One of the keys to successful food preparation is knowing how to store and maintain your ingredients. While oils and shortenings may not seem like they need to be carefully stored in order to remain fresh, taking certain steps to properly preserve them can actually be quite valuable. By understanding factors to consider when storing oils and shortenings, as well as the best ways to preserve them long-term, you’ll be set up for success when cooking.

Considerations for Proper Oil & Shortening Storage

The first thing to understand when storing oils and shortenings is the shelf life of both. Cooking oils typically last for about a year when kept stable, and shortenings are good for two years when unopened and approximately three months once they are opened. Depending on the type of oil or shortening – variations range from canola and corn oil to all-purpose and donut frying shortening – these time frames can vary, however.

Unsurprisingly, shelf life also depends heavily on how the products are kept. The quality of stored oils and shortenings can diminish over time when the ingredients’ packaging is not sealed properly or is exposed to too much light. It’s also important to consider contamination risks when storing oils and shortenings. Making a conscious effort to keep the ingredients away from heavily odored items that could potentially spoil your product is wise.

The Best Ways to Store Oils & Shortenings

To ensure your oils and shortenings are stable for as long as possible, there are a few best practices you should follow when storing them. We recommend keeping the products in their original packaging and limiting significant oxygen exposure to the containers. Proper ventilation is important to avoid the build-up of moisture, however, so the ingredients should have some access to fresh air. Finally, try to keep oils and shortenings away from direct sunlight by storing them in a cool, dry place, such as the interior of a pantry or cabinet.

Preserving Oils & Shortenings for Future Use

If you’re interested in preserving oils and shortenings past their expiration date, freezing or refrigerating them is a possibility. For oils in particular, doing this will keep the product fresh for longer; just make an effort to let the oils thaw to a room temperature before using them to ensure their quality. It is recommended that shortening not be kept in the refrigerator, but freezing the product for up to one year is an acceptable way to extend shelf life.

While taking these steps will keep oils and shortenings stable for a longer period of time, it’s still important to change out your oils and shortenings semi-regularly and not keep them too long. Once oils and shortening have eventually gone bad, there are a few signs to look out for. Expired cooking oil typically has a bad smell and tastes sweet or fermented. While it likely won’t make you sick, consuming bad oil still isn’t fun. As for shortenings, this ingredient will harden, darken in color, and smell off once it’s out of date.

There isn’t one correct way to preserve your oils and shortenings, but learning the steps you can take to better do so and paying attention to how you’re storing your ingredients is important. For additional insights on storing oils and shortenings, contact us – we’d be happy to help determine the best preservation method for your situation.

The weather’s getting cooler, the leaves are changing colors, and the fall season is in full swing. What better time to perfect your apple pie recipe — or finally try making the pumpkin scones you’ve been craving? Make the most of your baking this season by incorporating some of the best spices and seasonings for fall.

Which Spices & Seasonings to Use in the Fall

Fall typically emulates warm and cozy feelings, and while those sensations don’t directly translate to taste, they do often inspire a certain spread of foods. Pumpkin breads, cinnamon rolls, or apple crisps — to name a few — are all best made with a few certain spices that help create pleasant, homey feelings.

  • Cinnamon is a popular spice derived from the inner bark of a cinnamon tree. It is typically used in both sweet and savory dishes as a form of sweet to bittersweet flavor.
  • Best used fresh, nutmeg has a sweet and spicy flavor that works well alongside cinnamon and adds an extra kick to baked goods.
  • Cloves come from the dried flowers of a clove tree and add a rich, deep flavor to a variety of bakery favorites.
  • A good addition to anything from cupcakes to cookies, vanilla offers a sweet and mouth-watering flavor to baked goods.

The Value of New Flavors in Different Seasons

No matter the time of year, spices help to enhance a food’s flavor, color, and overall taste. However, we often associate different sensations with the changing seasons and the dishes we cook tend to reflect this shift. Fall and winter prompts warm and cozy feelings, which makes us more inclined to revisit our favorite soup or bread recipes. With their warm, earthy qualities, spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove fit easily into fall-inspired dishes.

Adding Fall Spices & Seasonings to Your Baked Goods

While some fall-inspired recipes already include these seasonings, they don’t have to be in order for you to add them to your dish. Seasonings can be used in a variety of ways, whether they change the entire flavor of a recipe or simply provide an extra kick of spice. What you decide to incorporate and how much will likely depend on the goal of your dish.

For bakeries looking to elevate their fall flavors and incorporate fitting seasonings into their dishes, Bremer Authentic Ingredients distributes premium bulk ingredients across the Midwest. Whether you’re looking for a wholesale spice supplier or quality bakery supplies, Bremer has what you need. Send us a message to start getting the fall flavors you need.