Avocado oil is a popular cooking oil, thanks in part to its high smoke point (no smoky kitchens while cooking, here!) and heart-healthy nutrition stats.
If you’re a user of avocado or are thinking about trying it, you might wonder – how long until avocado oil goes bad?
When sealed, avocado oil should last around 1-2 years. Once opened, avocado oil has a shelf life of around six months for unrefined oil and around eight months for refined versions.
What’s the best way to store avocado oil – and how can you prolong its shelf life? We have the answers!
What is the shelf life of avocado oil?
When sealed, avocado oil should last 1-2 years when stored properly. This time frame may or may not align with its “best by” or “use by” date, which is an estimation of when the oil will start to lose its ideal freshness and quality.
However, as long as there are no signs of spoilage or loss of quality (more on that later), then it’s safe to assume that avocado oil should still be good after 1-2 years when sealed.
Avocado oil is richer in monounsaturated fats (more shelf stable) than polyunsaturated fats (less shelf stable), which is one of the reasons it has a generous shelf life.
How long does avocado oil last after opening?
The shelf life of avocado oil is pretty straightforward when it’s sealed, but what about after it’s been opened?
Once you break the seal of avocado oil, it’s exposed to elements like oxygen, light, and heat, which can slowly break the fats down and make them go rancid. The good news is that this process is generally quite slow, so you should have plenty of time to use your avocado oil after it’s opened.
After opening, avocado oil should last around six months while maintaining its ideal nutritional and flavor profile. Refined versions of avocado oil might last a bit longer than that (compared to unrefined avocado oil), so around eight months after opening. There aren’t any hard-and-fast differences in the shelf lives of refined vs. unrefined avocado oils – just estimations.
You can store avocado oil in the fridge, which will help prolong its shelf life even more. You can also freeze avocado oil and it’ll last two years in the freezer – but you’ll need to allow plenty of time for it to thaw before you use it!
|Opened avocado oil
|4-6 months unrefined; around 8 months refined
|~8 months unrefined; ~12 months refined
|Up to 2 years
|Sealed avocado oil
Can you use avocado oil after its expiration date?
Avocado oil, like other types of liquid vegetable oils, should come with a “best by” or “use by” date printed on the bottle. This isn’t necessarily an expiration date, but an estimate as to when the avocado oil will start to lose its freshness.
If it’s been sealed, it’s likely fine to use avocado oil after its best-by date. However, don’t expect its shelf life to be as long as the dates in the table in the last section if you open a bottle of avocado oil that’s already past its printed date. You’ll likely get one or two months of good use out of it, but after that, it’s best to replace it with a fresher bottle.
How to tell if avocado oil went bad
Liquid plant-based oils don’t tend to go rancid very quickly, but they are prone to going bad if enough time passes. Some signs that you should toss your avocado oil include:
- It tastes sharp, bitter, or otherwise not like fresh avocado oil tastes.
- Smells “off” – some people describe rancid avocado oil as smelling like crayons, or other chemical-like smells.
- The avocado oil’s color or texture has drastically changed since you bought it.
What’s the danger in using avocado oil after it’s gone bad?
Plant-based oils aren’t likely to make you sick after they’ve gone bad – unlike other foods like meat, which is prone to harboring harmful bacteria.
You’d likely realize the avocado oil had gone bad before you eat too much of it, which can help you from ingesting too much.
Even if you did end up eating a bit of rancid avocado oil, the most likely outcome is that you’d get a bit of a sour or upset stomach. The likelihood that you get seriously sick from it is very low, so try not to fret!
Best storage practices for avocado oil
- Store avocado oil in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry. Avoid storing it next to direct heat or sunlight, such as by the stove, above the oven, or next to a window.
- Make sure the avocado oil is tightly sealed, ideally in an opaque (not clear) container.
- If you don’t plan on using avocado oil during its ideal timeframe, pop it in the fridge or freezer, which can help it prolong its freshness and extend its shelf life.
As long as there are no signs of rancidity, it’s generally fine to use expired plant-based oils like avocado oil. If it’s lost its ideal flavor, then it might not be worth it since it could throw off the taste of your meal, though!
If your avocado oil was stored in cooler conditions (such as in the fridge), it might start to get a bit cloudy. That’s fine, as long as the cloudiness goes away once it’s stored at regular room temperature.