Do I need to keep oils, vinegars, and dried spices in the fridge?
I've heard things about "oxidation" and spoilage of oils, dried spices, and vinegars, and that for health and culinary benefits, one should keep them all in the fridge.
Right now, everything except for the sesame oil stays out, but tucked away from light and the heat of the stove/window. I could put them in a cupboard, but I wonder if the fridge would be better?
What's the real scoop? Help appreciated.
First off, I *LOVE* your name here on CH. :-)
Second, the vinegars and dried spices - no, you don't have refrigerate them. The oils - it does help with the rancidity time frame, so just remember to take them out about a half hour to 45 minutes before needing them for use.
It would probably be good to keep your oils in the fridge. The ones that really need refrigeration are the nut oils like sesame, walnut, hazelnut. Peanut oil doesn't need it so much. The less refining, the more they need refrigeration.
The vinegars are very difficult to spoil. You don't need to refrigerate them or your dried spices. You could possibly freeze your dried spices maybe in a foodsaver bag, otherwise keep them in a sealed glass jar out of the light.
What would be the cat's meow would be to store your oils in a wine refrigerator. They maintain temps at around 55 degrees F. They are dark. Even if the door is glass it is darkened glass.
The only oils I keep in the fridge is bacon grease and sometimes I don't even do that if I'm using it up right away. I keep my sesame oil, canola, vegetable, olive and all other oils except maybe a fresh herb infused oil like basil in the cupboard. Dried herbs & vinegars don't need to be in the fridge. Vinegar lasts forever at room temperature.
If I have a lot of one dried herb that I know I won't use within a couple to three months, I'll put them in my freezer just to free up cupboard space. I also will keep my dried peppers in the freezer for the same purpose. If I put all of my oils, seasonings and vinegars in my fridge, I'd have to buy a separate fridge just for that purpose.