Does Ghee Go Bad? How Long Does Ghee Last?

Ghee is a type of clarified butter made by removing all milk solids from butter. It’s predominantly used in many Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cuisines. Ghee has a nutty flavor that comes from caramelizing milk solids, which makes it an excellent ingredient for many baked goods.

Quick Answer

Ghee can go bad if it’s exposed to oxygen, heat, or light like many other foods. Ghee has a shelf life of 9 months when kept out, and 6 months once it’s been opened. In the fridge, ghee can last up to 1 year. Freezing ghee will keep it fresh for more than 3 years, and will stay safe to use indefinitely. Because of its lack of milk solids, ghee has a remarkable shelf life and will not go bad for over a year if it’s kept away from air and heat.


If you use ghee sparingly and aren’t sure how to store it, keep reading as we look into the best ways to keep ghee fresh.

Does Ghee Go Bad? How Long Does Ghee Last?

If you don’t use ghee often, you might find yourself with more ghee than you know what to do with. The good news is you can store ghee for a while before it turns rancid.

How Long Does Ghee Last Outside?

Unopened ghee can last up to 9 months before any effects of rancidification begin to show. Once opened, ghee can be safely stored for 6 months.

If you plan on using ghee any time between 3-6 months, opt to keep ghee out in a dark, cool place.

Ghee that is left outside also has the benefit of spending less time to melt once applied to hear, as opposed to freezing or refrigerating ghee.

How Long Does Ghee Last In The Fridge?

When placed in the fridge, ghee can last 6-12 months without spoiling. This option is best if you don’t usually use ghee and have limited pantry space.

A good measure of freshness is the “Best By” date. Even after the date has passed, ghee can maintain its properties for up to 3-6 months without spoiling.

Storing ghee in the fridge is an excellent way of preserving the nutty, caramelized taste people love about ghee.

How Long Does Ghee Last In The Freezer?

When stored in the freezer, ghee can last indefinitely. The cold temperature does not affect the taste too much and thawing ghee is a simple process.

It’s important that if you choose to freeze ghee, you separate the ghee into portions you’ll use per week or month before freezing.

Otherwise, you’ll have to thaw out all of your ghee and refreeze what you don’t need, risking ghee getting freezer burn.

Ghee is a great alternative to butter for its long shelf life and unique taste. Whether kept out or in the fridge or freezer, ghee will be sure to stay fresh and ready for your next meal.

How Do I Know If Ghee Is Fresh?

If you’ve left your ghee out for a bit too long or have had it in the freezer well over its recommended time and you’re curious if it’s still fresh, read on. There are a few factors to consider.

Appearance: Like butter, ghee has a natural color of gold or bright yellow. As you may know already, butter loses its color if kept in the fridge too long due to oxidation. The same goes for ghee. If you notice that your ghee has turned white, it means oxidation has started and the taste may not be as fresh as when you stored it.

Mold: The appearance of mold is never a good sign. While it may take a while to appear, mold can show up. When it does, it’s a sure sign that the ghee has turned rancid.

Taste: Ghee has a nutty, toasty flavor when it’s fresh. If you still taste something like toasted umami, then the ghee is still fresh. If the taste is sour or funny, trust your instinct. It’s probably gone bad.

Aroma: Most people claim ghee gives off a sweet, milky aroma when it’s been recently whipped and stored. Any smell that isn’t sweet or pleasant means the ghee has gone bad.

How Do I Store Ghee?

Before you decide, ask yourself how much ghee you’ll use or need to use.

Used frequently: If used often, store it in an airtight container in the pantry. Keep it away from heat at all costs, as heat breaks down ghee.

Used occasionally: If you only plan on using ghee within 3-6 months, keep it in the refrigerator. Use a glass container or plastic bag that seals out air.

Used rarely: Freeze your ghee if you want to store ghee for a long time, more than 6 months. Separate your ghee into smaller quantities so it’s easier to thaw once ready to use.

Can You Freeze Ghee? If So, How?

Yes, freezing ghee is an excellent way to preserve it for the long haul. Note that freezing ghee will cause it to lose its taste and aroma over time. The longer you leave ghee in the freezer, the more it will break down over time. However, ghee will remain edible and will not cause any harm or make you sick. If you are less particular about the taste of ghee, you should have no issues with freezing it.

If you’re buying in bulk, the best way to store ghee is to cut ghee into small chunks and divide them into freezer bags. You should store them into chunks big enough to last you for 1 week but no more than 2-3 months. Another good tip is to double-wrap each bag of ghee to protect against freezer burn.

How Do You Thaw Ghee?

It’s very simple to thaw ghee. Take the frozen ghee and place it in the fridge.

Allow the ghee to rest in the fridge overnight. It should thaw completely after 1-2 days. Once it’s been thawed, it’s ready to be used.

FAQ’s about Ghee

My Ghee smells rancid. Should I throw it out? Rancid ghee does not necessarily need to be thrown out. It can still be used to cook without making you sick or causing illness. However, spoiled ghee may not provide the desired taste expected. If you care about taste, throw it out and buy fresh ghee.

Does ghee have an expiration date? Always check the “Best By” date on the container. Ghee does not expire if kept tightly sealed and in a cool place but its quality will deteriorate over time.

Wrap Up

Now that you know how to store ghee, you’re ready to try out ghee in any recipe that calls for butter. Remember to always check for signs of rancidification before using ghee and all foods.

Leave a Reply