To find out if keeping cooking oil by the stove is harmful, we asked family physician and New York Times bestselling author Cate Shanahan, M.D., for her take. And according to her, it’s likely not going to make your oil go bad that much faster.

As she tells mbg, “Heat could potentially oxidize the oil, and oxidation is terrifically harmful1—but unless you keep the oil right above your stovetop (heat rises) or have a blazing hot counter, we’re talking about maybe 5- or 10-degree difference.”

That won’t be enough to noticeably shorten the life span of the oil, she says, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best place to keep it.

As Jim Savage of Organic Roots, a California producer of organic extra-virgin olive oil, previously told mbg, proper storage is ultimately the best way to preserve the health benefits of good cooking oils like olive oil. He notes that finding a cool, dark spot is best because oxygen, light, and heat degrade oil the quickest.

So, “the best way to keep oil is in your pantry,” according to Savage.

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