Does Chili Powder Go Bad? How Long Does Chili Powder Last?

Chili powder is a spicy herb that is dried and used in many dishes. If you’re a fan of spicy foods, you may have some of this in your house. How do you know if your chili powder has gone bad? In this article, we will discuss those things.

Quick Answer

Chili powder rarely goes bad, even years beyond the expiration date. For the most part, when the powder begins to lose its spice is when it needs to be replaced. Chili powder stored at room temperature can last for 1 to 2 years if kept in a cool, dark place. Storing chili powder in the fridge or freezer is not necessary, but if you choose to do so you will get about the same shelf life of 2 years.


Let’s look into each storage method in more detail and see how chili powder shelf life compares.

Does Chili Powder Go Bad? How Long Does Chili Powder Last?

Chili powder is a spicy herb that some people enjoy, yet others don’t. How long does dried chili powder typically last? Below are the three main ways people usually store foods.

How Long Does Chili Powder Last Outside?

Chili powder can be stored at room temperature for about 1 to 2 years. Sometimes people buy chili powder in bulk. If you decide to go this route, be sure to keep the powder in a container with a lid.

As long as your chili powder is kept dry and free from moisture, it should last a long time. Dried chili powder can be stored in plastic or glass containers for optimal shelf life.

Keep your dried chili powder away from light and moisture. This will help ensure that the flavor, appearance and texture is preserved for as long as possible.

How Long Does Chili Powder Last in the Fridge?

Have you ever thought about storing your dried chili powder in the fridge? While it’s not entirely necessary, some people may feel better about storing it in the fridge.

Chili powder stored in the fridge should last about as long as it would at room temperature, about 1 to 2 years. You will want to keep the powder in an airtight container.

Be sure to check the container for condensation. This could mean that moisture is getting inside from somewhere. Any moisture that gets inside the powder can cause clumps, and could lead to mold overgrowth. This will ruin your chili powder.

How Long Does Chili Powder Last in the Freezer?

Most people don’t store chili powder in the freezer. The possibility of moisture getting into the packaging increases in the freezer environment, so it’s not typically the best location to store dried powder in.

If you decide to try and store chili powder in the freezer anyway, you won’t be preserving it much longer than if you kept it at room temperature. The most you may get out of freezer storage is about 4 years.

As with other methods of storage, be sure to keep your chili powder in an air-sealed bag or container. Occasionally check to make sure condensation is not getting in and causing your chili powder to clump.

Chili powder is best stored at room temperature in dark, cool locations such as pantries or cupboards. Keep away from heat and light.

How To Tell If Chili Powder Has Gone Bad / How To Know Chili Powder is Fresh

So you may not be the biggest fan of spicy foods. Every once in a while you’ll pull the chili powder and add a dash here or a pinch there. For the most part, though, it sits up on your cupboard. How do you know if it’s time to send your chili powder on to the next life?

The good news is, when it comes to dried herbs or spices like chili powder, they don’t ever really “go bad”, unless of course you see mold on them. If you keep your chili powder in a cool and dark environment, over time the worst that could happen is that the powder loses its potency.

Now, fresh chili powder will have a vibrant red color, and should crumble easily in between your fingers. It should have a distinct aroma, and the taste should be nice and spicy. When buying chili powder, check the “best by” date to see about how long it should last.

How to Store Chili Powder?

When you go to the store, you will usually see chili powder sold in plastic or glass containers. You can keep the powder stored in the original container for the best results.

If for some reason the original packaging gets damaged or is no longer usable, store your chili powder in an airtight container with a lid. If you need to label your container for organizational purposes, go ahead and do so.

When storing chili powder, keep away from moisture, light and excessive heat. Heat can cause moisture, which can lead to mold overgrowth and clumping.

Can You Freeze Chili Powder? How?

Technically you can freeze chili powder, but it’s not necessary. It will also not guarantee a longer shelf life than if you were to keep it at room temperature.

If you decide to freeze your chili powder anyway, just make sure you keep the chili powder in an airtight container with a lid. It doesn’t matter if you keep it in the freezer door or in the back, your results will be about the same.

As with refrigeration storage, you may want to occasionally check the storage container for any buildup of condensation. This may result in freezer burn, which could negatively affect the taste, color and texture of the powder.

How to Thaw Chili Powder?

If you store your chili powder in the freezer and decide to thaw it for a future recipe, the best standard way to thaw would be to let it sit on the counter for a few minutes before using it.

The granules of the powder should crumble fairly easily once thawed. If you find that there is major clumping or freezer burn, you should toss the powder.

Frequently Asked Questions About Chili Powder

Where Does Chili Powder Come From? Chili powder comes from a variety of dried and powdered chili fruits. These powders can be found in countries such as Mexico, Thailand, Korea, India, and China. Some variations have also been found in the South Western United States, such as Texas.

Is There Only One Kind Of Chili Powder? Chili powder is actually made from a variety of different spices that can be found all over the world. Depending on what dish you are making or where you live, some chili powders can be made with jalapenos, while others are made from Korean chilies.

Wrap Up

Chili powder is great to add to your favorite spicy food recipe. Kept at room temperature, it can last for years if stored in cool, dark places. Avoid excess heat and moisture when it comes to storing your chili powder. Are you a fan of chili powder? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below.

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