You can't possibly finish off a jar of virgin coconut oil in just a day, so you must know how to store it to make sure its health properties (hence, health benefits) do not degrade over time like the best grade olive oil. Yes, it's possible to keep virgin coconut oil as good as fresh. Thanks to its high content of saturated fats.
1. Cool or Warm Places?
Storing virgin coconut oil in a cool, dry place sounds good. But it may not apply to all people residing in different regions.
If you're living in countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand or Indonesia where there is no winter, it's ideal just to keep virgin coconut oil in a cool, dry place since it will always stay in liquid form and ready to be used.
But if you're residing in regions where your room temperatures tend to fall below 76 °F (24 °C), which is virgin coconut oil's freezing point, it will solidify. And when the oil hardens as temperature falls further, you may need a sharp object to scrape it out for use.
In that case, you should store virgin coconut oil in a warm place like the shelf above or next to the stove in your kitchen so that the heat from the stove during cooking can help to warm it enough for it to be liquefied and readily scoopable. Or you can store it in cabinet near to fireplace if you do have one.
It's not necessary to store virgin coconut oil in the fridge to retain its health properties.
Whether in or out of fridge, virgin coconut oil's health properties won't change easily unless you place it near some high heat zone where the temperature rises beyond 350 °F (177 °C), which is the point at which virgin coconut oil starts to break down and loses its health properties.
But if you insist to refrigerate it just because the label of the virgin coconut oil you bought says so, then a good tip for you is to pour the liquefied oil onto an ice cube tray first before putting it in fridge. The advantage for doing this is that you can easily pop out the portion you need without having to wait for the entire jar to warm up before you can start scooping the amount for use.
If you apply this "ice cube tray" idea, you may need to get yourself some shot glass ice cube tray if you're worried that the plastic ice cube tray may leach some chemicals into the oil.
Another thing worth mentioning is that taking virgin coconut oil in and out of refrigerator repeatedly should not degrade its quality and health properties, so long as you handle virgin coconut oil with care, like keeping your spoon dry and clean before you scoop the oil out for use. If water or other contaminants get into the oil, cross-contamination will take place and molds may grow on the surface of the oil and cause the oil to turn rancid.
Unlike extra-virgin olive oil that easily degrades over time no matter how and where you store it, virgin coconut oil has a highly stable chemical structure that makes it less vulnerable to environmental conditions such as heat, light or air.
This means that you can literally place virgin coconut oil anywhere in your house provided the temperatures are less than its smoke point, which is 350 °F (177 °C). And if you handle the oil well, its shelf life may extend longer than the usual 2 years.