Ghee is a staple in most Asian households.
Most people often confuse ghee with butter. However, ghee is a type of highly clarified butter and not the same.
The major difference between ghee and butter is that the former has fewer levels of dairy proteins than the latter.
This makes ghee a healthier alternative and also a great choice for people who are dairy intolerant.
Since ghee is not as popular outside Asia, you may have some questions regarding the fat.
Maybe you want to try an authentic South Asian recipe this weekend using ghee and are wondering how to store it for future use.
Or, maybe you still have some leftover ghee in your pantry from last year's Thanksgiving dinner, and you think whether it has turned bad. This is where this article comes in.
If you want to find out if your ghee has turned rancid, the signs of rancid ghee, or how long does ghee last, this article will answer all your questions.
All you have to do is continue reading.
How Long Does Ghee Last? Does Ghee Go Bad?
Just like any other food product, ghee also comes with a limited shelf life.
However, the shelf life of ghee depends on factors like the type of ghee you are using, opened or unopened, store bought or homemade, etc.
Let's first focus on store-bought ghee, which is mostly clarified butter.
When you buy ghee from the store, the best thing you can do is check the manufacturer label.
Since different manufacturers use different processes and additional ingredients, a one-size-fits-all approach does not work.
It is best to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the ghee that comes with best before dates and storage guidelines.
However, if you store the ghee in your fridge, it may last up to six months past its best before date.
Remember, the best before date does not mean an expiry date. It only refers to the time the ghee is in its best quality.
So, there is no harm in using the ghee past its best before/ use by date provided that you store it well.
In a nutshell, unopened or opened store-bought ghee can be stored in room temperature till the best before date.
Once you open it, we recommend you to refrigerate it to extend its longevity and retain its original quality for long.
If you are planning to finish up the jar of ghee within a month or two of opening, you can store it in your pantry as well.
But make sure to store it in an airtight jar and check signs of spoilage before using it.
On the other hand, when it comes to homemade ghee, it depends on the quantity and how you want to store it.
If you can use up all the homemade ghee within three months, you can store it neatly in your pantry or kitchen cabinet, away from heat.
If you want to increase its shelf life, you'll have to refrigerate it. Refrigerated homemade ghee can last you up to a year.
But make sure to check any signs of rancid ghee before use.
How to Tell if Ghee is Bad? Ghee Shelf Life!
If you've found a jar of long-unused ghee while going through your kitchen cabinet and are wondering if it has gone bad or not, you can easily make out by checking some few signs of spoilage.
Let us first talk about how fresh ghee looks like. If your ghee doesn't look anything like it, you can toss it out immediately.
Fresh ghee typically looks like butter.
It is yellowish in color and has a semi-solid texture. When kept in the fridge, it turns solid.
Thus you can even compare the properties of ghee to coconut oil or other margarine.
And similarly, rancid ghee will give off an unusual odor like rancid vegetable oils.
To check if your ghee has turned bad, you can take try sniffing the ghee to check the aroma.
The next thing you can do is taste it. Rancid ghee will have a sour flavor.
Another clear sign of rancid ghee is the development of mold. If there is any, it is best to throw the entire ghee.
Ghee can sometimes turn white in color due to oxidation. This might occur when you expose the ghee to constant moisture and air.
Or, when you forget to close the ghee container properly. In such a case, you can cut and toss the whitish part and make use of the remaining.
Did you know that rancid ghee is still safe for consumption?
Some people don't mind using it for sauté or stir-frying their veggies instead of throwing it out. Rancid ghee isn't poisonous and does not make you sick.
It's just that when the ghee goes bad, the flavor changes and some people may not like cooking in it.
However, if the fat is way too old and has signs of discolorations, it is best to throw it out.