We all know that it is not the healthiest spread but we all love Nutella. For some people going through a jar of this hazelnut spread is a matter of a few weeks. Others, however, consume it in moderation and may have a jar or two sitting in the pantry for months.
But how long does Nutella last? Nutella lasts longer than you would expect a product with milk, nuts, and oils to do. But this is true only if you store it in a cool and dark place. An unopened jar of Nutella stored in the pantry has a shelf life of 6 months past the date printed on the label. Once you open it, it will keep well for 6 months or slightly longer.
This article is dedicated to the shelf life and storage conditions of the hazelnut spread we all love so much. Continue reading to learn what is the best way of storing Nutella and if you can keep this product in the fridge or freezer to extend its shelf life.
Does Nutella Go Bad?
Nutella has a longer shelf life than you would expect. However, this product contains oils which means that it can go rancid as a result of improper storage conditions. Additionally, there is milk on the ingredient list of this spread which may make some of you think that Nutella will spoil in no time if you leave it on the kitchen counter.
Nutella does go bad. However, if you follow a few simple storage rules, Nutella will keep well even at room temperature.
How to Store Nutella?
The storage conditions of Nutella are similar to that of peanut butter. As you need it spreadable and soft, it is always best to keep Nutella at room temperature.
A cool and dark pantry or kitchen cabinet is a great storage area for Nutella so long as the temperature there is not higher than 20 °F.
You can keep both opened and unopened jars of Nutella at room temperature. Keep the lid of the Nutella jar tightly sealed at all times.
If you want your Nutella to maintain its best quality longer and to stay fresh, don’t dip food into it and always use clean cutlery. Dipping strawberries into a jar of Nutella is fun. But it is best to transfer some of the hazelnut spread into a separate bowl and go from there. This way you will avoid any possible bacterial contamination and changes in the flavor of the Nutella.
While the manufacturer doesn’t recommend storing Nutella in the fridge, do it if it is too hot in your house. The drawback of refrigerating Nutella is that it becomes too stiff to spread. You need to take it out of the fridge a few hours before eating it. This can be a problem if you eat Nutella sandwiches for breakfast.
In the cases when you don’t have time to wait for the spread to soften, put it into the microwave for a few seconds and your Nutella will be soft and spreadable. If you do this, make sure to microwave as much Nutella as you will be eating. Do not microwave the entire jar.
One thing you should know is that if you have decided to keep the Nutella in the fridge, there is no going back. You can’t store it in the pantry anymore.
Can You Freeze Nutella?
Although freezing is not the recommended storage method for Nutella, it is certainly an option. This storage method is great for people who live in hot climates. Also, you might consider freezing an option if you have a half-full jar of Nutella and don’t see yourself eating it anytime soon.
You can freeze both opened and unopened Nutella.
For an unopened jar of Nutella, the freezing process will take you less than a minute. Simply put the jar of Nutella in the freezer and that’s it. As the jars of Nutella are made for long-term storage, they will do fine in the freezer.
An opened jar of Nutella can also be frozen. In such cases, however, it is best to transfer the spread into an airtight container or a sealable plastic bag. If you go with a freezer bag, make sure to remove the air from the bag before putting it in the freezer.
When using a container, put a layer of food wrap on the Nutella itself before you close the lid. This will help to protect the top layer of the spread from drying out.
Thawing Frozen Nutella
To defrost Nutella, don’t transfer it from the freezer to room temperature. Such drastic temperature changes will have a negative effect on the texture of the spread.
If you have the Nutella frozen in its original packaging or a container, let it thaw in the fridge as is. In the case of a zip-top bag, we recommend cutting through the bag and removing it first. Otherwise, once the Nutella is all thawed, you will create a mess trying to get it all out of the bag. Remove the frozen Nutella and let it thaw in a bowl to make things easy.
Once the spread has defrosted, give it a good stir to bring back the original consistency of the spread.
Keep the defrosted Nutella refrigerated at all times and eat it within a few days. Don’t refreeze Nutella.
How Long Does Nutella Last?
The shelf life of unopened Nutella is 6 months past the date printed on the jar. Once opened, Nutella will keep well for 6 months and possibly longer.
Nutella stored in the freezer will last 6 months and longer if the freezer temperature remains stable. But the sooner you eat it the better it will taste.
Neither refrigerating nor freezing Nutella will extend its shelf life. These are simply alternative storage methods when you can’t provide the necessary storage conditions for the spread.
Signs that Nutella Has Gone Bad
As we have already mentioned, oils in Nutella make it go rancid if you keep it somewhere hot. Rancid Nutella doesn’t present any serious health issues. But it does taste and smell rather bad.
Aside from getting rancid, you may notice other signs of spoilage. If you have had the jar of Nutella for too long or have been keeping it somewhere moist or humid, the spread may get moldy. Off-putting smells or drastic texture changes are also an indication of the fact that your Nutella has gone bad.
If the hazelnut spread looks and smells as it should, taste it to see if it is still good. Remember that a freshly opened jar of Nutella is always softer and tastes better than the one that has been open for a few months. Thus, if there are no evident signs of spoilage and if the spread tastes good to you, you can eat it.
If you have had a jar of Nutella for less than 6 months and you see a layer of oil on top, don’t panic. It is common for Nutella to undergo separation because of its high oil content. Just give it a stir and everything will be back to normal.
How Long Does Homemade Nutella Last?
While we can all agree that homemade Nutella doesn’t taste identical to the commercially manufactured spread, some people do prefer the healthier option.
There are numerous homemade Nutella recipes. However, no matter which one you choose to follow, the shelf life would be around 14 days. Being made without any preservatives, homemade Nutella won’t keep too long.
As with store-bought Nutella, the homemade spread doesn’t need to be refrigerated. But if you want it to last longer, you can keep your homemade Nutella in the fridge where it will last around 4 weeks.
Take the spread out and let it sit on the counter for some time. Only in this case you will be able to easily spread it on your bread.