Sesame Oil Shelf Life: How Long Does Sesame Oil Last?

Sesame oil has a rich source of fats and is popularly used in Asian cuisine. Sesame oil is made by multiple different producers with different levels of quantity and quality. The best sesame oil will have a rich yellow color with no other sediments in the bottle. Just like other vegetable oils, sesame oil does go rancid. Unlike other oils however, sesame oil tends to have a shorter lifespan. A closed container can be stored in a cool pantry for six to eight months or placed in the refrigerator for up to two years.  After opening the container the life of sesame oil is a few months.

Purchasing Sesame oil

The most important thing to consider is the short lifespan of sesame oil. For this reason, buy smaller quantities of it. The easiest way to tell if the oil has gone bad is the odor. It will give off a very rancid smell, leaving no question about the condition of the oil. Sesame oil is a heavy oil that tends to resist much movement. Unlike coconut oil, it does not turn solid at room temperature or while in the refrigerator. The most noticeable trait will be the rich yellow color of the oil and the clear transparency.

Storing Sesame oil

Sesame oil has a short lifespan because of the fat content. Fat oxidizes very quickly when in contact with air causing the oil to emit a foul odor. This is a clear sign that the oil needs to be thrown out. The second indicator is the oil turning cloudy and should not be consumed. Sesame oil needs to be stored in the fridge after opening the container. It is best to keep the oil in a container with a lid. Do not warm the oil before measuring as after absorbing heat the storage life of the oil drops drastically.

How to handle Sesame oil

Sesame oil is thick and tends to resist movement. A consequence of this is it lingers on utensils and cookware. The oil won’t give off an odor unless left out for a couple of days. Dishwashing detergent and some elbow grease are enough to remove the oil. Transferring it from one container to another reduces the volume of oil as it is likely to coat the walls of bowls and measuring cups. Removing it from your hands is easy with a bit of soap and water. However your hands might feel like there is some oil left on the skin.

Cooking Sesame oil

Sesame oil is a very versatile ingredient used for dressings, dips, and creating a flavor base. The purpose of the sesame oil is to work as a flavor enhancer. The delicately nutty flavor of the oil can be ruined by heat so don’t use it for frying; instead, add it to a dish before serving. Heat activates the sweet aroma of the oil and enhances the flavor. Adding too much heat will instantly affect the taste and the oil will taste like the seeds were toasted for too long. When added to a dish as a garnish, a small amount needs to be added as the heat causes the oil to flow better.