Canola Oil: Expiration Date, Proper Storage, and Other Important Facts

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Canola oil is one of the most vital ingredients in cooking. It has a lot of uses, especially as a flavor enhancer. It is usually compared with olive oil because of their shared nuances and similarities.

How Do You Know If Canola Oil Is Close To Going Bad?

Many are quite baffled as to whether this liquid has an expiration date. Can canola oil go bad, and if so, how long will it take? Are there any ways to extend its lifespan? Well, in this article, I will answer all of these questions one by one. 


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Does Canola Oil Go Bad?

To be blunt, the answer is a big yes. You should realize that all of the food in your kitchen and refrigerator will eventually perish, even if you freeze it at the ideal temperature.

Does Canola Oil Go Bad?

Just like any other oils used for frying, canola oil has a limited time. However, this doesn’t mean that the oil will rot or mold grow on it. There are different indicators that tell you if it is close to going bad.

Canola oil is well known for going rancid, and you will probably have noticed that it can quickly develop an unpleasant taste and smell. The oil goes rancid when the molecules have been exposed to the air, heat, or other external detriments. Oxidation takes place when this occurs, which results in the oil going off.

Of course, I should warn you about the consumption of oxidized fats. Oil is a derivative of animal fat. In the case of canola oil, it is a byproduct of vegetable fat. If you eat a dish that has rancid oil in it, your health is at risk as it creates free radicals that can induce cell damage.

They are also known to promote Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes, and there are also minor effects that range from digestive distress and the depletion of the main vitamins, like E and B. Therefore, it is important that you can spot the warning signs and do not ignore the effects it can have on your health. If you want to avoid such a predicament, you should only use fresh oil.

How Do You Know If Canola Oil Is Close To Going Bad?

Fortunately, there are indications that will tell you a lot about the quality of canola oil.

  • The first thing I do is smell it. Like olive oil, it will releases a pungent aroma when its nears the expiry date. It usually reeks, which can be unbearable for some people. So, before you start preparing the food, smell the oil container. This is a foolproof way to assess if this ingredient is rancid. After all, you don’t want to use an oil that will ruin both the taste and safety of your food.
  • Another way to assess the quality of the oil is by looking at its color. Fresh canola oil has a transparent, pristine looking color. As the days go by, the coloration slowly goes dark. When you notice such a change, smell the oil immediately.

If it is properly stored, canola oil can last a long time, which is why it is important to do what you can to preserve it properly whenever you are dealing with this product. We will go more into that later, but for now, let me give you some details about the average lifespan of canola oil.

The Lifespan Of Canola Oil

A bottle of canola oil can last up to a year in your pantry (in an ideal room temperature). You must not put the oil in a freezer because it will emulsify and become unusable. If you do not expose the oil to extreme heat and air, it should stay fine on your kitchen counter.

Canola Oil: Expiration Date, Proper Storage, And Other Important Facts

Can you still use canola oil even it has exceeded its “Best By” or “Use By” date? I usually hear this question whenever I go to our local marketplace, as people often confuse these terms with “expiration date”. Specifically, the “Best By” and “Use By” are terminologies used by food companies in the United States. They are indicators that tell you the range of time during which the food is in its best state.

Therefore, you can still safely use canola oil after the given “best by” period. Of course, this is assuming that you store the ingredient properly.

If you have already opened the canola oil bottle, its lifespan will be reduced because the air has had contact with the oil. This decrease in its lifespan could range from three to six months, depending on the room temperature. You can refrigerate the oil, which will help to extend its lifespan. 

How To Store Canola Oil

Proper food storage will significantly extend its lifespan and preserve its quality. For example, treats like jerkies are dehydrated so that they can last for four months to a year. Of course, there are different ways to preserve food and the most basic among them is appropriate storage.

Specifically, a bottle of canola oil should be placed in a cool, dark place. I definitely recommend that you use an airtight container for this type of liquid. As I mentioned earlier, oxidation will make the oil go rancid more quickly (through the interaction of the fat with air). You should also make sure that the oil doesn’t have any contact with heat and light, as they can cause oxidation too.

How To Store Canola Oil
  • I also discourage people from storing canola oil near their stove. This is a typical sight that I see whenever I visit my friends’ houses. I have to remind them that the heat from the stove can make the oil go rancid quickly.
  • If you store the canola oil under these favorable conditions, it should last for a year or two. However, you will still have to check the oil from time to time. It is pretty essential, considering it might go rancid faster than you expect. Of course, you also need to consider that the oil might have been stored for quite a time before you bought it. Because of this, regular assessments are always beneficial.
  • If you are going to buy canola oil, make sure that you pick one with a dark-colored canister or bottle as this will reflect the light and negate heat. As a result, they can effectively prevent the oil from spoiling too quickly. If the bottle of the canola oil is a transparent plastic or glass, just make sure that you avoid any contact with heat and light.
  • Take note that vegetable and olive oils are best left in the dark, cool part of your pantry. Meanwhile, hazelnut, sesame, and avocado oils should be stored in your refrigerator. 


Just like any other kitchen ingredient, canola oil goes bad. But this doesn’t take place quickly, especially if you have stored it properly. You can use this product confidently as long as it doesn’t smell bad.

I really love to use canola oil, especially when making desserts. Yes! There are a lot of dessert recipes out there that use canola oil, such as cranberry pistachio biscotti and Berliner donuts. I also use it when I make cookies and carrot cakes, as it works perfectly with these treats. If the canola oil is fresh, the flavor it gives to the food is truly heavenly!

Furthermore, I always encourage my readers to practice kitchen etiquette and hygiene, as they make a whole world of difference! Apart from keeping your food tasty, it will prevent any foodborne illnesses. Therefore, you can cancel a quick trip to the hospital.

If you have any questions, comments, and suggestion, just ask me. I would love to hear from you!

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