The biggest mistake I used to make was keeping olive oil “close at hand”, meaning: near the stove. So I would be able to get it quickly! I was unaware of the fact that the even slightest rise in temperature would hurt it, as in accelerate its “aging” process. When I discovered that keeping olive oil in the drawer near the stove is a big No-No, I decided to write this text … You never whom it might help!
Long story short, the quality of olive oil is negatively affected by heat, light, and oxygen. The minute a bottle of olive oil is opened, it begins to lose its quality under the influence of these three factors. And then there is the factor of time – olive oil is best to used two years after its creation date. Of course, it is always important to pay attention to the recommended shelf life of a particular manufacturer.
If you are unable to secure a place with a somewhat lower temperature than room temperature (15 degrees Celsius would be optimal), then room temperature will be fine. Just be careful not to keep the oil close to a high-temperature source, or in a place where it is exposed to large oscillations. And do not store it at a temperature lower than 4 degrees Celsius.
I believe most of you keep olive oil in glass bottles. Stainless steel vessels would be an ideal choice, and under no circumstances should you use plastic bottles or those made of reactive materials. Let the glass bottle be dark and preferably, square-shaped, so that the liquid absorbs as little light as possible.
If you are buying larger amounts of olive oil, remove from the bidon as much as you feel you will use during a certain period of time (two weeks, a month) to prevent consecutive opening of the container, which allows oxygen to enter. Also, the smaller container which you use more often needs to have a good quality stopper, to prevent oxygen from getting inside. A good cork will also prevent the mixing of olive oil with the scents of the environment, which it will quickly absorb otherwise.