Did you know that Crisco is actually the brand name for a shortening product, not the product itself?
Crisco is the perfect ingredient to take your sweet and savory dishes from decent to rich, flaky goodness.
So you’re ready to impress your friends with homemade pastry. And you’ve found some Crisco.
But you’re here wondering: when did I buy/open this Crisco, and does Crisco even go off?
We’re here to answer your questions, from how to tell if your Crisco has gone bad to how to store your Crisco, so it doesn’t go bad in the future.
What’s the bottom line?
Crisco’s made up of vegetable oil, so it should be treated pretty much like any other. It’s more likely to be rancid than actually bad, and it shouldn’t go rancid for a good six months after opening.
Signs Your Crisco Has Gone Bad
Like other high-fat foods, Crisco will go rancid well before it goes bad. “Rancid” is a term used to describe foods in which fats have oxidized, causing a foul taste.
First up, you should check for any changes in appearance. If your Crisco has gone rancid, it will likely be a few shades darker. Your Crisco won’t cause you any health problems at this point in the aging process, but it certainly won’t make for a good pastry.
It’s unlikely you’ll find any unless you’ve forgotten about your Crisco for months, but also check for mold, which is a surefire sign your Crisco should go in the bin.
Lastly, look for any changes in consistency, like dry clumps.
How To Store Crisco
Because Crisco is mostly made up of soybean and palm oil, the storage instructions are similar to other vegetable oils.
That means you should look to store your unopened or opened Crisco in a cool, dark, dry place away from heat sources. Think pantry or a cupboard.
If you’re in a warm country, or you have no sufficiently cool cupboards at home, you can always put your Crisco in the refrigerator. Don’t be alarmed when you take it out, as it will be firmer than you’re used to. All you need to do is allow it to return to room temperature for half an hour before baking with it.
Once you’ve opened your pack of Crisco, replace the lid. If the seal isn’t airtight, transfer your Crisco to an airtight container.
You can also freeze Crisco. Separate it out into small freezer containers or into ice cube trays for easy portioning. If you use the ice cube tray method, wrap the tray in cling film or place it in an airtight container to prevent unwanted moisture, bacteria, and flavors from penetrating your Crisco.
When you’re ready to use the Crisco, allow it to thaw on your counter for an hour or so.
How Long Crisco Lasts
Crisco boasts a long shelf life, like other vegetable oils. You should go by the best before/sell by/use by/expiration dates on the packaging, but it’ll likely be okay for a few months after the expiration date.
Generally, your unopened Crisco will have a shelf life of 8 months.
Once opened, the fat in Crisco meets the air, meaning oxidization, a process involved in rancidity, begins to occur. However, this process takes months. It doesn’t make the food unsafe to eat, and by following our storage advice, you can keep your Crisco good for up to 12 months!
As for Crisco sticks, they have a larger surface area. Therefore, once they are open, they will only last for up to 6 months.
For long-term Crisco storage, look to the freezer, where your Crisco will last up to 2 years.
The Round-Up On Crisco
Crisco lasts a while, especially when you know how to store it – which now you do.
If you’ve discovered that your Crisco has, in fact, gone rancid, all hope’s not lost. Although you may have been planning to use your Crisco in a delicious pie, you can also use out-of-date Crisco to shine boots, soothe cracked heels, and grease bike chains!