Does Sesame Oil Go Bad? How Long Do They Last?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on August 5th, 2022

Many people worry if sesame oil spoils with time. It won’t stay forever, but the issue is, how long does sesame oil last? It is mostly determined by its quality and storage method.

You don’t need it regularly, but having one on hand in the kitchen is useful. As a result, learning more about the subject is beneficial. Let’s see what happens.

sesame seeds in sack and bottle of oil on wooden rustic table

Sesame Oil Varieties

The following are the available variants on the market:

  • Sesame oil, whether light/white or plain, is prepared from raw, untoasted sesame seeds. Because of their high smoke point, they can be utilized for shallow frying or roasting. They mix well into any recipe since they have a neutral flavor.
  • Roasted/dark sesame oil, often known as Asian, is prepared from toasted seeds. Its color ranges from brown to dark red-brown, and it has a robust scent and a stronger nutty flavor. Due to its low smoke point, it is used as a finishing oil in fried rice, noodles, and salad dressings.
  • The process of extracting oil is referred to as cold-pressed sesame oil. It is a traditional approach that does not use chemicals, heat, or preservatives.
  • Blended oils are created by combining two different oils. For instance, sesame seed and olive oil when mixed.

Does Sesame Oil Go Bad?

Unfortunately, like other unprocessed oils, sesame oil may become rancid since it is high in unsaturated fats. These characteristics make it very beneficial to a human diet, but they are also directly responsible for the product’s rancidity.

The oxidation and triglyceride hydrolysis processes begin as soon as you open a bottle owing to exposure to air, moisture, light, and bacteria. As a result, your oil will begin to degrade, yielding free fatty acids and glycerol.

By keeping this product carefully, you can aid antioxidants, particularly phenols, in slowing its degradation. Unfortunately, that is merely a method of slowing the process, not completely stopping it.

After a while, sesame oil will darken, smell nasty, and taste harsh. Keep in mind that it is a slow and gradual procedure that might span months.

Please keep in mind that rancidification is a continuous process. When it first begins, the scent or flavor may not be of the highest quality, but it is still suitable for usage. However, the oil will only become worse with time.

What Is the Shelf Life of Sesame Oil?

No one can tell you how long sesame oil will last. It is determined by a few critical elements, including:

  • Before the processing of sesame seeds begins, the seed’s initial quality is assessed.
  • The time it takes for sesame seeds to be stored once they have been milled.
  • Storage conditions for sesame seeds
  • Blending with different oils is an option.
  • How long would it take for the oil to be transported in a shipping container? How much time will you need to spend on supplies?
  • Packaging caliber

Remember that the sesame oil you buy at the shop is already a few months, if not years, old. In other words, the product quality is significantly worse than it is at the time of manufacture.

Sesame oilPantryFridge
Unopened packaging1 to 2 years2 + years
Opened packaging6 to 8 months1 to 2 years

This product, like any other oil, has a best-by date. It is an approximate approximation of the needed product quality when properly kept. However, it is unlikely to go rancid for several months.

So, unopened packaging may be kept in a pantry for up to two years or even longer if kept in the refrigerator.

The best bet is to keep your oil in the pantry and utilize it within six months of breaking the seal. If you store it in the fridge, you may use it for a few months longer without worrying about quality deterioration.

How Long Does Sesame Oil Last in the Outdoors?

While it may not appear that keeping your sesame oil outside will hurt it, exposure to light, particularly sunshine, accelerates oxidation. This can cause the oil to grow rancid faster.

  • Sesame oil has a shelf life of roughly a month if stored in a room with direct sunlight.
  • Sesame oil may be stored for up to six months once it is opened.
  • If unopened, sesame oil can be stored in a pantry for up to two years.
  • To ensure that sesame oil lasts as long as possible, keep it in a cold, dry, and dark area.
  • Keep the lid as securely closed as possible to prevent pollutants from entering. Smaller bottles will be completed faster and have less time to deteriorate than bigger ones.

How Long Does Sesame Oil Keep in the Refrigerator?

The coldness of the fridge slows down the chemical processes that contribute to oxidization; therefore, storing your sesame oil in the refrigerator extends its shelf life.

Sesame oil may be stored in a refrigerator for up to a year if unopened and up to two years if opened. Even if you haven’t opened it in a year or two, it can be a good idea to check on it.

Storing your sesame oil in the fridge may cause it to become hazy or even solid, but this does not indicate that it has gone bad. Allowing the container to come up to room temperature will bring it back to normal.

How Long Can Sesame Oil Be Stored in the Freezer?

Sesame oil can be stored in the refrigerator for a long time, but what about the freezer? If keeping your sesame oil cool is a good idea, wouldn’t it be preferable to keep it colder?

In this situation, what appears to be a logical conclusion is not. Frozen sesame oil solidifies, which means you’d have to bring it out and thaw it for a few hours before using it. A few minutes to an hour should be enough to keep it frozen.

At 21 degrees Fahrenheit, sesame oil freezes (or -6 degrees Celsius, for the non-Americans)

Overall, the ideal location to store sesame oil is in the refrigerator. However, it can also be kept in a darkish pantry or closet.

Does toasted sesame oil have the same shelf life as ordinary sesame oil?

Opinions appear to be divided on this. The general belief is that toasted sesame oil has a little shorter shelf life than regular sesame oil. I recommend checking the “best by” date and testing the oil before using it.

What is cold-pressed sesame oil, and how does it vary from regular sesame oil in terms of shelf life?

Cold pressing is a pressure-based process of extracting sesame oil that does not use heat, preservatives, or chemicals. It is, in essence, the purest oil. Due to the lack of preservatives, it may be stored in a pantry for six months and refrigerated for one year.

Is it necessary to keep sesame oil refrigerated?

Plain sesame oil does not need to be refrigerated to last a long time, although it can benefit if you need to keep it for an extended period. Toasted sesame oil, on the other hand, loses quality more rapidly, and it’s best to keep it in the fridge if you want it to keep its flavor for longer than a few months.

(The same recommendation applies to the majority of other oils.) Avocado oil, for example, does not need to be refrigerated, but doing so will help increase its storage duration.)

In other words, refrigerating sesame oil is the best approach to extend its shelf life, especially if it is roasted sesame oil.

Of course, if you use sesame oil fast (e.g., within a few weeks to a couple of months), where you keep it probably doesn’t matter all that much.

Last but not least, when you open the bottle, refrigeration is significantly more beneficial. A completely unopened one will probably stay in the pantry for months.

Now, let’s keep some more storage methods in mind.

Does sesame oil harden?

When stored in the refrigerator, sesame oil may harden, although this does not affect its quality. Put it outside at normal temperature whenever you need to use it, and it will revert to its natural form.

How to Tell If Your Sesame Oil Is Bad

Sesame oil is a highly useful component but can spoil fast if not stored properly. The following are the early indicators of spoilage:


Cold-pressed sesame oil is pale yellow, whereas Indian sesame oil is deeper, nearly golden in color. The toasted product has a deeper color. When this oil becomes rancid, it turns a dark brown color.


If you see clouds on the oil’s surface or changes in its clarity, it has most likely gone rancid.


Rancid sesame oil loses its nutty flavor and smells harsh and foul.


Most people do not want to test stinky oil with obvious evidence of rancidity, but you can do so to determine whether it is safe to use. Spoiled sesame oil feels bitter and sour, but the amount of spoiling cannot be determined accurately.


Unlike other oil kinds, mold will never appear in sesame oil, even if the quality deteriorates.

What are the health risks associated with ingesting rancid oil?

Excessive intake of rancid oil has been linked to the generation of free radicals in the body, which might have negative consequences. The rancid oil contains carcinogenic free radicals; if consumed in high numbers, these free radicals will disrupt normal physiological functioning.

Short-term use of rancid oil will not create serious health problems, but consuming rancid oil over a long period might increase the number of free radicals in the body, damaging the body’s cells, proteins, and DNA.

Is it okay to use sesame oil after it has passed its “best by” or “best before” date?

The “best by” or “best before” date printed on the bottle of sesame oil relates to the quality rather than the product’s safety. Therefore s, sesame oil does not always go bad immediately after the best before date. It is when sesame oil is at its best in terms of quality and flavor, but you may still use sesame oil that is past this date as long as it was stored correctly.

How to Store Sesame Oil

The best method to preserve any oil, including sesame oil, is in its original package until you’re ready to use it. Once opened, place it into an airtight container to avoid oxidation and, as a result, rancidity.

Whatever storage method you select, keep the packing away from direct sunlight and heat sources.


The most important requirement for the oil to last a long time is to get a high-quality product. Small-batch manufacturers that are conscientious about cleanliness utilize only high-quality sesame seeds.

Never replace an old sesame oil bottle with a new one. Also, do not reuse the same bottle for new oil after using the old one without first thoroughly cleaning it. Otherwise, even residues of older oil drips may contaminate the fresh product.


To protect the product from heat and light, always use smaller packaging and non-transparent, dark bottles, ideally green or blue. As a result, less air will enter the container once you begin using the sesame oil, and you will use the entire quantity before it spoils.

Large tins of sesame oil appear to be a wonderful and cost-effective option, but they are prohibitively expensive if half of the content becomes rancid.

Pantry And Kitchen Cabinets

Because light and heat degrade the quality of sesame oil, it should be stored in a cool, dark area. The handiest solutions are a kitchen cabinet and pantry, provided you can ensure that the temperature does not change too much.

If you don’t leave the container on the counter, tightly closed oil will last around six months. Always use only what you need and save the rest in a secure location.


Keeping sesame oil in the fridge will increase its shelf life and allow the product to retain its nuttiness, color, and texture for a longer length of time. This oil contains up to 42 percent PUFAs (Polyunsaturated fatty acids), which makes it prone to oxidation.

Because it becomes rancid faster than other oils, it’s best to keep it in the fridge, especially if you don’t use it daily. Never put the packing in a refrigerator door since the temperature dramatically swings.

On the other hand, keeping sesame oil in the refrigerator has drawbacks. For example, it will quickly absorb other foods’ odors and smell rotten.

Another drawback is that it solidifies and becomes thick after a time at low temperatures. In this instance, you must wait at least 15 minutes at room temperature for it to return to a liquid form before utilizing it.


Sesame oil should not be frozen in general. When temperatures fall below 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 degrees Celsius), the texture changes and thickens. As a result, you won’t be able to pour it without first thawing it. If you use this product daily, it might be somewhat inconvenient.

Is it possible to freeze sesame oil?

On the market, you may find a few different types of sesame oil, such as:

  • Cold-pressed sesame oil is a high-quality product free of preservatives and additives. Heat is not used in this conventional extraction procedure.
  • Light (plain, white) sesame oil — Made from raw, untoasted sesame seeds, this product has a neutral taste. Because of its high smoke point, this oil may be used for roasting or shallow frying.
  • Dark (roasted, Asian) sesame oil — Made from toasted seeds, this brown to dark, red-brown oil is created. You may use it to make fried rice, salad dressings, and noodles because of its low smoke point, rich nutty taste, and powerful scent.
  • Blended sesame oil — It is now very typical to combine two different oils. Producers, for example, add sesame oil to olive oil to lower prices and make their goods cheaper.

It is not suggested to freeze sesame oil, regardless of the kind, because the freezing temperature is rather low. Furthermore, it will take much too long to solidify.

However, once solidified, it will be difficult to cut a piece. This makes this method of storing unfeasible. One method is to freeze the oil in ice cube trays and utilize the cubes as needed. It is a good choice for both commercial and handmade sesame oils.


Sesame oil storage guidelines vary greatly. It may survive for a long time if stored properly in the pantry or refrigerator, but it is important to check your goods regularly. You can only be certain that it is still useful after smelling and tasting it.


Editorial Staff

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