Following this question: How long will this homemade vinaigrette salad dressing keep in the fridge?

Which of these adjustments will prolong storage life to a significant extent?

  • remove garlic
  • add honey
  • replace lemon with (or add) vinegar
  • change acid:oil ratio from 1:2 to 1:1
  • instead of shaking mixture (to emulsify oil and acid), just whisk to blend
  • I recommend including the recipe in this question, since the other question has been marked duplicate. – FuzzyChef Jul 7 '18 at 5:21
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    Also, to answer your linked question: a lemon-oil dressing is still tasty in the fridge for two to five days, and probably non-toxic for a few weeks. – FuzzyChef Jul 7 '18 at 5:31

Some answers:

  1. Swapping lemon juice for vinegar will extend storage life, because lemon juice contains volatile compounds that break down in a few days, whereas vinegar is a fermentation product that is shelf-stable for long periods of time. Also, vinegar has a slightly higher acidity, and (all else being equal) higher acidity foods are more bacteria-resistant.

  2. Changing the oil:acid ratio would also increase shelf life for the same reason. However, you wouldn't necessarily want to use the resulting dressing, as it would be way too "sharp".

  3. Increasing the amount of salt in the dressing would also increase its storage life, at the cost of undesireable flavor.

  4. I see no reason why mixing method would affect the shelf life of a vinagrette. It will separate during storage regardless.

  5. Swapping the raw garlic out for powdered garlic should increase the storage life, because raw garlic (being a below-ground bulb) often carries significant bacterial content.

  6. There is no reason to think that adding a small quantity of honey would affect storage life.

However, all of this leaves out the way to ensure the longest shelf life for salad dressing: don't mix the ingredients until you need them. All of the ingredients in your recipe have storage lives of weeks (garlic) to months (oil, dried basil) to years (vinegar). In unmixed form, you can be ready to dress a salad in a matter of minutes for months, especially if you're willing to use powdered garlic. As opposed to all of the methods above, which you'll notice each involve downgrading the flavor of the dressing in some way, which is why supermarket bottled dressings are so bad.

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    The property of lemon juice that would help stability is the acidity, which is not volatile and will not go away. – MarsJarsGuitars-n-Chars Jul 7 '18 at 13:38
  • Mars: You're assuming that his question was only in reference to the dressing going bacterial, rather than just losing flavor. I'm not assuming that. – FuzzyChef Jul 9 '18 at 3:29
  • @MarsJarsGuitars-n-Chars If I get it right, this dressing will be safe for at least a month? (because the acidity from the lemon eliminates the risk of the garlic going bacterial?) – Dan Jul 9 '18 at 11:44
  • @FuzzyChef I was wondering about both flavor and safety, the latter being of greater concern. It's a big relief knowing I no longer have to prep my dressing every single day but rather make one weekly/monthly batch to keep handy in the fridge – Dan Jul 9 '18 at 12:20
  • I haven't sent anything to a lab, but my experience was that vinagrettes seemed fine for at least 2 weeks in the fridge. However, per the above, a vinagrette which has been in the fridge for 10 days definitely lost flavor, and a Greek-style lemon dressing (your original recipe) loses flavor a lot faster than that, like 2 days. Based on personal experience, then, I'd say make it weekly. – FuzzyChef Jul 9 '18 at 20:02

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