Last Updated on April 9, 2022 by Zara R.
How long does chocolate last at room temperature? Well, the answer depends mainly on the storage conditions of your chocolate. For that reason, the best state to store your boxed chocolate is at moderate room temperature in a cool and dry area.
Remember, adequately stored dark, baking, bittersweet, and semi-sweet chocolate will remain at their best quality for about two years at room temperature. Also, if stored correctly, milk chocolate can maintain its best quality for almost a year at room temperature.
How Long Does Chocolate Last At Room Temperature?
Considering that it has a long shelf life, does chocolate expire? In essence, chocolate does not usually spoil. However, since it contains fat, it can expire theoretically.
Please note that cocoa butter, or the fat from the cacao bean, is amazingly shelf-stable. Thus, when stored in a cool and dry place, the chocolate can last for a decade or even longer.
Moreover, the tendency of chocolate to expire comes from four sources: fat bloom, sugar bloom, overheated milk, and when manufacturers infuse chocolate with ingredients that can expire.
In general, flavors or ingredients that can cause expiration to chocolate include nuts, caramel, and wet fillings. So, when picking a flavored chocolate bar, it is essential to look at the labels and ingredients list to check if the ingredients and flavors have a shorter shelf-life than a plain chocolate bar like butter oil.
Additionally, dark chocolate can last up to at least two years if stored correctly, while milk, ruby, and white chocolate can last up to a year.
Furthermore, chocolate that contains milk powder has shorter best by dates. The main reason is that it is perishable when exposed to water and high heat.
Besides, adequately tempered chocolate bars can have a longer shelf-life than other chocolates because they contain no water activity. Plus, chocolate that contains sugar, artificial flavorings, and milk products that pass by their “best by date” can be discarded.
How To Tell If Chocolate Has Spoiled?
In other words, how do you know when chocolate goes bad? Most of us find it thrilling and surprising to find leftover chocolates from Christmas and Halloween. However, sometimes we forget when we last bought it, making us think if it is still safe to consume. To know if your chocolate has gone bad, here are some lists as a guide.
Quality and freshness
Remember, high-quality chocolates are best consumed two months after purchasing because luxury chocolate brands often use fresh ingredients in making chocolate, and it does not contain additives.
The difference in the scent or smell
Usually, good-quality dark and milk chocolate have a rich cocoa smell, and even white chocolate has a fragrant cocoa butter smell. And, if your chocolate has no cocoa smell, then it may be left out for a long time. In comparison, cheap chocolates that contain additives tend to last longer. Nonetheless, if your chocolate gives an off-putting smell, do not eat it.
Difference in taste
For the most part, cocoa butter absorbs odors and flavors, so if your chocolate taste like your leftover food, avoid eating your chocolate because there is a possibility that you have not stored it properly.
In addition to that, if your chocolate has an overpowering bitterness flavor, it can indicate that your chocolate has spoiled. Likewise, if your chocolate has a different taste other than mellow cocoa, you must discard it.
The most significant factor to tell if your chocolate has expired is to see blooms. If you observe a white or grey hue to your chocolate, it may have a fat bloom; bear in mind that a fat bloom does not affect the taste, but it will no longer have a glossy shine.
On the other hand, if your chocolate has a grainy texture, it may have a sugar bloom; keep in mind that a sugar bloom will not affect the taste like a fat bloom, but it will add an unpleasant texture.
Moreover, if you observe cracks and dots in your chocolate, there is a possibility that your chocolate has dried out and become stale. Nevertheless, if there is mold in your chocolate, dispose of it immediately.
Chocolate’s Ideal Temperature
To begin with, what is the ideal temperature for chocolate? Most of the time, you should store your chocolate in a cool and dry place to keep them fresh and tasty; bear in mind that chocolate should be stored at a consistent temperature below 70 degrees Fahrenheit or between 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, with less than 55 percent humidity. The main reason is that cocoa solids and cocoa butter emulsion will remain stable for months.
Also, please keep your boxed chocolate at a moderate room temperature for the best outcome. And since the ideal temperature for storing chocolate is between 60 degrees to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature warmer than that can alter your chocolate’s texture and appearance.
If you live in an area or your home is above 70 degrees Fahrenheit and has a humid climate, the best option you have is to refrigerate or freeze your boxed chocolates.
However, refrigerating your chocolate is not advisable unless you have no other choice; bear in mind that chocolate absorbs odors like a sponge, so ensure that your boxed chocolates are well covered wherever you are storing them.
Also, store your opened boxes inside a heavy-duty plastic bag and close them tightly to keep your chocolates fresh. Again, chocolate absorbs nearby odors like a sponge. So with that, it is essential to keep your boxed chocolates well-covered, no matter where you are storing them.
Ways to prevent chocolate from melting at room temperature
Moreover, how to keep chocolate from melting at room temperature? Chocolate typically tastes better at room temperature. However, since not all countries’ climate is the same, places with hotter climates that exceed the right temperature for storing chocolate has no other choice but to keep their chocolates refrigerated to stop their chocolate from melting.
Ideally, chocolates are best kept in a dark and dry place, not inside the refrigerator. Please note that refrigerating your chocolate can make it dull and does not release the flavors. Also, extreme cold temperatures can mess with the temper of your chocolate, causing it to melt. In addition to that, it makes the cocoa butter and solid separate.
Furthermore, white and milk chocolate varieties are melted lower than darker, depending on their cocoa butter content. So, the best option in warm places is to place your chocolate in a sealed container and inside the refrigerator.
And when you are about to eat your chocolate, it should be left to return to room temperature. Also, placing your chocolate inside a sealed container will undoubtedly prevent your chocolate from absorbing unwanted flavors that can compromise the taste.
Does Chocolate Expire?
You have to keep in mind that chocolate does not spoil in most cases. But, at times, it can expire due to its other ingredients that spoil quickly.
How Do You Know When Chocolate Goes Bad?
For the most part, there are several ways to know if your chocolate has expired; these include checking its appearance, freshness, and quality. In addition to that, you can observe the difference in taste and smell.
What Is The Ideal Temperature For Chocolate?
In general, it is between sixty degrees to seventy degrees Fahrenheit. Also, avoid a temperature warmer than that. The reason is that it can indeed change the chocolate's appearance and texture.
How To Keep Chocolate From Melting At Room Temperature?
The most effective way is to keep it in a cool, dry, and dark place. Although it is not ideal to refrigerate your chocolate, only store them in the fridge if you live in a humid location. But, before doing that, make sure to put it in a sealed container.