Does Crisco Shortening Go Bad? The Dos and Don’ts of Storage

Imagine this scenario: You’re in the kitchen, ready to whip up a delectable treat. You reach for the jar of Crisco shortening, but suddenly doubt creeps in. How long has it been sitting there? Has it gone bad? We’ve all been there, questioning whether our food is still safe to consume. In this article, we will delve into the world of Crisco shortening and answer the burning question: Does Crisco Shortening go bad? We will explore its shelf life, storage methods, signs of spoilage, and even how to freeze it to prolong its usability. So, let’s dive in and uncover the secrets of this kitchen staple!

Does Crisco Shortening Go Bad?

Crisco shortening, just like double cream, can indeed go bad over time. Although it has a long shelf life, it is crucial to pay attention to certain factors to ensure its freshness and quality. Let’s explore the duration for which Crisco shortening typically remains usable.

How Long Does Crisco Shortening Lasts?

The shelf life of Crisco shortening varies depending on whether it is unopened or opened, as well as the type of packaging. Let’s explore the durations for which Crisco shortening lasts in sticks and cans.

  • Unopened Crisco Shortening:
    • Sticks:
      • Unopened sticks of Crisco shortening can last for about two years when stored in a cool, dry place.
    • Cans:
      • Unopened cans of Crisco shortening can last up to two years when stored properly in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
  • Opened Crisco Shortening:
    • Sticks:
      • Properly stored, opened sticks of Crisco shortening can remain fresh for up to six months.
      • After each use, wrap the opened portion tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container.
      • Regularly assess the shortening’s quality using your senses and discard if you notice any signs of spoilage.
    • Cans:
      • Once opened, the shelf life of Crisco shortening in cans decreases.
      • Opened cans of Crisco shortening can last for around one year if stored properly.
      • Seal the can tightly after each use to minimize exposure to air and moisture.

By following these storage guidelines for both unopened and opened Crisco shortening in sticks and cans, you can ensure that it remains fresh and usable for your culinary needs.

How to Store Crisco Shortening?

To maximize the shelf life and quality of your Crisco shortening, proper storage is essential. Here are some tips to keep it fresh according to Crisco’s website:

  1. Container condition: Ensure the container or jar of Crisco shortening is tightly sealed after each use. This prevents the entry of air and moisture, which can accelerate its deterioration.
  2. Odor and appearance: Fresh Crisco shortening has a mild, neutral aroma and a creamy white color. If you notice any rancid or off-putting smell or discoloration, it may be an indication that the shortening has gone bad.
  3. Expiration date: Check the label or container for the expiration date. While this date is a reliable indicator of freshness, it is important to note that Crisco shortening can still spoil before the expiration date if not stored properly.
  4. Cool and dry storage: Store Crisco shortening in a cool, dry place, such as a pantry or cupboard. Avoid storing it near the stove, oven, or any other heat-emitting appliances.
  5. Avoid contamination: Always use clean, dry utensils when scooping out Crisco shortening. Moisture or foreign particles can introduce spoilage-causing bacteria.
  6. Avoid cross-contamination: Do not allow any water or food particles to come into contact with the Crisco shortening. It is best to scoop out the required amount onto a separate plate or bowl before incorporating it into your recipe.

How to Tell if Crisco Shortening Has Gone Bad?

Recognizing the signs of spoiled Crisco shortening is crucial to ensure the safety and taste of your culinary creations. Here are some indicators that the shortening may have gone bad:

How to Store Crisco Shortening

  1. Off-putting odor: If the Crisco shortening emits a strong, rancid, or unpleasant smell, it is a clear sign that it has spoiled. Fresh shortening should have a mild, neutral aroma.
  2. Unusual appearance: Inspect the shortening for any signs of discoloration or mold growth. Fresh Crisco shortening should maintain its creamy white color, free from any unusual hues.
  3. Texture changes: If the shortening appears grainy, lumpy, or has developed an oily consistency, it is best to discard it. Fresh Crisco shortening should have a smooth and creamy texture.

Expired Crisco

Using expired Crisco shortening can negatively impact the flavor, texture, and safety of your dishes. It is essential to practice proper food safety and discard any shortening past its prime. Here are a few points to remember:

  1. Rancidity: Over time, Crisco shortening can develop a rancid taste due to the oxidation of its fats. Consuming rancid shortening can lead to an unpleasant flavor in your recipes.
  2. Food safety: Consuming spoiled Crisco shortening can potentially lead to foodborne illnesses. It is always better to err on the side of caution and discard any shortening that shows signs of spoilage.
  3. Quality compromise: Expired Crisco shortening may not provide the desired results in your baking or frying endeavors. Its ability to create light, flaky textures or impart the desired richness can diminish over time.

How to Freeze Crisco Shortening?

If you find yourself with an abundance of Crisco shortening or want to extend its shelf life, freezing can be a viable option. Follow these steps to freeze Crisco shortening effectively:

  1. Portioning: Divide the Crisco shortening into smaller portions, depending on your usage requirements. This allows you to thaw only the necessary amount without repeatedly exposing the entire container to temperature fluctuations.
  2. Airtight packaging: Place each portion of Crisco shortening in a freezer-safe, airtight container or zip-lock bag. Ensure proper sealing to prevent the entry of air, which can cause freezer burn and affect the quality of the shortening.
  3. Freezer storage: Store the Crisco shortening in the freezer at a constant temperature below 0°F (-18°C). Proper temperature maintenance ensures the integrity of the shortening and minimizes the risk of spoilage.
  4. Thawing: When you need to use the frozen Crisco shortening, transfer the desired portion to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw slowly. Avoid thawing at room temperature or using a microwave, as this can lead to uneven thawing and compromise the quality of the shortening.


Can I use Crisco shortening past the expiration date?

It is generally not recommended to use Crisco shortening past its expiration date, as its quality and safety may be compromised. It’s better to discard any expired shortening.

Can I store Crisco shortening in the fridge?

While refrigeration won’t necessarily harm the Crisco shortening, it can cause the shortening to become hard and difficult to work with. Storing it in a cool, dry pantry is preferable.

Can I substitute expired Crisco shortening with other fats?

If your Crisco shortening has gone bad, it’s best to use a fresh substitute. Butter, vegetable oil, or coconut oil can serve as alternatives, depending on the specific recipe.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, Crisco shortening does go bad over time, and it is essential to take proper storage precautions to maintain its freshness and quality. Remember to store it in a cool, dry place, tightly sealed after each use to prevent spoilage. Keep an eye out for signs of rancidity, such as off-putting odors, unusual appearances, and changes in texture. If you come across any of these indicators, it’s best to discard the Crisco shortening to ensure the safety and taste of your dishes.

Remember, always prioritize food safety and quality. If in doubt, it’s better to err on the side of caution and replace expired or spoiled Crisco shortening. With proper storage and timely awareness of its condition, you can enjoy the benefits of this versatile ingredient in your future recipes.

How Long Does Crisco Shortening Lasts

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