Does Molasses Go Bad?
Molasses has a relatively long shelf life and does not spoil easily. It can last for several years when stored in a cool, dark place in an airtight container. However, over time, the flavor and color of molasses can change, making it less desirable for use in cooking and baking. It is recommended to use it within 1-2 years for the best taste.
Since molasses lasts for nearly ten years in your pantry, there is no need to freeze your molasses to prolong its shelf life. It stays safe when stored correctly, and if stored correctly, it will increase the shelf life by over 2 years. If molasses does not show any signs of spoilage, it can also last for as long as four years when stored correctly. To ensure your molasses lasts as long as possible, it is important that you store it correctly and learn the signs your molasses has gone bad.
Overall, any change in appearance, smell, and taste is a sure sign that the bad molasses has gone bad, and you will have to throw it out. While there are no documented cases of molasses poisoning, and you likely will not be sick from spoiled molasses, it is best to throw it out if you are unsure, just to be safe.
In case you are not exactly sure what molasses is supposed to smell and taste like, well, you could always pick up a fresh bottle and take a big sniff and some tastes. If you are not quite sure how molasses should look, smell, or taste, the easiest thing to do is to open up a new jar and taste a little. If it is an open molasses jar, you always need to be sure to clean off the lip of the jar after every use, and seal tight.
Once the molasses is opened, you are advised to store it about 6 months in order to extract maximum quality from it. Now that you know how long it will last, and how best to store it, to get the best quality out of this sugary treat.
We do not recommend using an older bottle than that, but use a 10-year-old bottle just to give an example of how long molasses will last, and how difficult it is to get your molasses to spoil. The quality of a product usually decreases with time, like most things, but a five-year-old molasses can be as good as a 1-year-old bottle, as long as it is stored correctly, taking into consideration factors that contribute to spoilage. Open bottles of molasses, on the other hand, should last for a year or longer, provided they are stored correctly and kept tight sealed after each use.
By being careful about that, an opened bottle of molasses can very well last just as long as one that has not been opened. An unopened bottle of molasses, when kept cool and dark, should last for at least a year, up to two years. We would estimate an opened bottle of molasses would maintain its quality for up to one year at most, once the best-by date has passed.
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After this time, it might not necessarily have been spoiled in any way, but its quality would have faded to such a degree that it really would not be worth keeping. Considering the worst that will likely happen to your molasses is that it will lose flavor after a certain point, you would want to use it at least two years after the shelf life. It is difficult to tell if your molasses has gone bad, simply because the consistency, flavor, and aroma of the product will be consistent over years.
In some cases, molasses years past its best-by date will remain completely unchanged from the time it left the store. With proper care, you can keep molasses well past its sell-by date with no real difficulties. A best-by date is not the same thing as an expiration date, and molasses can, and does, last much longer than the date stamped on a container, particularly if it has been kept unsealed, sealed correctly, and stored correctly.
In other words, molasses may stay safe for you to consume, and stay good-quality, for months past the date on the label. While it may be safe past the best-by date, it is always safer to throw it out if you notice any signs of mold, changes in color, or odor. If you have an old can of molasses past its best-by date, you can probably still use it.
In case the date is not on the label, you can confidently assume that unopened, sealed jars of molasses are at least 2 years good if kept in a pantry, and likely longer if kept refrigerated. Molasses has a shelf life of over ten years in sealed, unopened bottles, and this may be extended by keeping it refrigerated. That is, assuming ideal storage conditions, there is no reason Molasses cannot last for a very, very long time.
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If you do need to use this molasses that is been sitting in your refrigerator, you can simply take it out of the refrigerator and allow it to sit there for a couple hours, or you can warm up an entire can or bottle in a hot water bath. If it is blackstrap molasses, you do not want to keep it refrigerated, because it will make it more viscous, which makes it harder to pour.
Unsulfured molasses is best used within six months after you buy it, and keep refrigerated after opening, rather than putting in your cupboard as with the other varieties. Store-bought molasses typically comes in bottles or cans, which you can seal again, but move into a tight container when needed. You can store molasses almost exactly like you would other liquid sweeteners, like maple syrup and honey.
Can molasses go rancid?
Yes, Molasses can spoil. The taste of Molasses is similar to honey, but the former has a longer shelf life. There is no need to store Molasses for an indefinite period as long as there are suitable storage conditions. It is also important to note that molasses is highly hygroscopic.
Is it ok to use expired molasses?
After the “best before” date has passed, you can still use molasses for flavoring purposes. Molasses has a shelf life of one to four years and can be kept for at minimum a few months beyond the printed date. Once the bottle is opened, it keeps its finest quality for at least six months.
How to know if molasses has gone bad?
While molasses is a shelf-stable ingredient, it can still go bad over time. Here are a few signs to look for that will tell you if your molasses has gone bad; the molasses is darker than usual or has changed color, it has a sour smell or the molasses is lumpy or has crystallized.