Jelly is an amazing dessert. It is a hit with children and adults alike and the best part is that people of all ages can eat it. It has a really fun texture too. Admit it, even you like poking it and watching it jiggle around.
It is a dessert on its own and it can be a part of other sweet treats like donuts and trifles. It might seem like something that doesn’t go bad for a very long time, like packaged candies, but it can go bad quickly if you don’t store it properly.
If you’ve ever made jelly at home, you know that it needs to stay in the refrigerator to set. But what about afterward? Does it need to stay there or can it be kept in a cupboard or on a counter? How long does it keep?
If you’ve been wondering about these questions too, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll go over all this and more about jelly and its proper storage.
Can Jelly Go Bad after Some Time?
People often put jelly in the same category as candy, which leads them to believe that it will keep fresh pretty much forever. But this is not true. Jelly does go bad with time, and it becomes unsafe to eat past a certain point in time.
This is because of the ingredients that go into making jelly. Sugar is the main ingredient of jelly, which is great because it makes jelly last longer. It also has fruit extract or juice and a starch called pectin.
Pectin brings out the fruit flavor in jelly and lets the jelly cook faster. Jelly can also contain fresh or canned fruit, which brings down its longevity, or it can have preservatives that have the opposite effect.
To sum it up, jelly can indeed go bad, but the exact time period depends on the ingredients and how you store it.
Does Jelly Need to Be Kept in the Refrigerator
The answer to this depends on the jelly in question. If it is store-bought jelly, you can store it outside at room temperature if the store also kept it at room temperature. Unopened jelly can last for months and the exact expiry date will be on the packaging.
If you’ve got jelly cubes and haven’t opened them, you can chuck them in a cabinet. Even if you get around to cooking them after a few months, they will be fine.
Generally speaking, refrigeration increases the life of food. If you have cooked the jelly or you made jelly at home, it is wiser to keep it in the refrigerator unless you’re going to eat it all very soon.
Also, if you have low-sugar jelly, it is better to store it in the refrigerator. Sugar is like a preservative, so if you don’t use much of it, it reduces the life of the jelly. Keeping it in the refrigerator will keep it from going bad too soon.
How Long Does Jelly Keep in the Refrigerator
Jelly can also last for a while at room temperature, so storing it in the refrigerator is not mandatory. That being said, keeping it in the fridge will definitely increase its life.
Homemade jelly stays good for 6 to 12 months if you keep it refrigerated. If you store it at room temperature, it stays good for a little over a month.
Remember that sugar-free and low-sugar jelly will last a shorter time, even in the refrigerator. It stays good for anywhere between 6 to 9 months, depending on the quantity of sugar it has.
Can You Keep Jelly Out of the Fridge?
Unopened jelly can be kept out of the fridge for up to 1 year. Like we’ve mentioned, jelly with less sugar in it has a shorter shelf life, so it may go bad a lot sooner if you don’t refrigerate it.
If the jelly has been opened, how long it stays good depends on how you store it. If you’ve been using it as a dip for something, make sure no other food gets into the jelly.
Take out the amount you need and ensure that the rest stays uncontaminated. Use clean cutlery and make sure the lid is screwed on tight so that it doesn’t dry out.
How Will I Know If Jelly Has Gone Bad?
It is very easy to identify jelly that has gone bad. There are many warning signs and if the smell, color or texture seem off to you, there’s a good chance that it has indeed gone bad.
Here are the telltale signs of spoiled jelly:
- Odor: Spoiled jelly has a very distinctive odor. It smells like rotten fruit or alcohol. It is very different from the way jelly normally smells. If it smells weird to you, it is probably time to throw it in the trash.
- Color: If there is a change in color, the jelly is no longer fit to consume. Slight color changes are normal, but if there is a drastic change, do not eat the jelly. If only part of it has changed color, leave that part and eat the rest.
- Mold: Most food items that go bad develop mold on the surface. If there is mold on the jelly, you need to throw it away, even if it is only on a small part. It is not safe to eat and might give you food poisoning.
Can Spoiled Jelly Make You Sick?
If you’re talking about eating jelly that is a little past its expiry date, you will probably be fine. As long as there are no noticeable signs like those listed above, you are not in any grave danger.
Moldy jelly can definitely make you very sick if you eat it. The consequences can range from an upset tummy to full-blown food poisoning. So if you spot any mold on jelly, do yourself a favor and chuck it in the bin where it belongs.
How Long Does Homemade Jelly Last?
There’s nothing quite as yummy as homemade jelly. It is free of toxins and tastes delicious. There is a catch though; it only lasts a fraction of the time that store-bought jelly does.
This is because there aren’t too many preservatives in homemade jelly. Out of the ingredients you use, sugar is the only ingredient that will help keep the jelly from going bad.
If you’re leaving your jelly at room temperature, it will stay good for about a month. Homemade jelly will last longer in the fridge—between 6 to 12 months.
Jelly is the favorite sweet treat of many households and people can’t seem to get enough of it. This may tempt you to make boatloads of it, but you do need to consider storage because jelly doesn’t stay good forever.
If you’re sure that you’ll empty the jar within a month, you can keep it outside the refrigerator. If you’re not sure how much you will use, it is best to keep it in the refrigerator.
When the jelly starts smelling strange or develops mold over it, it is time to throw it away, no matter how or where you stored it.
Related: 8 Foods that Last for the Long Term