The popularity of clarified butter has been growing recently for both health reasons and its versatility in cooking. The funny thing is, I didn’t even know that ghee existed until a couple of years ago. I see most people keeping it in their cupboard due to it being shelf-stable, but how long will it last this way, and how should it is best stored? So, I decided to do some research, and I thought I’d share my answers with you.
In its original packaging, sealed store-bought ghee will last up to 24 months if stored at room temperature. Once opened, ghee will last 3-4 months at room temperature and up to 12 months in the fridge. Homemade ghee will typically last up to 12 months when stored properly in an airtight container.
Ghee Shelf Life:
|Store-Bought Unopened||Up to 2 years||Not Necessary|
|Store-Bought Opened||Up to 4 months||Up to 12 months|
|Homemade, Airtight Container||Up to 4 months||Up to 12 months|
Now, let’s explore the subject in greater detail.
How Long Does Ghee Last Unopened?
In its original packaging, sealed ghee will last up to 24 months (2-years) if stored at room temperature. Keep away from heat and direct sunlight to avoid possible moisture intrusion. If it is homemade, properly store in an airtight container, like this one found on Amazon, following the same guidelines regarding heat and sunlight. This will yield a batch that may last between 6-12 months.
How Long Does Ghee Last out of the Fridge?
If maintained in its original container, ghee has been known to last around 3-4 months at room temperature after its initial use. This timeframe is dictated by the location and overall exposure of the set storage. If the ghee is exposed to direct sunlight, heat, or a simple lid oversight (not properly tightened), the timeframe will be shortened due to moisture accumulation.
How Long Will Ghee Last in the Fridge?
Once the ghee container has been opened (broken seal), it will last approximately 12 months in the refrigerator. Keep the lid tight and avoid using wet utensils when retrieving ghee from the container. The goal is to prevent moisture at all costs. If done correctly, your ghee will endure the expected expiration date and provide you will a couple of additional consumption months.
Should I Refrigerate Ghee?
If you are a consistent user of ghee, it is not necessary to store in a refrigerator. Ghee will last around 3-4 months at room temperature. For long-term storage, your best bet is to refrigerate ghee in a tightly closed container. I actually prefer to use the same type of container that I store homemade ice cream in, like this one found on Amazon. This will give you additional time to consume the product without it spoiling prematurely.
Does Ghee Expire?
Because of its lack of milk and water composition, ghee has an astonishingly long shelf-life. This is in part because it is almost 100% pure fat. This is achieved by removing virtually all milk solids. Depending on how it is stored, ghee may last up to a year!
Unfortunately, it will eventually reach a point of no return and expire.
Tip: Avoid using utensils that are not entirely dry. If you accidentally introduce moisture into the container of ghee, it will surely decrease its shelf-life. Be mindful of this as it can spoil the mixture.
Can You Eat Ghee After Expiration Date?
Unlike butter, expired ghee (except for when it contains visible mold) can be used even after its expiration date. In fact, you will not get ill but only smell and taste the difference. This is why ghee is such a versatile source of fat. For best results, discard the expired ghee and either purchase more or make a new batch. The fresh stuff is always best!
How Do You Know If Ghee Has Gone Bad?
Ghee’s unique properties make it a product with surprising longevity. But, like most perishables, it does come with an unavoidable expiration date. Here are some signs of spoiled ghee:
- Foul odor
- Sour taste
- Noticeably odd appearance (not its usual color)
Although you may still consume ghee after the predetermined expiration date, you will have a noticeable difference in taste and smell within your dishes. If the appearance is significant, do not consume. Furthermore, if there is visible mold, discard and do not incorporate it into your recipes.
The more you work with your ghee, the more you will get accustomed to its smooth and slightly granulated texture it consists of. If you see a noticeable change, it is an early sign of expiration.
Can Ghee Make You Sick?
Even after expiration, ghee will not make you sick. But, if your ghee has clear visible signs of built-up mold, this will surely get you ill. It is always suggested to get rid of ghee after expiration. However, if there are no drastic signs of it being rancid to include taste or smell, you will not likely get sick from consuming, even after its expiration date. Just use good common sense and make sure you call a doctor if you get sick after consuming it.
How Can I Increase the Shelf Life of Ghee?
To keep your homemade ghee from spoiling as long as possible, store in an airtight container away from direct sunlight. If you have a pantry, store within it in a dark corner. Without being exposed to heat, ghee will survive for an unprecedented amount of time. If store-bought, keep in its original packaging and avoid moisture.
Store in the refrigerator if you see signs of spoilage. The cold will prolong the process.
Tip: The higher the quality of ghee you purchase, the longer it will keep. Buy from a manufacturer who uses quality raw materials to make their product. This ensures you get the best bang for your buck!
Typically used in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, ghee acts as a type of butter. Unbeknownst to most westerners, however, ghee contains qualities that make it a superior product to butter due to its extended shelf-life and lack of milk-solids. Depending on how it is stored, ghee can last between 3-24 months. Of course, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that suggests it can last virtually indefinitely.
No matter your reason for keeping ghee around, you now know both how long it will be freshest and how to store it. I hope this article has been helpful.
Thanks for stoppin’ by for a visit!
Main photo courtesy of goblinbox.