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How long can I store homemade garlic-infused olive oil?

Night before last, I made an olive oil/garlic infusion. I didn't need half of it and am wondering if it is safe to store for a few days. I seem to remember something abut infused oils and bacteria. Thanks in advance.

asked by Bob Y over 3 years ago
21 answers 62246 views
Dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 3 years ago

You'll need to store it in the refrigerator. Garlic carries the risk of botulism contamination. Before using it, remove it from the refrigerator to let the olive oil come to room temp. Was it good?

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added almost 2 years ago

Remember that botulism spores can vedetate at temperatures above 36 F. so make sure you store at or below this temperature

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added over 3 years ago

I would never keep it for very long. You were right about the garlic and bacteria. The refrigeration will not help.

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added over 3 years ago

To add to my previous answer. Do read this article. http://garlicster.blogspot...

Dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 3 years ago

Refrigeration is effective if you refrigerate soon after preparation. If you've let it sit at room temp overnight, I'd suggest you toss it. Consider it cheap insurance. Next time, make it, use it, refrigerate it. The same goes for oils infused with fresh herbs. By all means, don't be afraid to experiment, just let refrigeration be your friend.

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added over 3 years ago

If you infuse your oil with heat and bring it up at the end to 200F and remove all particulates from the oil by carefully straining and there is no garlic physically left in the oil there is no risk of botulism. The heat kills the bacteria. The lack of particulates is important over time.

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added over 3 years ago

If you don't use it soon after you make it or buy it and open it, toss it. Even if it is not going to kill you, it won't taste good!

Junechamp
ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 3 years ago

No matter how carefully you treat it, garlic stored in olive oil is very fragile, and can go bad very quickly. All oils that have herbs, etc added to them directly are extremely volatile, and have VERY short shelf lives, even when refrigerated. The garlic in oil seems to be especially affected.

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added over 3 years ago

There seems to be a disconnect with what garlic oil is here. In no way can you get a great tasting oil by putting anything raw in it directly for flavor and is dangerous to do. Now, infused oils do not have anything residing in the oil and heat is used to infuse the oil with the flavors of what ever flavor your trying to acheive. Botulism that we speak of here in regard to garlic comes from the bacteria that is in the soil that the garlic is grown. It is a natural occurance. And it is anarobic, it thrives in lack of oxygen environs. When infusing oil with heat (if hot enough) the bacteria dies and doesn't have a chance to multiply. Keep your oil temp between 180-200F. And you will be fine!

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added over 2 years ago

Chefdaddy, if I infuse my olive oil with garlic, dried tomatoes and basil and cook at 200F for 30min and strain out all residue of herbs does it have to refrigerated or can i leave it on my counter with my other oils?

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Dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 2 years ago

It may or may not contain contaminants at that point, considering that garlic and tomatoes are both vehicles for botulism, but once you have heated any fat, it begins to oxidize quickly and will therefore rancidify much more rapidly than unheated and refrigerated oils.

Waffle3
added over 2 years ago


Some dangerous confusion here I believe.

Botulism is caused by toxins produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The poison can be deactivated by heat, typically specified as 212F for 10 minutes, but the spores of C. botulinum can survive much higher temperatures (250F) which is why pressure canning is necessary for some foods.

Garlic, like anything that comes from the ground (especially) or is exposed to airborne dirt (fruits and vegetables), can harbor botulism spores which replicate in anaerobic (oxygen poor) environments even under refrigeration which is why homemade garlic oil = bad news. Commercial flavored oils and salad dressings are properly acidified to prevent the problem (pH < 4.6).

Oils, especially those low in saturation and without added preservatives (aka anti-oxidants) should be stored away from light and under refrigeration if possible. The evil is oxidization = rancidification = free radicals = cancer. Contrary to popular belief, rancidity is a process, not an absolute condition. In other words, the nasty compounds build up gradually until, at some point, you're compelled to turn your nose away. Unfortunately it would have been more healthful to have used the oil long before then. Better to go by date than by smell.

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added almost 2 years ago

This got me thinking about buttermilk ranch salad dressing which I make. The recipe calls for fresh garlic, olive oil, basil, etc. I don't heat the dressing and have -- in the past -- stored it in the frig. I'm assuming thee could be a botulism danger here based upon the info in the thread?

Waffle3
added almost 2 years ago


Heat is not the way to go if you want fresh garlic flavor. That's one reason why commercial preparations are acidified (see post above).

Don't let your dressing sit out > 40F for more than two hours. Time under refrigeration should be limited to no more than one week (3-5 days would be better).

You can read more about the subject here:

http://umaine.edu/publications...

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added almost 2 years ago

I agree; I love the taste of fresh garlic and wouldn't want to saute it first. I actually thought about two approaches: making in much smaller batches so it would be used up quickly, and eliminating the garlic in the dressing and adding the minced garlic directly into the salad as I use it. I will check out the link you mentioned.

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added almost 2 years ago

ChefOno, the link was extremely helpful. I'm one of those people who wants to know the "why" of things. The link provided me with that part of the picture. It also made me rethink several other things like the fact that I am using olive oil and fresh garlic in tabouli salad. I was going to make some today, and now realize I'm going to only make half the recipe so it's consumed within the 3-5 day time frame you suggested. It also appears that fresh herbs can create a similar scenario, which is making me more conscious about things like addition of fresh basil, thyme and parsley. I used to make salad dressing with dried herbs only, and then I thought use of fresh would make it so much better. It obviously did, but does give one a few things to think about and take into account!

Open-uri20130220-1859-1frjimq-0
added almost 2 years ago

really? bacteria? not sure about that.... all our life we have had ginger,garlic,onions with a bit of salt and peppercorn seeds soaked on vinegar till it ferments and use them as dipping sauce without refrigeration and it still is fine... and i just made a week back a garlic sauce or toum and kept it for two weeks and taste just fine which mainly use raw materials... i also did kimchi which mostly is raw and kept it in the fridge and it's just fine... i from time to time also make stir fried garlic and chili in oil and kept it in room temperature and they just do fine... i guess some people think too much... our family could have all died with some bacteria or disease if that were the case... nature has its way of saving itself...should we throw out a mayo as soon as we those jars when it's main ingredient is raw egg and vinegar??? BUT MAYBE...just maybe, some of you do not use a serving spoon... we all grow up using a serving spoon from viands to sauces to prevent food or any sauce to turn sour or bad

Open-uri20130220-1859-1frjimq-0
added almost 2 years ago

really? bacteria? not sure about that.... all our life we have had ginger,garlic,onions with a bit of salt and peppercorn seeds soaked in vinegar till it ferments and use them as dipping sauce without refrigeration and it still is fine... and i just made a garlic sauce or toum a week back and a few days ago and kept it for two weeks now and taste just fine which mainly use raw materials... i also did kimchi which mostly is raw and kept it in the fridge and it's just fine... i from time to time also make stir fried garlic and chili in oil and keep it in a room temperature and they just do fine... i guess some people think too much... our family could have all died with some bacteria or disease if that were the case... nature has its way of saving itself...should we throw out a mayo as soon as we open those jars when it's main ingredient is raw egg and vinegar??? BUT MAYBE...just maybe, some of you DO NOT use a serving spoon... we all grow up using a serving spoon from viands to sauces to prevent food or any sauce to turn sour or bad

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added almost 2 years ago

Vinegar is much different than oil. Vinegar has a very low Ph and therefore inhibits the growth of pathogens.

Waffle3
added almost 2 years ago


To expand on John's post above:

Jefferson, you mention soaking ingredients in vinegar (acidification / pickling), fermentation, and cooking (Pasteurization) -- these are all accepted methods of food preparation and preservation. Mayonnaise is another example of acidification being used to prevent bacterial growth. A simple infusion of oil with garlic is potentially lethal as it creates the perfect environment for growth of clostridium botulinum, the bacterium which causes botulism.

You can read more about the danger here: http://www.fsis.usda.gov...

Waffle3
added almost 2 years ago


I missed one very important point: Just because something smells and tastes okay does not mean it is safe! There are two classes of bacteria: Spoilage bacteria which can make food taste bad, and pathogenic bacteria which very seldom do. A single taste, just touching your tongue to food contaminated with c. botulinum can be lethal. If we could smell poisoned food, there would be very few cases of food poisoning yet 1 out of every 6 Americans become sick from their food every year.