Quick summary: Yes, pancake mix can go bad over time. While pancake mixes are unlikely to spoil in the traditional sense, they might lose their quality, resulting in less fluffy pancakes. However, specific circumstances can still cause spoilage.
Your go-to emergency method to satisfy hungry children is pancakes, but all you found was old packing in the pantry. Is it safe to prepare? We rescue you with the answers.
Pancakes are a universally loved food, especially by the youngest ones. If you ask kids, they would probably tell you that pancakes can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack in the meantime. Since you can top them with a number of sweet flavorings, it’s no wonder they’re a favorite treat when your stomach swirls.
You know that the pancake mix is made up of dry ingredients, each of which has a fairly long shelf life. Flour, sugar, and dry yeast are not easily perishable goods. Well, it is to be assumed that the mix of all this will not easily spoil either. And you’re right.
However, if you imagine that you will be able to buy enormous packs a few years in advance, we have to disappoint you. Here’s everything you need to know.
How Long Does Pancake Mix Last?
Pancake mixture is a reasonably durable combination of dry ingredients. What will happen over time is that it will lose quality.
Specifically, the yeast will lose its potency first, so the pancakes won’t be as fluffy and could be sticky somehow.
Here’s the estimated shelf life and how long expired pancake mix is good for before being spoiled:
Unopened pancake mix
You will notice on the packaging that it is primarily written best-by date instead of the expiration date. Approximately the pancake mixture lasts about a year from the date of production. But it will be pretty good and a few months longer than that.
After that, the yeast will lose its potency. You can make up for this by adding fresh yeast. Yet you can only do that for so long. If the mixture stays for too long, the quality will certainly decrease.
Opened pancake mix
Opening the package doesn’t actually affect the pancake mix as much as it does with other foods. If the storage conditions are in order and if you keep the bag of the mixture sealed well, it will last as long as the unopened package.
Can Pancake Mix Go Bad?
The pancake mixes are unlikely to really spoil. As we said, you’ll probably reject it for qualitative reasons because it won’t be as fluffy anymore. However, there are certain circumstances that can lead to spoilage.
Here’s how to tell if expired pancake mix is bad:
Sign 1: Insects in a bag
This is likely to happen if you have not closed the bag of pancake batter well after use. Small tiny insects can crawl into the bag, making your instant pancake mix unusable. If you notice small creatures crawling through the dry mixture, throw everything in the trash.
Sign 2: Mold is present
If even the slightest amount of moisture was present, a dry pancake mix could quickly turn into an oasis of mold. This is also the only scenario that can truly harm your health.
Since pancakes are baked relatively short, sometimes some moldy spores can survive. So if you notice anything suspicious, you’d better throw it in the trash. You can see the mold with the bare eye or just smell it.
What Is The Best Way To Store Pancake Mix?
No special place or way is needed to store pancake mix. Just some basic instructions for long-term food storage. Most pancake mixes are shelf stable and truly durable food. Still, some general storage tips can help to preserve quality.
Tip 1: Choose a cool and dry place
Be sure to keep the fresh mix in a cool, dark place. The most important thing is that it is dry without any and the slightest presence of moisture. This will ensure that this sweet mix lasts a really long time.
Tip 2: Seal well
Close the bag tightly each time after use. This will prevent the entry of moisture but also small tiny parasites that will spoil the product. If the original packaging is not well resealable, pour the dry mixture into a jar with a lid or an airtight container and keep it for a long time.
Tip 3: Discard after longer time
Regardless of the favorable conditions, if the product is simply too long on your shelf, you better replace it with fresh stock. Over time, the pancakes will lose their quality, so they won’t be fine to eat.
How can you tell if expired pancake mix is bad?
You can tell if expired pancake mix is bad by checking for a change in color, an off or sour smell, and the presence of any clumps or insects. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to avoid using the pancake mix, as its quality and safety may be compromised.
Is it okay to eat expired pancake mix?
Yes, it’s generally okay to eat expired pancake mix, but the quality of the pancakes may be affected.
Can you freeze the pancake mixture?
Yes, the pancake mixture can also be frozen if you want to keep it for a long time.
How long will pancake mix last if vacuum sealed?
Pancake mix can last up to 1-2 years if vacuum-sealed and stored in a cool, dry place, away from light and moisture. However, it’s advisable to check for any signs of spoilage before using, even if vacuum-sealed.
What we once had to add ourselves and guess the perfect ratio is now contained in a ready-made pancake mix prepared to use easily. You will only need to add water, and you are ready to bake your favorite desserts. With some maple syrup, you’ll have a real treat.
The mixture is composed of dry ingredients, so it is necessary to ensure dry storage conditions and to close the bag well each time after use. Feel free to use the mixture for several months after the expiration date.
However, don’t stretch too much that time as the potency of the yeast in the mixture will loosen, and you will no longer have delicious fluffy pancakes but flat hard ones.
See more: How to warm up pancakes
*image by urban_light/depositphotos