Are you wondering whether that bottle of almond extract in your pantry is still good to use?
It’s hard to tell because extracts rarely come with expiration dates, so it leaves many cooks scratching their heads when it comes to knowing when they need to replace them.
There are a few ways to determine if your almond extract has passed its shelf-life – and how long extracting typically last – that every kitchen enthusiast should know.
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of using fresh ingredients, explore how long almond extract lasts for storage or opened bottles, and answer common questions surrounding shortening shelf life associated with the ingredient.
Ready for some insight into maximize storage time and get maximum flavors from your baking projects? Let’s dig in!
What’s Almond Extract?
Almond extract is a flavoring ingredient that is found in many desserts and other sweet dishes.
It contains the essence of bitter almonds, which gives it its unique almond taste and aroma.
Almond extract has a strong, sweet flavor and is commonly used to enhance the flavor of cakes, cookies, and ice cream.
It adds a smooth richness to recipes like candy apples and frostings too.
Almond extract can also be used in savory dishes such as roasted vegetables or stews to add depth.
When baking with almond extract, it’s best to begin with a small amount because the flavor gets stronger over time.
With just a tiny bit, you can make your dish unforgettable.
How to Store Almond Extract?
Storing almond extract is not complicated, but there are a few best practices to follow so that you keep your extract at its prime.
Storing almond extract can be done in an opaque container or jar, at a cool and dry temperature, such as a pantry shelf or cupboard.
To continuously ensure the extracted flavor remains robust for as long as possible, it is important to avoid exposing the extract to air and moisture by always keeping the container sealed firmly with no leaks when not using.
Additionally, heat can also be harmful to the this fragile flavoring agent so do not store near appliances like ovens and stoves.
With correct storage habits, you will find yourself enjoying delicious meals complemented by freshly flavored almond extract time after time.
How Long Does Almond Extract Last?
Many people are wondering how long almond extract lasts.
The answer to this question is that it depends on a few different factors.
Almond extract is made from almond oil and alcohol.
The oil is what gives the extract its flavor, while the alcohol serves as a preservative.
Because of this, almond extract will last for a much longer time if it is stored in a cool, dark place.
It is also important to make sure that the lid is tight so that no air can get in and oxidize the oil.
If stored properly, almond extract can last for years.
However, even if stored properly, the flavor of the extract will slowly fade over time.
This is because the oil in the extract evaporates over time.
For this reason, it is best to use almond extract within a year or two of buying it.
After that, it may still be safe to use, but the flavor will not be as strong.
So, how long does almond extract last? If stored properly, it can last up to 3 – 4 years, but the flavor will slowly fade over time.
Can You Freeze Almond Extract?
Although you can freeze almond extract, it’s not necessarily the best way to store it.
Freezing can cause the extract to lose some of its flavor and potency.
If you do choose to freeze almond extract, be sure to keep it in a tightly sealed container so that it doesn’t absorb any unwanted flavors from your freezer.
When you’re ready to use the extract, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before using it in your recipe.
How To Tell If Almond Extract Is Bad?
Identifying if almond extract has gone bad can be a tricky task, as the flavors are subtle and strong at the same time.
To do so, its best to start by looking at its color; if it’s yellow or brown that means it’s been oxidized and is no longer good to use.
The smell of the extract should also be considered; if it has a faint scent of almonds despite its low concentration, then you’re good to go.
Unfortunately, in some cases such indicators won’t work-in which case, you should cautiously try a tiny bit of the extract in something like custard or a non-baked dessert.
If its flavor works well with what you’re making but lacks sweetness then your extract is still okay to use.
Ultimately discoloration, smell and taste tests can help ascertain whether your almond extract is still viable for baking or not.
In the end, almond extract is a pretty shelf-stable ingredient.
When stored properly, it should last for several years without going bad.
However, it can start to lose its flavor over time.
If you notice that your almond extract doesn’t taste as strong as it used to, it’s still fine to use.
Just be aware that it may not be as potent as it once was.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!