View Full Version : How long are extracts good for

12-20-2005, 03:02 PM
Found some fairly ancient bottles of various extracts while sorting thru the baking cupboard. Are these guys good forever? None of them smell "off"... but do they loose their their flavoring power over time? I use up the basics (vanilla, almond, lemon) on a regular basis... but the maple, rum, brandy, peppermint, orange and butter are probably several years old.

12-20-2005, 03:16 PM
I found a website that recommended 24 months shelf life for extracts. I have some much older than that. I don't think they "go bad" since most of them have alcohol in them, but probably lose their strength over time.


12-20-2005, 03:29 PM
Thanks, Dorothy. I think I'll just replace those old puppies as I come upon the need.

12-20-2005, 03:33 PM
How funny to read this since I just sat down from making Peppermint Bark with my expired peppermint extract. It was unopened but it expired in January 2005! I seriously don't think it has even been that long since I bought it - it must have already been pretty old in the store. I didn't think to check the date when I bought it.

I'd never used peppermint extract before so I can't compare it to fresh stuff but I used 1 tsp in 2 lbs of white chocolate and it was fine - maybe it could have used more. The recipe I was using (Paula Dean's) just said Peppermint Extract (optional) so I had no idea how much to use and just estimated from what I saw from other recipes.

12-22-2005, 12:46 AM
I just bought a couple of extracts (peppermint and almond) from TJ's awhile ago. They actually have expiration dates printed on them. The dates are about 5 years from the time they were bottled.

12-22-2005, 03:13 AM
Like generic, I bought extracts recently - both have a "best by" of 2009. My almond extract, which I've had for quite some time, has a "best by" of 10/04...but it still smells potent, so I'm hanging on to it for a while.

12-22-2005, 06:14 AM
I've had extracts evaporate before. Certain ones like lemon I believe. Not vanilla.