Monday, October 27, 2008

Simple Food Storage Items - Cooking Oils - Common Types

Vegetable Oils

Vegetable oil is probably the most commonly used of all the cooking oils. It can be used in recipes and can also be used for frying. Vegetable oil is normally a blend of several different types of cooking oils, and may include corn, soybean, and sunflower oils as part of their ingredients. Depending on quality, vegetable oil has a shelf life of 3 to 6 months.

Sunflower Oils

Sunflower oils are low in saturated fats and have a high Vitamin E content. Food manufacturers are beginning to recognize the health benefits and advantages of sunflower oils and are using them as the preferred oil in the manufacturing process of a variety of different snack foods (potato chips, etc.). Sunflower oil can be used for frying, in cooking recipes, and in making salad dressings. When properly stored, sunflower oil has a shelf life of approximately one year.

Canola Oils

Canola oils have been said to be one of the healthiest of the cooking oils because of its low saturated fat content and high mono-unsaturated fat content. It is commonly used in frying, but should only be used with medium frying temperatures that are at or below 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Canola oils have a shelf life of approximately one year under proper storage conditions.

Corn Oils

Corn oil is relatively low in both saturated and mono-unsaturated fats. Corn oils are popular as an ingredient in soft margarines and can be used in both frying and baking. It should only be used when frying at medium temperatures due to a low smoke point temperature. Corn oils generally have a shelf life of 3 to 6 months, depending upon storage conditions and quality.

Peanut Oils

Peanut oils are probably the best type of oils to use when frying at high temperatures. Peanut oils are most commonly used during the Thanksgiving holiday to fry turkeys and are probably the main use for this type of cooking oil. Peanut oils can actually be used anytime when frying, especially if high cooking temperatures are involved. When properly stored, peanut oils have a shelf life of approximately 2 years and even longer in some cases.

Storing Your Cooking Oils

All cooking oils remain in a liquid state when kept at room temperature. Store cooking oils in an area away from light sources and free of any excess moisture. Oils that are very high in mono-unsaturated fat will keep up to a year. Most other types of oil have a shelf life of approximately 3 to 6 months depending upon their quality and your individual storage conditions. Always properly dispose of your used cooking oils. Never pour them down the drain as this will cause severe plumbing problems (clogged pipes).

You can get additional information about cooking oils here:

Healthy Cooking Oils

A very definitive guideline for the handling and safe storage of cooking oils can be found here:

Safe Handling and Storage for Oils and Fats Guidelines

Got cooking oil?

Staying above the water line!



Marie said...

I appreciate all these helpful posts and links. I did not know that rice absorbed aromas-- thankfully I don't have anything stored with it that will affect it now, but I'll keep that in mind for the future. Olive oil is what I mainly have stored, so it's always good to learn more about that. Great posts!

riverwalker said...

To: marie

There are so many aspects to properly storing and preparing food that it is an ongoing learning expierence. Thanks.


Patricia said...

Whoa, there, RW. There's a lot of debate about Canola oil--it comes from Rapeseed oil, is an industrial oil, and was never intended for human consumption.

I've read both sides of the argument, that it is safe, and on the other side that it is definitely NOT a product for humans.

When in doubt, I do NOT trust the FDA to do right by me with its "generally recognized as safe" listings. Just consider the drugs the FDA has considered as "safe" that were killing people.

And what about olive oil? Pricey stuff, I know, but it is probably the healthiest...

Just my 2 cents,

riverwalker said...

To: patricia


kesha said...

One turn-off to food storage for some is the assumed need to possess extensive cooking skills. Although there is some truth to needing to know how to prepare beans and other dry goods from scratch and learning simple recipes to incorporate food storage items into your menus, there are other super simple options for those who feel like fish out of water in the kitchen.



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