Can Expired Crisco Shortening Hurt You? [EXPLORED]

Can Expired Crisco Shortening Hurt You? [EXPLORED]

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Crisco shortening is a popular choice for many bakers and cooks due to its versatility and ability to impart a flaky, tender texture to baked goods. Is something about the Crisco you used making you feel like it has gone bad? If you’ve felt this way, it is best to dig a little deeper.

Can expired Crisco shortening hurt you?

While using spoiled shortening is unlikely to cause harm, it can ruin the taste and texture of your cooked or baked goods. To avoid this, always check for signs of spoilage before using your shortening and store it properly to extend its shelf life.

Like most foods, knowing whether expired Crisco shortening can harm your health is crucial. In today’s post, we will tell you everything about Crisco shortening, its storage, its effects on health, and more! 

What is Crisco Shortening?

Crisco is a well-known brand of vegetable shortening that has been around for several decades. It is made from hydrogenated vegetable oil, usually derived from soybean, cottonseed, or refined palm oil. The hydrogenation process transforms these liquid oils into solid fat at room temperature, producing a less expensive product containing a lower percentage of harmful fats than other alternatives.

Shortening is commonly used in baking to create tender, flaky textures and prevent gluten formation in the dough. It is also suitable for frying due to its high melting point, which produces less greasy products.

Some popular uses for Crisco shortening include pie crusts, brownies, bread, waffles, cookies, buttercream frosting, flour tortillas, and pastries.

There are several reasons why Crisco shortening is a popular choice in kitchens around the world. Some of the benefits include:

Shelf-life: Although we are talking about Crisco expiring, this shortening has quite a lifetime. You can use Crisco shortening for up to two years after purchasing it. If you’ve opened your Crisco shortening, you can use it up to a year after the opening date as long as you’ve ensured proper storage.

Gluten-free: This is excellent news for those that prefer gluten-free diets: Crisco shortening is gluten-free! So, you can enjoy soft, flaky baked goods without worrying about gluten.

Price: For many of us, budget can be quite an issue, especially at grocery stores. The good news is that you don’t need to spend too much on Crisco as it is cheaper than other fats! This is another primary reason Crisco has been around for so long and is a part of many pantries.

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Can Expired Crisco Shortening Hurt You?

Expired Crisco shortening is not likely to hurt you if consumed, but its quality and performance may be compromised. Shortening, including Crisco, has a relatively long shelf life, and if stored correctly, it can last for a significant period. However, expired shortening may change recipes’ texture, flavor, and effectiveness.

Over time, shortening can become rancid due to the oxidation of fats. Rancidity leads to an unpleasant flavor and a nasty smell. If you notice any signs of rancidity, such as a sour odor, it’s best to discard the expired shortening.

While consuming a small amount of expired shortening is unlikely to cause immediate harm, it may result in digestive discomfort or an upset stomach. To ensure food safety and quality, it’s generally recommended to use shortening within its expiration date or a reasonable period after that.

To avoid the risk of using expired shortening, we recommend checking the expiration date on the packaging and storing it in a cool and dry place. Please ensure it is stored away from heat, light, and moisture. Additionally, proper sealing of the container after each use can help maintain the freshness of the shortening.

If you’re unsure about the safety of the shortening, it’s always best to avoid an unpleasant situation and replace it with a fresh supply.

Crisco Shortening: Shelf Life 

The shelf life of Crisco shortening largely depends on how it is stored and whether it has been opened. Unopened Crisco shortening can last up to two years, while an opened can last for one year. Similarly, unopened Crisco shortening sticks have a shelf life of one to two years, whereas opened sticks will go bad after six months.

It is essential to check the manufacture and expiry dates to ensure your Crisco is still good. Crisco shortening may still be safe to use after these dates have passed, but it is best to avoid it. If you’ve eaten some stale Crisco by mistake, please check for signs of spoilage of Crisco to take the required action.

Crisco Shortening: Proper Storage

Proper storage is essential for maintaining the quality and shelf life of Crisco shortening. The correct way of storing Crisco shortening depends on whether the Crisco has been opened yet and where you’re planning to store it. Check out our Crisco storage techniques below!

Unopened Crisco Shortening

Unopened Crisco shortening should be stored in a cool, dry place, such as a pantry, away from direct sunlight and heat. The shelf life of unopened Crisco shortening is up to two years, and unopened Crisco shortening lasts up to two years.

Opened Crisco Shortening

Once opened, Crisco shortening should be stored in a tightly sealed container or its original packaging in a cool, dry place. Opened Crisco shortening cans can last one year, while opened Crisco shortening sticks will go bad after six months.

Refrigerator or Freezer

While it is not necessary to refrigerate Crisco shortening, doing so can help to extend its shelf life and maintain its quality. If you live in a hot climate, refrigerating your shortening can help to keep it firm and prevent it from becoming too soft. Just be sure to remove it from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before using it to allow it to return to room temperature.

For long-term storage, Crisco shortening can also be frozen. To do this, use a silicone ice cube tray to create individual portions that can be quickly thawed and used as needed.

How to Tell When Crisco Has Gone Bad?

Like any food product, Crisco shortening can go bad if improperly stored. The degradation begins when the package is opened, as exposure to air can cause fat oxidation and rancidity. However, this slow process can take months, allowing you ample time to use your shortening before it goes bad.

To determine if your Crisco shortening has gone bad, look for changes in appearance, smell, and taste. Spoiled shortening may be darker in color, have a more rigid texture, and have a rotten odor. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to discard the shortening and replace it with a fresh can.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can expired Crisco shortening make you sick?

Expired Crisco shortening, when consumed in small amounts, is unlikely to make you sick. However, expired or rancid shortening may lead to digestive discomfort or an upset stomach. Stale shortening has an unpleasant taste and odor and should not be consumed.

It’s advisable to use fresh and adequately stored shortening. If you have consumed expired shortening and experienced any adverse effects, such as severe stomach discomfort or food poisoning symptoms, it’s recommended to consult a healthcare professional for medical assistance.

Can Crisco shortening be used after the expiration date?

No, we don’t recommend using Crisco shortening after its expiration date. 

The expiration date on Crisco shortening indicates the manufacturer’s recommended time for user consumption. Beyond that date, the shortening may develop unpleasant flavors and odors or change the texture.

How do you know when Crisco has gone bad?

You can look for sure signs to check whether your Crisco has gone wrong. The smell of the Crisco is an essential indicator of its freshness. If you smell anything rancid or unpleasant from your shortening, it is best to discard it. Please check if your crisco is yellow or brown or if the texture has become lumpy. 

What are the dangers of Crisco shortening?

Crisco shortening has been in the market for many years. One of the reasons for this is that most consumers have not experienced adverse reactions. However, please note that Crisco shortening has a high-fat content and a significant trans fat content. It may also become rancid over time, so there are potential dangers associated with old or expired shortening.

Please consult your doctor for any allergies or other dietary restrictions. 


We’ve reached the end of today’s post! We hope our article on “Can expired Crisco shortening harm you?” has cleared all the doubts you came here with today.

As discussed, consuming small amounts of expired Crisco shortening doesn’t adversely affect your health. If you’ve consumed larger quantities, you may face potential digestive problems, none of which are fatal. However, it is best to consult your physician for medical advice if you have associated health issues.

That’s it for today. See you in our next post! 

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