I've read Gut by Guilia Enders. It says that extra virgin olive oil cleans your heart vessels and has other beneficial effects. The oil binds free radicals in your body. But the oil doesn't wait to bind radicals, so if it's exposed to air it will bind the free radicals in the air, making the oil less effective.

Her advice is to close the bottle, and to keep the oil cool, in the fridge. When I do this, the oil solidifies, making it unusable. Waiting until it warms up takes too long. My kitchen is not cool in the summer. Temperatures can go up to 25ºC and higher.

So how can I keep oil cool in a warm kitchen or not too cold in a fridge?

  • 1
    Hi, and welcome to SA! Have a look at the tour and help center when you get a chance! I am a little confused about whether you want to keep your oil cool or away from air. Could you clarify why you want to cool the oil to avoid air exposure?
    – LSchoon
    Commented Jun 28, 2020 at 17:29
  • TBH, I don't know. Maybe keeping it away from air is enough by itself, and then the temperature doesn't matter anymore as long as it doesn't break the oil down, like when you heat it in a pan.
    – SPRBRN
    Commented Jun 28, 2020 at 19:17
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    25C isn't that warm, it's perfectly fine to store olive oil at room temperature. Anyone who says to keep olive oil in the fridge really doesn't know what they are talking about for the very reason you describe.
    – GdD
    Commented Jun 28, 2020 at 20:43

2 Answers 2


As @GdD said in his comment - you can't, unless you have a way to cool it to a defined temperature such as a cooling water-bath. Olive oil is perfectly fine at higher temperatures than 25 - this would be on the cool side for a Greek (as big users and preparers of olive oil) summer, especially before the presence of air-conditioning:

Although summer in Athens began in June, on average the weather reaches its highest temperatures in July. The average temperature this month is 27°C (81°F), while the average low is a warm 22°C (72°F), and the average high is a stifling 32°C (90°F).

From here.

As to slowing down oxidation from the free-radicals, yes, keeping it in the fridge will work to some extent as in the crystalline phase the oils will be less susceptible to oxidation. Indeed I found one study that looked at oxidation and storage of olive oils at different temperatures and with different packaging types, who found that the shelf-life of the oils was best in green glass (GG) and at 6 Celsius - see quote below (EVOO is Extra virgin olive oil, TT is tinplate tin).

While shelf-life of EVOO was differently affected by packaging and storage temperature, the latter being critical for the oxidative changes taking place in oil, at the end of the observation period none of the oil samples showed significant changes in the visual descriptors of clearness, green and yellow reflections, and the basic positive sensory notes of bitterness and pungency were maintained. In particular, the oil stored in GG at 6 °C mostly preserved positive attributes, whereas the one stored in TT at 26 °C showed an enhancement of oxidative processes leading to a significant presence of the rancid flavour. Moreover, GG6 maintained the highest BI and did not show defects at the end of storage, further suggesting that storage in GG at a low temperature (6 °C), could represent a promising storage condition to slow-down the oil degradation during market storage.

Incidentally they found that storage under any conditions for more than a month meant that the oils no longer met the legal requirements for extra virgin oil. This would imply that your best bet for keeping oil is indeed to store it in the fridge and in a green glass bottle, and use it rapidly.

However, as you noted, storage in the fridge results in the oil becoming solid, so you either have to live with some solid oil and re-warm it each time you want to use it, or come to some compromise such as just storing it in the dark but not cold.

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    A compromise: decant a little (2-3 uses) into a small dark bottle kept in a cupboard and keep the rest in the fridge. Allow to reach room temp to top up the small bottle.
    – Chris H
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 7:08
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    Thanks for the explanation. @ChrisH's suggestion seems the best solution as I don't use olive oil that much. I don't use a whole bottle in a month.
    – SPRBRN
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 7:48

Not all refrigerators have temperatures that will coagulate olive oil. The best way to preserve the integrity of the olive oil is in a wine cooler set at 12-15°C. The olive oil does not coagulate or harden.

  • Athan: please don't put shopping recommendations in answers that don't require them, thanks!
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 5:51

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