How you store your olive oil matters. Grabbing a bottle at the store you might not put much thought into olive beyond selecting your favorite brand, but it's a sensitive ingredient that can degrade if handled improperly. Considering that olive oil is one of the tastiest pantry staples you've got, and the fact that it's getting more and more expensive by the year, the last thing you want to do is waste your money on improperly stored oil. That's why Tasting Table reached out to Katerina Mountanos, certified olive oil sommelier and founder of Mediterranean-rooted olive oil and lifestyle brand Kosterina, for her advice on how to store your precious oil.
One of the biggest warnings we got from Mountanos was about storing olive oil in plastic bottles. Mountanos says not storing olive oil in plastic containers "was literally the first thing we learned when I studied to become an olive oil sommelier." She cites a study by the UC Davis Olive Center that showed olive oil is corrosive to plastic. This means that when it sits on the shelf for an extended period of time, olive oil can break down plastic containers, which results in microplastics in your oil.
Mountanos acknowledged that chefs do sometimes use plastic bottles, but that "chefs are going through EVOO much more quickly than home cooks, and therefore only storing olive oil in those containers for a limited time," compared to store-bought oil that can sit on shelves for months.
Read more: The 20 Best Olive Oils For Cooking
Olive Oil Is Best Stored In Glass Or Aluminum
So storing your olive oil in plastic, or buying brands that sell in plastic containers, is a big "don't," but how should you store your olive oil? Mountanos told us, "The safest and best materials to use for storage of olive oil are glass and aluminum tins or 'tin plate.'" You can also store olive oil in ceramic or stainless steel containers, but you want to avoid any reactive metals, like copper, which can interact with the oil and compromise the flavor.
Beyond avoiding plastic bottles, the three things you want to consider when storing olive oil are light, heat, and oxygen. Your oil should be stored in a dark place like a cupboard that's normally closed, and away from heat sources like stoves, as both things can degrade olive oil, even when in a proper container. Avoiding light also means opaque glass bottles are better than clear if that's an option for you.
Oxygen is the toughest to deal with, as once your bottle of olive oil is opened, air getting in is inevitable. The best way to avoid it degrading from air in storage is to use it quickly once opened, with the ideal time being under two months. But if you listen to Mountanos and keep your olive oil stored properly, you'll be consistently treated to one of the most rich and flavorful oils the world has to offer.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.