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Apr 21, 2010 08:46 AM

Using a wine chiller for oil storage - What do you think?

I have been seriously considering buying one of those small wine chillers that hold 9-16 bottles. They keep the box at about 55 degrees and have a tinted glass door.

That sounds perfect for various oil storage. Who doesn't have at least 3-4 different kinds of oil? Olive Oil... light and a couple extra virgins; Sesame oil; truffle oil, walnut oil.

Anyway, I can usually pick one of these things up used for $50-75.

You people think it would be a good idea?

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  1. Sure, and you could even store wine in it!

    Actually, at 55*, I'm wondering if it's chill enough for long term storage of nut oils.
    Consider how you keep them in the frig, at what, 40-45*? Just a thought.

    There are some conflicting views about storing olive oil in the frig, as I've read from a few posters here. One particular poster, seemingly very knowledgeable about olive oils, says never put them in the frig. Anyway, just thought I'd throw that out there. Maybe do a little further research, or maybe the olive oil specialist poster will weigh in here.

    On the issue of truffle oil, it's somewhat controversial as to whether these oils are worth the money. Some people swear by them, others swear at them. If you already own and like them, and it seems like you do, that's cool, but if you are just thinking about buying truffle oil, perhaps do a search at Chow for some older threads on the subject.

    I'd buy the wine cooler anyway.

    4 Replies
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      I don't own any truffle oil but I have seen the controversy about most of them being a chemical creation rather than an actual truffle product.

      I am thinking of creating my own truffle oil. I can order a truffle from amazon. I can get very good extra virgin olive oil although I think trying it with a light relatively tasteless oil would be good too.

      Anyway, my idea is to heat the oil up to about 165-180 degrees F and cut some slices of truffle into it. Take it off the burner, put a lid on the pan and let it steep for 30 - 40 minutes. Then store it in a sealed bottle in the pantry for a week or two. I would think that would be truffle oil.

      I have actually seen a small bottle of truffle oil and it only had a single slice of truffle and this slice was as small a slice as I could imagine.

      1. re: tonka11_99

        "had a single slice of truffle and this slice was as small a slice as I could imagine. "
        And I can just imagine...

        Here's an interesting read on making truffle oil at home, with the usual Chow controversy and some actual test result comments. According to some posters, it's a go, other say no way.

        Some of the issue with homemade infused oils in general are the use of organic matter, which, when submerged in oil, can be a breeding ground for botulism, if not refrigerated and used up, according to FDA guidelines, within 10-14 days. Maybe you've read the homemade garlic-infused oil discussions here on Chow; posters are quick to warn of the possible health issues associated with improper or long term storage. Depending upon the strain, clostridium botulinum can be slightly or very heat resistant, to complicate matters; so heating the oil or roasting the garlic won't necessarily kill the bacteria.

        FWIW, here's a blog from a guy who actually (well, maybe) made truffle oil:

        Whatever you decide, please post your results. I'm quite curious about this.

        1. re: bushwickgirl

          I just looked up botulism on wikipedia and this is what it said about prevention.

          "Commercially canned goods are required to undergo a "botulinum cook" at 121 °C (250 °F) for 3 minutes."

          So guess I will need to incorporate that "botulinum cook" technique.

          1. re: tonka11_99

            Yes, good idea, better safe. I hope that won't effect the truffle flavor in a negative way, but I think not, somehow.

    2. Sounds like a good idea, but I always seem to go through oils before they go rancid. Also, whenever one of my food-ignorant roommates puts my oil in the fridge, it solidifies. I hate it when I'm trying to make dinner and I have to scoop solidified oil out of a bottle with a chopstick, and I would hate it to happen to you. However, 55 might not do it.

      Good luck.