Oil is an essential substance for cooking – if nothing else, without oil, it would be simply impossible to bake and fry. Saying just oil isn’t much precise, though, because there are a thousand kinds of oil with different uses.
So when we’re talking about the oil used for cooking, it would be more correct to refer to it as cooking vegetable oil because this term refers specifically to the oils made out of parts of fruit we use in the kitchen.
And you probably know this – but do you know anything else about these kinds of oil we use every other day? Like, for instance, do you even know if cooking vegetable oil can freeze?
So does cooking vegetable oil freeze? Yes, cooking vegetable oil freezes, and it happens relatively quickly, too – some kinds of cooking vegetable oil may freeze even at room temperature! Usually, though, the oil won’t begin to freeze until you reach the temperatures around 10 °F (-12.5 ºC)
This was just to put it very simply, though, and there’s much more to learn about this exciting topic. So without further ado, let’s just jump right into it, shall we?
Table of Contents
Can cooking vegetable oil freeze?
Yes, cooking vegetable oil can freeze, and no matter what you may think, it isn’t that uncommon. Actually, there are many oils you most likely have never even seen as liquids.
That can be, for instance, palm and coconut oil because their melting points are higher than the room temperature.
What you consider to be their normal state then may actually be the palm and coconut oil being frozen!
Does cooking vegetable oil have a freezing point?
We’ve touched this one a bit in the previous answer – yes, cooking vegetable oil has a freezing point. However, it is impossible to say at what temperature precisely that point is.
That’s mainly due to the fact cooking vegetable oil is a very broad term referring to countless different specific kinds of oil, and each kind has its own freezing point.
And since oil is a natural substance, the freezing point can still vary a lot when we’re talking about the same kind of oil and even the same brand.
Therefore, the freezing point of cooking vegetable oil can be anywhere between 1 °F (-17 ºC) to even 95 °F (35 ºC).
What temperature does cooking vegetable oil freeze?
We’ve explained this one right above, so just quickly – oil is a natural, complex substance, and the temperature it freezes at, therefore, varies case by case.
Additionally, the term cooking vegetable oil doesn’t even refer to a specific kind of oil but instead to a massive group of oils we use in the kitchen.
Because of all of that, we simply cannot say at what precise temperature does cooking vegetable oil freeze – but most of the time, it will be somewhere below 10 °F (-12.5 ºC).
What temperature does cooking oil solidify?
As we’ve mentioned above, oil is a complex natural substance, and its properties can vary a lot by a concrete product.
Therefore, saying at what temperature cooking oil solidifies is a tough challenge – it simply depends on so many things, in the first place, including what kind of oil we’re talking about specifically.
To put it generally, though, we can say that cooking oil solidifies at temperatures around 45 °F (7.2 ºC).
How long does it take to freeze cooking vegetable oil?
So now that we have covered the temperatures, we have to look at the time, another critical factor regarding freezing. So how long will your cooking oil take to freeze?
Well, that once again depends – not only on what kind of oil we’re talking about but also on the temperature itself. And even when we’re talking about two bottles of the same oil left at the temperature, it can take pretty different amounts of time for them to freeze.
But speaking generally, we can say that it will take something between four hours and a day for your cooking vegetable to freeze.
Will freezing the cooking oil change its properties?
No, freezing the cooking oil won’t change its properties, at least not drastically. Just like with everything, freezing your oil obviously will harm it a bit, but it is generally considered not to be harmful a lot.
Therefore, if you need to store your oil for a long time, freezing it is not only possible but actually highly recommended as the best way to do so.
Cooking vegetable oil is a term used to refer to the group of oils made out of seeds and other parts of fruit we use in our kitchen. Because of that, many different kinds possible but of oils fall under this term.
And that means cooking vegetable oil doesn’t have any strict properties – additionally, because it’s natural, oil is a complex substance with no strictly set properties in principle. And all of this makes it hard to talk simply about freezing and cooking vegetable oil.
In general, it can only be said that cooking vegetable oil can freeze – there will simply always be considerable differences in the exact freezing point or time needed to freeze in each case, though.
While some kinds of oil (like safflower and sunflower) start to freeze only a bit before 1 °F (-17 ºC), others (for instance, coconut and palm) have their freezing point so high that we don’t even think of them as primarily liquid substances anymore.
Image credits – Canva