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How Long will Shortening Last and How Should it Be Stored?

 Does shortening have a "shelf/fridge life," or is it good for a long time????

 Yes.

Well, yes. No. Yes.

It certainly has a shelf-life, which is to say, every manufacturer stamps its shortening with a use-by date. Crisco, the leading brand, says its shortening is good unopened for two years from the date of manufacture. Once opened, it suggests you use the remainder of the can within a year, and suggests you mark the can with the date you first use it, so you can keep track of the year.

Now, the folks at Crisco say, how you store the shortening has a lot of bearing on its shelf life. They suggest a cool, dry place, away from sources of heat (stove, dishwasher, and refrigerator). In general, you do not keep vegetable shortening in the refrigerator, as it gets too hard and you will probably need to allow it to come to room temperature again before you use it. People in very warm climates sometimes refrigerate their shortening.

"Fresh" and "good" are somewhat relative terms. If you store shortening near a source of heat or keep it past its use-by date, it will eventually begin to turn tan and may develop a slightly off odor or taste. But it will still be safe. You could definitely cook with it; you just might not want to.

So to clarify – yes, there is a shelf life; no, there is no fridge life (unless you're in the tropics); and yes, it is good for a long time….

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