Why would scallion oil go bad?

Discussion in 'Open Forum With Harold McGee' started by live_to_cook, Dec 13, 2005.

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  1. live_to_cook

    live_to_cook

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    Thanks for taking the time here at ChefTalk.

    Vegetable oil can sit in my cupboard practically forever.

    But when I make scallion oil (slice bunch of scallions, drop in hot hot vegetable oil, drain) the recipe says it must be refrigerated and can only hold a few days. What gives?
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Botulism. Look at the botulism thread in this same forum. You are using a wet ingredient that will support botulism growth in an oxygen free environment.

    On the other hand, many recipe sources are extremely cautious to avoid any liability lawsuits. The Beef Council won't recommend any cooking method below 350 for beef even though Prime Rib is usually cooked lower commercially.

    Phil
     
  3. live_to_cook

    live_to_cook

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    If you heat the oil past 300F, wouldn't that kill whatever bugs there are?

    Edited to add: I mean, reheat it before using if it's been sitting around for a while.
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Botulinin toxin denatures at 160 as I recall. The spores that create new botulism can take quite high heat and pressure.

    Heating the oil repeatedly also causes it to break down and taste off too so while you're making it safe (for a time), you're also degrading flavor.

    Phil
     
  5. harold mcgee

    harold mcgee

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    No need for me to add anything! Phil is right on these points.

    Harold
     
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