your leisure.
A good ice tray for the job is the Ecozoi Stainless Steel Ice Cube Tray (available on Amazon.com). The tray is ideal because it’s made of steel, meaning your olive oil won’t absorb any chemicals while freezing. It also has 18 ice cube slots, thus you can freeze a lot more olive oil. And the easy release handle allows you to easily slide the cubes from the tray, rather than struggling to pry them out.
Alternatively, if you have a lot of olive oil to freeze, why not get two ice trays for the price of one? This Fox Valley Traders Ice Cube Tray (available on Amazon.com) sells vintage-style aluminum metal trays in sets of two. The style is hailed as “nostalgic,” and like the Ecozoi, the tray has a release mechanism that lets out the ice cubes for you, so you don’t have to pry them out.
For long-term storage of the olive oil cubes, you can pop them out of the trays and place them into a freezer-safe bag once they’ve frozen. The key here is to press out as much air from the bag as you can before sealing.
How To Thaw Frozen Olive Oil
Thawing frozen olive oil is as simple as merely leaving it out on the counter. If you choose to freeze the oil into cubes, you can add the cubes directly to your food as you cook it. Of course, the downside is that this method makes it harder for you to measure how much olive oil you’re adding to the recipe. Therefore, choose your method according to your needs.
To use your frozen olive oil as a spread, thaw it at a chilled temperature rather than room temperature. Thawing at a chilled temperature means putting the frozen olive oil in the refrigerator instead of leaving it on the counter. It will thaw gradually enough to reach a creamy texture that you can then spread on food!
Does Freezing Olive Oil Damage It?
Freezing olive oil can damage it since doing so weakens the oil’s molecular structure. This means that the olive oil will spoil faster. So once you’ve thawed your olive oil, make sure you’re planning to use it soon.
This is a good case for freezing olive oil using the cube method or in several smaller batches. That way you only have to thaw a little bit at a time.
What You Can Do With Expired Olive Oil
In the event that your olive oil does spoil, here are some handy things you can still do with it:
- Shaving cream alternative. As strange as it sounds, olive oil is an excellent alternative to shaving cream. It will protect your skin from razor burns and will even soften a beard, making it easier to shave! You can use olive oil to shave just about any part of your body.
- Moisturize your skin. As mentioned in the intro, olive oil can be used to moisturize skin and nails, even expired olive oil. The oil is loaded with vitamin K and vitamin E, which provide anti-aging benefits to the skin. Your pores will also be safe with olive oil since it will not clog them and even helps to reduce acne breakouts.
- Heal the cracked skin on heels. When your feet are exceptionally dry, the skin on your heels will crack. Olive oil will soothe the skin, hydrating and nourishing it with its moisturizing effect.
- Treat dandruff. If you’re suffering from dandruff flakes, olive oil may be the solution. It will hydrate a dry scalp, eliminating and preventing flakes. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice for the ultimate dandruff treatment.
- Nourish your hair. Olive oil will also nourish your hair. It seals the moisture in the hair shaft, promoting softness and shine as well as hair growth. It also reduces the production and buildup of sebum in the scalp.
- Strengthen nails. Nail care and skincare go hand in hand. When nails become dry and brittle, they are prone to breakage. Soaking dry nails in olive oil will moisturize and strengthen them.
- Exfoliating scrub for your skin. Olive oil is deeply penetrating, which makes it the perfect exfoliating scrub. It will effectively remove dead skin cells, leaving skin healthy and moisturized. To use, simply add a pinch of sea salt, ground coffee, and sugar, to a little olive oil and massage the mixture into your skin for ten minutes.
In conclusion, you can most definitely freeze olive oil. Not only will it give the oil a longer shelf-life, but using the cubes is also a fun and easy way to cook!