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How long will homemade vinaigrette stay good for?

I was wondering what the average expiration would be on a homemade vinaigrette dressing. Any insight would be great!

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  1. What are the ingredients? Does it contain garlic and/or shallots/fresh herbs?

    7 Replies
      1. re: chefathome

        So, if the vinaigrette contains garlic and/or shallots/fresh herbs, the shelf life in the refrigerator will be reduced, is that the idea?

        And how about a dressing made of fresh lemon, olive oil and salt & pepper. Should that have a similar refrigerated life of several days?

        1. re: uwsgrazer

          yes -- contamination via the microorganisms on the garlic/shallots/herbs. Anaerobic bacteria are particularly nasty in your body -- and oil provides an excellent environment for their growth.

          Fresh lemon, oo, and s&p would be less likely to be carrying any microorganisms, so it should last several days with no problems.

          1. re: sunshine842

            That probably explains why jarred chopped garlic in oil makes me sick, as does a lot of restaurant food with garlic. My sister, a former waitress, says a lot of people can't handle jarred restaurant garlic.

            1. re: thymeoz


              Not liking it, or having it upset your stomach, is a whole separate thing from having it be contaminated. Not every restaurant uses jarred garlic, so if every restaurant dish containing garlic bothers you, it's the garlic itself.

              Commercially-prepared chopped garlic is heat-processed to kill the microorganisms.

              the illnesses caused by contaminated garlic can put you in the hospital, not just cause you to have an upset stomach.

              1. re: sunshine842

                Not every restaurant dish upsets my stomach, but I see your point. So there's something about garlic that bothers some people... or is it just individual digestive differences?

                1. re: thymeoz

                  Yes, some people are actually allergic to garlic, others just get heartburn/upset stomach/heartburn after eating it....others may not be able to eat onions, or chiles, or beans. Some can eat a little with no issues and have no problems, others can't touch the stuff, others can plow through a plateful and never so much as belch.

                  And yes, it varies wildly from person to person and from dish to dish.

      2. a couple of days, if you didn't use egg yolk or cream in it -- ETA: In the refrigerator.

        That's the beauty of homemade vinaigrette -- you don't have to make more than you need!

        3 Replies
        1. re: sunshine842

          I usually take your approach. I make just what I think I'll need.
          if I have extra I'll usually put it in a tiny recycled jar. save for tomorrow or use by next day with something else not originally intended. I marinate meat or veg in it then roast.

          1. re: sunshine842

            Why would a mix of oil and vinegar (both of which lasts indefinitely unrefrigerated) only last two days in the fridge?

            1. re: joonjoon

              because the olive oil congeals in the fridge and just gets unpleasant.

              Making it in the bowl takes maybe 5 minutes and doesn't dirty a jar or take up space in the fridge.

          2. My mother has a vat that she keeps topping up that sits on her countertop. She augments it with kalamata olive brine, shallots and balsalmic vinegar. It has been there and used for at least a decade; nobody has died yet. Nevertheless, I do not recommend this approach.

            3 Replies
            1. re: relizabeth

              is it **vinegar**, or is it **vinaigrette**, which has oil in it?

              10-year-old vinegar isn't a big deal -- 10-year-old vinaigrette might be.

              1. re: sunshine842

                oh it is vinaigrette! It has oil in it.

                1. re: relizabeth

                  erg. The oil can become rancid and cause serious health issues.

            2. I keep mine in the fridge for a week, sometimes longer. It does contain garlic and it is fully emulsified with a stick blender. Whenever it separates I give it a quick shake.

              1. I make a squeezebottle of homemade vinaigrette that usually lasts me four to six weeks in the fridge. As of today, it has not killed me.

                1. I keep homemade vinaigrette in the fridge for a few weeks at times. Usual ingredients are olive oil, vinegar (balsamic, red wine, and/or sherry), dried herbs, and dijon mustard. Agree that shelf life with egg, cream or fresh herbs would be shorter.

                  1. in re the concerns about anaerobic bacteria due to garlic http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11...

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Brains

                      I use garlic or shallots in my vinaigrettes and it stays in my fridge for weeks/months to zero bad results.

                      1. re: Brains

                        Brains, I think you may have posted the wrong link...? There is a definite link between garlic and botulism.

                        Garlic can be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum spores which germinate and produce botulinum toxin in anaerobic conditions (ie. garlic stored in oil). Botulism is rare but when the consequences are so serious, why would you take the risk.

                        1. re: LittleChicken

                          It's interesting in following these posts that all of the comments related to anaerobic bacteria, garlic, and oil fail to talk about the fact that: 1) acidity inhibits the reproduction of botulinum spores, which is why when garlic s commercially packed in oil it is slightly acidulated, and, 2) that vinaigrette is by definition quite highly acidulated. You also have a number of other antibacterials, such as mustard and salt. Although there is the rare case of botulism growing in garlic stored in oil, in Googling I have not been able to find any cases where it has been responsible for a case in vinaigrette.

                          In a way, this conversation strikes me as one of those where common sense may play a role. If this were remotely a threat, there would be reams of reports of such poisonings, there would be common wisdom among cooks including little french couplets to the effect of "leave vinaigrette for three days, be dead in four", and in its absence, the population of France long ago have been decimated. Instead, there is learned speculation based on 1) theoretical knowledge of what can happen in the laboratory, and 2) a few cases that are not comparable to the cook making vinaigrette from fresh ingredients (e.g. direct use of oil-stored garlic in cooking). It is a terrifying illness, and it is probably is not smart to store untreated, fresh garlic in oil by itself, but I suspect that there are many things that we are far more likely to die of than botulism laced vinaigrette. This article may be more apposite: http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food...

                      2. Mine is olive oil, some type of vinegar, and mustard, with some salt and black pepper. I make a jar, keep it on the shelf at room temperature until it's done. Time ranges from several days to a few weeks.

                        If opened bottles of vinegar and oil are shelf stable at room temperature for many weeks, and mustard nearly so, then why not a vinaigrette containing those three ingredients?

                        1. I'll be preparing a lime vinaigrette today for a giant salad tonight for dinner. bought a large mesh bag of really nice limes yesterday to freeze (for later use too). at their recent absence and high cost thought since I saw them I'd better buy 'em.