It is common knowledge that most salad dressings need refrigeration, as they can contain eggs, fresh herbs, and dairy products. Like this Buttermilk Peppercorn Ranch Salad Dressing.
The question is though, what about your vinaigrette’s, do they need to be refrigerated?
Let’s Talk Oil & Vinagar
Oil and vinegar are two food ingredients that can be safely stored at room temperature.
According to “The Vinegar Institute,” vinegar has an almost indefinite shelf life because of its acid nature, and as such it’s self-preserving and does not need refrigeration.
Vinegars can develop over time a change in color or the development of a haze or sediment, though this is only an aesthetic change.
As for cooking oil, the general rule of thumb, is to use opened containers within 6 months. Light, heat and oxygen can cause oil to go rancid over time.
Have you bought olive oil or avocado oil in dark containers, either glass or plastic? The dark container protects these delicate oils from light.
When the bottle or container is opened, oxygen in the air will react with the molecules in the oil and cause them to go rancid over a short period of time.
Antioxidants protect oils against oxidation. Some manufacturers will add them to their oils to improve shelf life. Vitamin E is one common antioxidant used.
Cooking Oils That Should Be Refrigerated
The oils that should be refrigerated include those with a lower saturated fat content, like safflower, sunflower, canola, walnut oil, sesame oil and almond oil.
Both Almond & Walnut Oil Should Be Refrigerated
So, with that in mind, Do You Need To Refrigerate Your Homemade Vinaigrette? Continue reading.
Do You Need To Refrigerate Your Homemade Vinaigrette?
If your homemade vinaigrette only is prepared or made with shelf-stable ingredients like oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, then there is no need.
If your vinaigrettes contain perishable ingredients, such as buttermilk, yogurt, heavy cream, eggs, citrus juice, fresh herbs, shallots, onion, garlic, any other type of vegetable and fruits, then you should store it in the refrigerator.
Vinaigrette’s That Need Refrigeration
Adding dairy, eggs, fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables, either in the form of a juice, chopped or puréed have the potential for the growth of Clostridium botulinum spores, which is botulism or food poisoning.
The only way to prevent these spores from growing, is storing your homemade vinaigrette in the refrigerator.
Homemade vinaigrette’s that contain vegetable oil, such as olive oil, when stored in the refrigerator will likely lose its emulsion and the oil will solidify and float to the top.
To remedy this problem, bring the vinaigrette to room temperature about 30 minutes before whisking or shaking to emulsify it. Remember to store any unused portion in the refrigerator.
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