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Apr 18, 2009 10:16 AM

Ghee/clarified butter in an unopened jar - How long does it last in the refrigerator?

I have a jar of ghee and a jar of clarified butter (Plugra) in the fridge. Neither have been opened. How long do you think they will last in that state before needing to be tossed? (Alas, neither has a best before date on it...)

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  1. I say this with absolutely NO authority whatsoever -- simple practical experience -- but I've *never* had ghee go bad. And I it takes me months to finish an open jar.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rainey

      I've had this unopened jar in my fridge for over a year now, not more than two. I opened it, at last, today (it was kind of hidden at the back of a shelf...) and tasted it. Tastes o.k. to me... I don't think I'll die...

      1. re: Full tummy

        It's lovely stuff. You can get the flavor of butter in your sautés without the smoking of whole butter.

        1. re: rainey

          Thanks so much, rainey. Next sauté will be my initiation...

    2. When it has passed, there will be a rancid odor--not necessarily strong, but it's a distinct smell. I make my own and just freeze it in 2-4 tbls containers..Lasts forever that way.

      1. On the counter maybe 6 months, in the fridge probably forever. There's practically zero water left in ghee so there's nothing really to spoil.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Smellchipper

          Any fat will go rancid after a certain amount of time.

          1. re: hankstramm

            That's certainly true, but the fact that it's sold in unrefrigerated jars shows that it is very slow to deteriorate. I've been keeping my 10oz jar, bought a year ago, in the freezer. It's my first time buying ghee so I was cautious. It's nearly gone now; in the future I'll get a bigger jar and store in the fridge.

            I'll bet that the average American cook has never heard of ghee, which is their loss - so flavorful, versatile, convenient, and economical!

            1. re: greygarious

              I am an average american housewife and not only have we heard of ghee but we make it ourselves. It's also in every health food store in America.

              1. re: Brandispears

                Things have changed quite a bit in the 5+ yrs since I posted that. Ghee is now in mid-price, full-size American supermarkets, as well as Trader Joe's. My second container of ghee was the half-gallon size. I kept it next to the stove, year-round, and took 2 yrs to finish it. It was getting a tiny bit rancid-smelling by the end.

        2. I had one in the fridge for over 2 years and it was fine. Used it (did not smell rancid) with no problems.

          1. I make my own ghee, but I do know that there is an expiration on the ghee from New Zealand--the prefered ghee of millions of Fijians. Anyway, it doesn't get a real strong rancid smell like regular butter, but it definitely has an off flavor and smell.