Does ghee go bad?

In this article, we will answer the question “Does ghee go bad?”, how to tell if the ghee is bad, how to store ghee, and how to make ghee at home.

Does ghee go bad?

Yes, ghee goes bad but it has a pretty long shelf-life. If stored correctly, you can expect the ghee to last 2-3 years. Once opened, the ghee manufacturer recommends using ghee within 3-6 months for the best quality. Read on if you want to know how to identify bad or spoiled ghee.

What is ghee? 

In simple terms, ghee is clarified butter. It has a rich and characteristic toasted umami flavor. It is a good choice of fat for lactose intolerant individuals since ghee does not have milk solids. Ghee is mostly used for South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking.

Ghee has a higher smoke point than butter due to the absence of milk solids. Ghee contains 100% or at least 99.5% milkfat.

How to tell if the ghee is bad? 

Ghee is rancid: Due to a high concentration of fat, ghee is susceptible to oxidation or rancidity. Rancid ghee does not go unnoticed as it gives off a distinct sour smell.

Off-smell: Other other smelling rancid, if the ghee has a weird smell to it, it should be discarded right away.

Mold: The presence of mold is a sign that the ghee is spoiled and unfit for consumption. Moldy ghee belongs in the bin.

Quality is not the same anymore: Prolonged storage results in altered flavor and taste. If the ghee is not salvageable after all those years of storage, you may go ahead and discard it for quality reasons.

How to store ghee? 

Ghee is best stored in a cool, dark, and dry place away from direct sunlight and heat. If you cannot find a cool spot in the pantry, consider storing your ghee in the fridge. Refrigeration prolongs the shelf-life of the ghee by a couple of months.

If you made your ghee at home, let it come to room temperature before pouring it into a glass air-tight container. Make sure the container is heatproof. Place the ghee container or jar near the back of the fridge where it is the coolest.

Can you freeze ghee? 

Yes, you can freeze ghee. Freezing extends the shelf-life of ghee by several months and is a great idea for preserving the quality of ghee if you bought it in bulk. Follow the steps below to freeze ghee.

Choose the correct container: If you opt for a glass container, make sure it is freezer-proof. Regular glass containers cannot withstand freezer temperature and break or crack during freezing. You can also work with a sturdy and air-tight plastic container. 

Divide the ghee into portions if you do not use ghee very often: This step is important because exposing the bulk of ghee frequently to air reduces its shelf-life. A small portion of ghee, even if exposed to fluctuating temperatures and air, won’t go bad before you can use it.

Label the container: Mark the container with the name of the product and the date of storage. This allows you to keep track of the shelf-life of ghee. 

How does ghee last? 

An unopened jar of ghee will retain its quality months past the best-by date. Once opened, it is recommended that you use your ghee within 6 months for the best quality. It is important to mention that the best-by date on the ghee label does not indicate the product safety but quality. 

This means that your ghee does not go bad immediately past the printed date. What it means is that ghee will not be of peak quality once it’s past the printed date. If the is stored incorrectly, it may lose its freshness way before the printed date.

In the pantry In the fridge 
Ghee, unopened, Best-by Best-by + 3-6 months 
Ghee, opened 3+ months 6+ months 

How to make ghee from butter at home? 



  1. Cut the room temperature butter into cubes. Put the cubes in a saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat so the cubes melt. 
  1. Simmer the melted butter and skim off the foam that comes to the surface after a few minutes of simmering. Repeat the skimming a couple more times. 
  1. Let the ghee cook on low heat for about 20-25 minutes or until you start to notice the milk solids settling at the bottom of the pan. A distinct smell of ghee is enough to inform you that the ghee is ready. 
  1. When ready, strain the ghee using a nut milk bag, cheesecloth, or coffee filter. Let it cook down. Then pour into a glass container.

Other FAQs about Butter that you may be interested in.

How to make almond butter without a food processor?

Can you add butter to spaghetti sauce?

Can real butter go bad in the fridge?


In this article, we answered the question “Does ghee go bad?”, how to tell if the ghee is bad, how to store ghee, and how to make ghee at home.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.