how long does heavy cream last – opened or unopened

Heavy cream is the life of our favorite food recipes like alfredo pasta and lasagna. Also, it is used in good quantities in the recipes of various other dishes. In every case, while using it we try to make sure that we use it as quickly as we can before it goes bad. But what is the reason behind its spoilage? Perhaps, it is the way we store it.

So, ahead we will be discussing how long a heavy cream lasts and how we can store it properly to prevent spoilage.

How long does heavy cream last?

Well, if stored properly, heavy cream has a good shelf life otherwise, at room temperature it’s likely to become rancid instantly. On average, if heavy cream is kept at room temperature, it will not last more than 2 hours. However, in a fridge, you can stretch its life span up to a month.

Like other perishable food products, heavy cream is also likely to go bad due to the preservatives added to it. Therefore, it must be stored properly to prevent spoilage. So, if you have already bought a jar of it and don’t feel like using it then you can freeze it as well. This way, it will stay good for up to 4 months.

When the jar is opened, the high concentration fats in heavy cream helps it stay fresh, and thereby it goes a long way. Even USDA suggests that heavy creams either open or unopened can stay in the refrigerator for up to a month. However, at room temperature, it takes just 2 hours to go bad.

The underlying reason for its spoilage is the development of microbes. High temperatures trigger the growth of microbes which spoil the food instantly. Therefore, heavy creams, once exposed to high temperatures, are considered unhealthy for consumption.

Low temperatures are unfavorable conditions for the development of microbes thereby, they are less likely to grow in heavy cream which is stored in freezers.

Why does heavy cream spoil so quickly?

As said previously, heavy cream is bound to spoil because of the presence of preservatives which also affects its shelf life. Thanks to the rich fats in heavy cream that extend its shelf life. Other than this, the milk used in the making undergoes high temperatures which give it another reason to not deteriorate quickly. Hence, this proves that the methods of production and preservation of heavy cream play a significant role in determining its shelf life.

How would you know if heavy cream is bad?

Dairy products are quite easy to identify if they go bad. They quickly start developing a foul smell that is strong enough to identify whether it’s rotten or not. If it is kept in the fridge in such a state, the awful smell will spread everywhere in the fridge and may rot other food items as well. Besides the foul smell, it also develops a curdy and lumpy texture. If you are doubtful about eating it, spill some in the sink and check the consistency, you will know on the spot if it is fit for consumption or not.

Quick recipes that involve heavy cream:

1) Creamy breakfast Treats:

Heavy creams can make your simple breakfast fancy. Add a spoon full of heavy cream to your oatmeal and top it with some nuts and fruits. You can also add a splash of heavy cream on the top of your coffee to give it a rich creamy taste.

2) Creamy Mac and Cheese:

This easy recipe just requires a handful of ingredients like pasta, heavy cream, cheese, salt, and pepper. Take pasta in a bowl, add lots of cheese, some amount of heavy cream, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix all the ingredients well and your creamy rich mac and cheese bowl is all ready to eat.

3) Butterscotch sauce for toppings:

Take some amount of butter, sugar, and heavy cream in a saucepan and cook on a low flame. When the sugar dissolves, increase the heat and bring the mixture to boil, whisking slowly. Now remove it from the stove and add vinegar as per your taste. When the sauce is thick, pour it over anything you like. For instance, ice cream, pancakes, French toast, waffles, and so forth.

Conclusively it can be said that a freezer is the best way to store heavy cream for a long time (4 months). If you don’t want to go for this option, then refrigerating it is the second-best option but do not ever leave the cream in your pantry or cabinet for a long time.

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