Whether smothered on toast or layered between cakes, jelly is a tasty addition to many foods. Though many people buy jelly, there are also a lot of people who make their own. If you eat jelly, you may wonder how long does jelly last unrefrigerated?
Jelly comes in all sorts of different flavors such as strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and grape. It is a versatile food and particularly popular when paired with peanut butter to make PB & J sandwiches. Many people keep jelly on hand, but it is important to know how to properly store it to ensure it stays fresh.
Difference Between Jam And Jelly
Both jam and jelly are delicious fruit spreads. Though they are quite similar, the two do have their differences. They both rely on fruit and sugar as ingredients and use heat to achieve their consistency.
Jam is made from chopped or pureed fruit that is then cooked down with sugar. It typically has a looser, more spoonable texture. It is not uncommon for jam to contain seeds for fruit skins in it.
Jelly, on the other hand, is made from fruit juice that comes from cooked, crushed fruits. Generally, fine mesh clothes are used to extract the juice from the cooked juice. That juice is then heated with sugar, acid, and oftentimes powdered pectin to achieve thickness.
Jelly has a firm and smooth consistency that is great for spreading. Both jam and jelly are carefully canned in order for them to last.
Does Jelly Need to Be Refrigerated?
When buying jelly at the store, it is not refrigerated. It can be stored for several months unrefrigerated.
Though many people think you have to refrigerate jelly after opening, that is not always the case. Since they have a water activity of around 0.80 and a pH level of around 3, they do not require refrigeration. It does not have enough water and is too acidic to support bacteria.
Though jelly doesn’t necessarily have to be refrigerated once opened, it does benefit from being refrigerated. Refrigerating jelly can help give it a longer shelf life and keep it fresh. In addition, if you live in a hot, humid climate, it is often best to store your open jelly in the fridge.
Be sure to check the label on your jelly after opening. Some brands will recommend refrigerating it after opening. In addition, jelly with lower sugar content is best kept refrigerated as sugar works as a preservative.
How Long Can You Store Unopened Jelly?
For best results, unopened jelly can be stored for up to twelve months. Unopened jellies should be stored in cool, dry places, such as a pantry.
After a year, many unopened jellies will still be good, however, they may begin to lose their flavor and nutrition. In some cases, your unopened jelly may last for up to two years.
Avoid storing your jelly in direct sunlight or somewhere that is warm or humid. This will shorten the life of your jelly.
How Long Can You Store Opened Jelly?
When storing open jelly, make sure you tightly screw on the lid after each use. In addition, if storing it unrefrigerated, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
How long does jelly last out of the fridge?
Just how long does jelly last unrefrigerated? Once opened, the jelly will last about 30 days at room temperature.
However, it can last in the fridge for six months or even up to a year in some cases. How long jelly lasts once you open it often depends on its sugar content and the amount of preservatives in it.
Can you freeze jelly?
If you wish, you can freeze jelly, however, it can lose flavor and texture over time. Some people will not freeze jelly, as they don’t want to risk ruining the texture.
When freezing jelly, it is best to store it in a plastic container. Be sure to leave at least a half-inch of room in the container to allow for expansion. Be sure to lay your container flat when you are freezing it.
You can freeze jelly for up to a year, however, for best results, eat it in six months. When ready to use, allow your jelly to thaw overnight in the fridge or on the counter at room temperature for two hours. Keep any of the jelly leftovers you have in the fridge.
How To Tell If Your Jelly Is Still Good
Though jelly can keep for a long time, it can go bad. Fortunately, there are many signs that allow you to identify if it is still good or not.
To help keep your jelly fresh, use only a clean utensil when serving it. Avoid cross-contamination as this can cause your jelly to go bad quicker. For best results, store it in the container it came and always tightly fasten the lid.
If you notice any mold in your jelly, immediately throw it away. In addition, if you notice an off smell or color, it is best to just throw it away as it may be spoiled. If you also notice a funny or off-taste, it is best to just ditch it as that is likely a sign that it is bad.
The Importance of Properly Storing Jelly: How Long Does Jelly Last Unrefrigerated?
You’ve probably wondered, does jelly have to be refrigerated? If your jelly is not yet opened, you can store it at room temperature in your pantry. Unopened jelly can last for one to two years when you properly store it.
After opening, you don’t necessarily have to store your jelly in the fridge. Due to its sugar content, low moisture, and acidity, it is not prone to growing bacteria. You can keep your opened jelly at room temperature for 30 days.
To keep your open jelly fresher for longer, you can store it in the fridge for up to six months to a year. Many people choose to refrigerate their jelly as it will last longer that way.
Do you have any questions on how long does jelly last unrefrigerated? If so, please ask any jelly-related questions in the comment section below.