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How Long Can You Keep Buttermilk After The Expiration Date

Don’t pour out leftover buttermilk! Freeze it to last months beyond the expiration date. Here’s what you need to know about freezing and thawing buttermilk:


How long does buttermilk last?

An unopened refrigerated carton of buttermilk should be safe to drink for up to two weeks after the expiration date. An opened container kept in the refrigerator, meanwhile, will be fine for 14 days after opening.

How can you tell if buttermilk has gone bad?

When the buttermilk has passed its peak, its texture will change: it will become thick and chunky instead of smooth. Fresh buttermilk has a relatively pungent odor, but expired buttermilk will have a strong, sour odor. Of course, if your buttermilk is growing moldy or discolored, throw it away.


Can you freeze buttermilk?

Yup! You can freeze buttermilk, and you definitely should if you don’t plan on using it before it expires. It should stay good in the freezer for about three months, about two and a half months longer than refrigerated buttermilk.


How to freeze buttermilk

You can freeze buttermilk in its original packaging, but only if you’ve used some already. The liquid expands as it freezes, so it needs some room to grow. You can also freeze buttermilk in an ice cube tray (this is especially helpful if you’ll only be using a little at a time).

Our favorite way to freeze buttermilk, however, is in precise measurements in freezer bags. How come? You will only have to defrost exactly as much as you need for a given recipe. Make your life a little easier by dividing the liquid into common portions (1 cup, ½ cup, ¼ cup, etc.) and labeling the containers with the date and quantity.

To freeze buttermilk:

  1. Decide how you want to divide the buttermilk. A liter carton contains approximately 4 cups. You can freeze four cups separately, or you can mix and match the sizes—cover all your bases by freezing two 1-cup servings, two ½-cup servings, and four ¼-cup servings.
  2. Label freezer-safe bags with the date and measurements. You’ll want to get the labeling out of the way before dividing the buttermilk, as it’s no fun trying to write on liquid-filled bags. If you want to go the extra mile, you can pull out your calendar and calculate the date three months from now – this will serve as an easily accessible due date.
  3. Pour the buttermilk (in premeasured portions) into the bags. Remove as much excess air as possible before sealing the top. Lay the bags in the freezer to save space.


How to defrost buttermilk

To thaw frozen buttermilk, simply transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before you plan to use it. If you’re pressed for time, fill a bowl with warm (not hot or boiling) water and immerse the sealed bag in it. The buttermilk should thaw in about half an hour, although you may need to replace the water once or twice as it cools.


What to do with leftover buttermilk

a slice of Bundt cake on a plate with the rest of the cake in the background
Nano cooking

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of freezing your leftover buttermilk, there are plenty of ways to consume it before it expires. Try one of these buttermilk cakes to use up your carton, or explore our entire collection of buttermilk recipes.

Related:

  • Buttermilk substitutes
  • Homemade cookie recipes to make from scratch
  • The best pancake recipes


Don’t pour out leftover buttermilk! Freeze it to last months beyond the expiration date. Here’s what you need to know about freezing and thawing buttermilk:


How long does buttermilk last?

An unopened refrigerated carton of buttermilk should be safe to drink for up to two weeks after the expiration date. An opened container kept in the refrigerator, meanwhile, will be fine for 14 days after opening.

How can you tell if buttermilk has gone bad?

When the buttermilk has passed its peak, its texture will change: it will become thick and chunky instead of smooth. Fresh buttermilk has a relatively pungent odor, but expired buttermilk will have a strong, sour odor. Of course, if your buttermilk is growing moldy or discolored, throw it away.


Can you freeze buttermilk?

Yup! You can freeze buttermilk, and you definitely should if you don’t plan on using it before it expires. It should stay good in the freezer for about three months, about two and a half months longer than refrigerated buttermilk.


How to freeze buttermilk

You can freeze buttermilk in its original packaging, but only if you’ve used some already. The liquid expands as it freezes, so it needs some room to grow. You can also freeze buttermilk in an ice cube tray (this is especially helpful if you’ll only be using a little at a time).

Our favorite way to freeze buttermilk, however, is in precise measurements in freezer bags. How come? You will only have to defrost exactly as much as you need for a given recipe. Make your life a little easier by dividing the liquid into common portions (1 cup, ½ cup, ¼ cup, etc.) and labeling the containers with the date and quantity.

To freeze buttermilk:

  1. Decide how you want to divide the buttermilk. A liter carton contains approximately 4 cups. You can freeze four cups separately, or you can mix and match the sizes—cover all your bases by freezing two 1-cup servings, two ½-cup servings, and four ¼-cup servings.
  2. Label freezer-safe bags with the date and measurements. You’ll want to get the labeling out of the way before dividing the buttermilk, as it’s no fun trying to write on liquid-filled bags. If you want to go the extra mile, you can pull out your calendar and calculate the date three months from now – this will serve as an easily accessible due date.
  3. Pour the buttermilk (in premeasured portions) into the bags. Remove as much excess air as possible before sealing the top. Lay the bags in the freezer to save space.


How to defrost buttermilk

To thaw frozen buttermilk, simply transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before you plan to use it. If you’re pressed for time, fill a bowl with warm (not hot or boiling) water and immerse the sealed bag in it. The buttermilk should thaw in about half an hour, although you may need to replace the water once or twice as it cools.


What to do with leftover buttermilk

a slice of Bundt cake on a plate with the rest of the cake in the background
Nano cooking

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of freezing your leftover buttermilk, there are plenty of ways to consume it before it expires. Try one of these buttermilk cakes to use up your carton, or explore our entire collection of buttermilk recipes.

Related:

  • Buttermilk substitutes
  • Homemade cookie recipes to make from scratch
  • The best pancake recipes


Video about How Long Can You Keep Buttermilk After The Expiration Date

How long does it take for buttermilk to go bad?

I love making buttermilk pancakes but I can never seem to use up my buttermilk before it passes the expiration date. The thing is, if I take a solid whiff of the “expired” buttermilk it smells great (even up to a month after the expire date).
How can I tell if it’s still ok to use?

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#food-safety
#storage-lifetime
#milk
#buttermilk

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