Buttermilk is a unique kind of dairy product, which has a sour taste but is often used as an ingredient in many different types of food recipes. While it may not be very common to drink buttermilk, you can use this product with foods like pancakes, waffles, fried chicken, biscuits, and even in soup too. If you end up using your buttermilk in any type of recipe, it’s possible that you may have leftovers that you’ll need to store for the long-term. Usually, buttermilk will be sold in supermarkets in large containers and can be bought in bulk. If you see a big sale on buttermilk packages and you want to save some money by buying a few containers, should you go through with it? Would buttermilk be able to be stored for months at a time? The ultimate question remains; can you freeze buttermilk?
Can You Freeze Buttermilk?
The answer to this important question is a yes; you can freeze buttermilk for long-term storage. However, it’s important to realize that there are necessary steps to follow in order to obtain the best results. Even if you won’t be able to use your buttermilk before the date of expiration, you can still freeze the buttermilk and extend its’ longevity for up to three months total. Similar to other dairy products such as milk, sour cream, and yogurt, the liquid in the buttermilk will tend to separate during the freezing process. It’s very important for the consumer to stir together the buttermilk again after the freezing and thawing processes have been completed. The whey and the milk content of the buttermilk need to stick together and be cohesive in order to maintain the same taste and texture of the product.
Freezing The Buttermilk
There are two different accepted methods when it comes to freezing the buttermilk product:
- You will be able to freeze the buttermilk in its original container. When you freeze buttermilk in its original container, it’s important to remove some of the buttermilk so that the container is not entirely full with liquid. This is due to the fact that the buttermilk will expand when frozen so you want to make sure that there is extra space in the container for the liquids to change their form.
- If you would rather freeze the buttermilk in a different container rather than its original one, you can pour the contents of buttermilk into a freezer-safe container. Remember to make sure that the container is big enough to hold the expansion of the buttermilk liquid and can be sealed tightly. You will want to remove any excess air and exposure to outside elements. Sealing the container with a plastic lid or a plastic layer of wrapping is highly recommended in order to ensure that the freezing process will not be impacted negatively. Before the freezing can begin, it’s important to label with a permanent marker. Write the date of first freezing for the buttermilk container. You’ll be able to keep track of how long the buttermilk has been freezing for before you decide to use it for cooking.
- When you would rather use your buttermilk product specifically for the purpose of cooking and baking foods, it may be best to freeze your buttermilk in an ice-cube tray instead of a container or bag. After you take out your buttermilk package, you should put the buttermilk contents carefully into each of the ice cube trays evenly. The ice cube tray should then be placed into the freezer for the process to begin. After you’re done with freezing the buttermilk in the ice-cube trays and you’re ready to use them for cooking, you’ll want to place each of the cubes into the freezer-safe bags. After that, you’ll be able to thaw the buttermilk out in the refrigerator and it will start to liquefy in the freezer bags. The buttermilk will be able to thaw out, expand into liquid form and be able to be used for any kind of recipe as an important ingredient.
- Before the freezing can begin, it’s important to label it with a permanent marker. Write the date of first freezing for the buttermilk ice cube trays. You’ll be able to keep track of how long the buttermilk has been freezing for before you decide to use it for cooking.
Thawing The Buttermilk
It’s important to thaw out only as much buttermilk as you need for cooking purposes. You don’t want to overdo it and thaw out more buttermilk than you can possibly use. You can rest assured that your buttermilk, if stored and thawed correctly, can last for a couple of months. Be sure to never thaw out the buttermilk on the kitchen counter or in the pantry at room temperature.
You should also never re-freeze any buttermilk that has already been frozen or thawed out once before. Be aware that there will be subtle changes to the taste and texture of the buttermilk over time during freezing so its’ important to stir, mix, and add ingredients to the buttermilk after the thawing is over in order to maintain its’ original taste, texture, and consistency.
Does Buttermilk Go Bad?
If you’re at the local supermarket and you see a big sale on containers of buttermilk, what should you do? Would you be able to store the product successfully for the long-term without any problems? Would it be worth the potential savings in time and money by buying a couple of containers or bottles now instead of later? The ultimate question remains; does buttermilk go bad?
Unfortunately, buttermilk can go bad but it’s often difficult to tell if that has happened or not due to the subtle differences in taste and smell that will occur when the product goes sour eventually. Compared to other foods, buttermilk doesn’t make it easy to figure out whether or not the product has decreased in overall quality. However, the good news is that the shelf life of buttermilk is rather long. If you would like to learn more about the proper storage of the product, the shelf life of the product, and how to actually tell if the buttermilk has gone bad or not, continue to read this article to learn and find out more.
Storing The Buttermilk
Since buttermilk is a dairy product, it’s important to store it at a cooler than average temperature. Having said that, the best place to store your buttermilk would be the refrigerator. Regardless if the container of buttermilk has been opened or unopened, it’s still preferable to store your product in the fridge to be safe. Buttermilk does well in terms of storage when its’ immediate environment is cold, dark, and dry. The worst thing you could do for buttermilk is to place it at room temperature or a warm environment where it’s humid, hot, wet, and sunny. Sunlight, heat, water, oxygen and other outside elements are harmful to buttermilk’s lifespan especially when its’ opened.
When the buttermilk is not being used, you must make sure to seal the container or bottle tightly at all times. You should continually check to see that the cap, cork, or seal is not broken and is working properly.
If you’re really committed to storing your buttermilk for the long-term and you’re not sure when you’re going to be using it again, I would recommend freezing the product. If you decide to do that, it’s important to move your buttermilk into a different container or freezer-safe bag that can be sealed tightly without any problems. By using freezer bags and small containers, you can separate your buttermilk into individual servings. You can take out the required amount of buttermilk that you need for a food recipe from the freezer and thaw it out for usage. With your container and freezer bag, make sure to leave some space in there because buttermilk can expand due to the water in the contents of the product. Lastly, be aware that you should only freeze the buttermilk if you plan on using it in the future for cooking and preparing foods.
Want to make your own buttermilk? Check out this video:
Shelf Life of Buttermilk
If you decide to store your buttermilk in the refrigerator which is recommended, the product should be good to use and cook with for a couple of weeks and even up to a month or more. If it’s unopened, it’s likely that your buttermilk will last for a couple of months and less than that if it has been opened already. If you decide to open the buttermilk, it will last for about two weeks or so before it starts to decline in overall quality.
If you were planning on drinking the buttermilk instead of using it, I would recommend drinking it as soon as possible or at least a week after opening up the container for the first time. After two weeks pass by, the buttermilk should only be used for cooking purposes such as with pancakes or chicken and should not be drunk. For the longest shelf life, you’re going to have to freeze the buttermilk which will make the product last from up to three months to up a year before losing its’ quality. If you decide to freeze your product, make sure to write down the date of first freezing to remember how long you have stored it for.
Signs of Bad Buttermilk
The important thing to keep in mind when it comes to buttermilk is that its’ similar to a product that has already been spoiled or gone bad to some degree. However, it still has its purposes in cooking, drinking and other uses after it is made. There are a number of things to look out for to decide whether or not your buttermilk has gone sour or not.
One of the aspects to check for is to look at the appearance of the buttermilk and see what its’ consistency is like. If there’s mold forming on the surface, or if the product appears clumpy or uneven in its’ texture, it may be best to throw out the buttermilk. Buttermilk should be thick so if its’ separated or become liquid-like in appearance, that is also not a good sign. If you’re still not sure, you can check the smell of the buttermilk. If you detect an odd or unusually pungent odor that’s far from normal, then it’s likely that the buttermilk has really spoiled. Still though, the last and most foolproof test would be to do a small taste test of the product. You simply need to take a small spoon and scoop a bit of the buttermilk to taste it. You won’t get sick from a small taste test and its’ a surefire way to tell if the buttermilk is still good or not. If the product tastes awful or has a bad flavor, then you need to deposit the buttermilk in the trashcan.
Buttermilk is considered to be a very useful product for both cooking and even consumption. Buttermilk is the name also given to the creamy substance that is left over from the churning of the butter that leads to the development of the cream. In certain countries and cultures around the world, consumers even drink buttermilk to keep cool and refreshed. Due to its’ higher levels of acidic content, buttermilk is much thicker in texture than regular milk and the liquid is much more clustered and less liquid-like when compared to whole milk from a cow. As for its’ uses in foods, buttermilk can be added to meats like chicken and pork but also to popular breakfast dishes like pancakes and waffles. Whether it’s for drinking or for cooking, buttermilk remains a popular product for people around the world.
Coming back to the original questions, yes you can freeze buttermilk. However, frozen buttermilk is best suited for use in baked or cooked dishes. Enjoy this great dairy product and good luck!