How long do chocolate chips last?

In this article, we will answer the question “How long do chocolate chips last?”, and how to store chocolate chips?

Do chocolate chips go bad?

Yes, chocolate chips do go bad after a certain period of time. Unopened chocolate chips stored in the pantry will last for 2 – 4 months before they go bad. When stored in the fridge, they can last for 6 – months and even longer in the freezer. However, their texture may vary when you defrost them.

How long do chocolate chips last?

The shelf life of chocolate chips varies greatly depending on how you store them and whether they are opened or unopened. Unopened chocolate chips can last for longer durations and even 2 – 4 weeks past their expiration date. For open chocolate chips, the shelf life is shown in the table below

Pantry 2 – 4 months 
Refrigerator 6 – 8 months
Frozen 2 years

Dark chocolate chips with 70-80% cocoa will be good in the pantry(sealed) or in the freezer for about 2 years. Milk chocolate chips will stay fresh in the freezer or pantry(sealed) for 8 months to 1 year. 

However, freezing sealed chocolate chips will not have any considerable effect on the shelf life. It rather significantly decreases the quality of your chocolate chips in terms of texture and visual appeal.

Type of Chocolate ChipHow to StoreHow Long They’ll Last
Dark, Bittersweet,and Semisweet ChocolateIn a sealed, air-tight container in a dark location with a consistent temperature of 60-75FUp to 2 years 
Milk Chocolate8 months to 1 year
White chocolate 8-10 months 

Do white chocolate chips go bad?

Yes, white chocolate can go bad. White chocolate is primarily composed of sugar, cocoa butter, and milk solids. The high sugar concentration makes it last 8-10 minutes. However, If you notice any off-flavors, colors, or discolorations, discard the white chocolate.

Is it safe to eat expired chocolate chips?

Irrespective of the type of chocolate chip, it is safe to consume chocolate chips after the printed date as long as they are stored correctly. 

The printed date on the package of white chocolate is an intimation of how long the chocolate will remain in its peak quality. It has little to do with the safety of the product.

How to store chocolate chips?

The key is to store the chocolate chips in a cool and dark place sealed in an air-tight container. The temperature should be maintained at 60-75°F or below. Keep away from moisture and sunlight.

In the fridge

Sealed chocolate chips kept in the pantry and the ones stored in the fridge do not differ much in their shelf-life. Storing your chocolate chips is recommended in case the temperature of your kitchen goes above 75°F several times as in summers.

Regular exposure to high temperatures will melt the chocolate chips. Even in the fridge, s steady temperature should be maintained to avoid the condensation water from degrading the quality of chocolate chips.

In the freezer

Store the chocolate chips in an airtight container or a freezer bag. Remove the air from the bag by squeezing it tight. 

Frozen chocolate or chocolate chips might develop a white surface and a brittle texture as a result of sugar blooms. The taste and flavor will not be affected as such given the chocolate chips were stored correctly.

The white surface will be gone when the chocolate chips melt in your brownies or cookies but if you add them to oatmeal, they may feel brittle.

How to fix chocolate bloom?

To fix the chocolate bloom, you will have to melt and temper the chocolate. The white or grey streaks won’t vanish but the quality will be much better. Such tempered chocolate is not suitable for candy making.

Do chocolate bars expire?

The expiry or the best-by date printed on the package of the chocolate bars is not an indicator of safety. It is an estimate, made by the manufacturer, of how long the chocolate bar will retain its freshness. 

The chocolate bar will be safe to eat past this date unless stored incorrectly. An unopened package of the chocolate bar kept in a cool and dark pantry is safe to eat past the expiry. 

However, there might be significant changes in quality after the expiry if the bar contains fruit, nuts, or caramel.

Chocolate expiration date 

The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of different types of chocolate and chocolate products.

(Opened or Unopened)Pantry Fridge Freezer 
Past Printed date Past Printed datePast Printed date
Chocolate 2-4 months 4-6 months 6-8 months 
Chocolate bars 2-4 months 4-6 months 6-8 months 
Chocolate truffles 1-2 weeks 
Belgian chocolate 1-2 weeks 2-4 weeks 2-4 months 
Chocolate chips 2-4 months 6-8 months 2-3 years —

What to use when the chocolate chips go bad?

If you realized halfway through your baking that your chocolate chips are no good, don’t worry because we have got you covered. 

Just take a small chocolate bar and cut it into small pieces. Alternatively, cut each chocolate square into 4 pieces. 

Cocoa powder is not a good substitute for chocolate chips since it does not contain any sugar or milk solids. 

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question “How long do chocolate chips last?”, and how to store chocolate chips?

References

Chocolate

https://www.purewow.com/food/does-chocolate-go-bad
https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/18791
https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/18792

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.