Here's How Long Infused Olive Oil Really Lasts

The tiniest brushing of olive oil can make almost anything taste better. And when it's drizzled or doused? That's a luxury if ever there was one. Accessorize that with some herbs and aromatics, and the olive oil experience reaches totally new heights. 

Enter infused olive oils. Entertaining and design expert Annette Joseph shared with the DIY Network that infused olive oil is an ingredient that truly caters to every pantry and preference. Where good olive oil has a bright, fresh flavor (via Cooks Illustrated), the beauty of infused olive oil is how you can add almost any herb, spice, fruit, or vegetable and nudge that flavor in a new, but familiar direction. Joseph tells the DIY Network, "[Infused olive oil is] a really quick, easy salad dressing. It's also wonderful as a dip for bread, and a great gift."

But of course, as with any ingredient, there's only so much time until infused olive oil becomes less than ideal for consumption; so it's important to know when the novelty fades and save you from dunking bread into a pool of rancid oil.  

How to store infused olive oils to maximize shelf life

The key thing to know about the shelf life of infused olive oil is that it is prone to expire at much faster rate than your standard bottle of olive oil. So much so that, according to Oliver & Grapely, infused olive oils should be stored in the refrigerator. (This is not the case for your standard bottle of olive oil.) The website goes on to explain how cold storage will prevent the oils from getting contaminated with a harmful bacteria known as clostridium botulinum.

Entertaining and design expert Annette Joseph posits to the DIY Network that a typical bottle of infused olive oil is "good for about six months, although I've had some infused oils for over a year." Some organic matter, such as fresh fruit (Joseph uses kumquats and olives as examples), might form a cloudy appearance. This could be perceived as a marker of expiration, but she says not to let looks deceive you. "It's still okay to use because the olive oil preserves the items that you've put into the bottle. It just won't look as pretty," Joseph the outlet.

So there you have it, if prepared and stored properly, your infused olive oil should last for at least six months.