How Long Does Jelly Last? • In The Fridge, Unrefrigerated Or Sealed •

Have you recently made some jelly? Wondering how long you can store it before it needs to be eaten, or thrown away? Perhaps you’ve even found an old pack of sealed cubes in the cupboard and are considering opening them up to make a batch. Either way, I’ll be walking you through the longevity of this wobbly sweet treat today, in all of its various forms and conditions.

So, how long does jelly last? Jelly will typically last between 5-14 days when set (made), covered and left in the fridge. Beyond this quality and texture will likely start to degrade. Unrefrigerated jelly may spoil in as little as 24 hours depending on the temperature and environmental conditions.

Compared to other foods, jelly does certainly have a longer shelf life.

And if quality remains in tact, there is a good chance you could continue to consume jelly beyond the 2-7 day timelines referenced above.

In fact, keeping a close eye on the jelly (and perhaps checking it over) is the best thing you can do to see how long it truly ‘lasts’.

How Long Will Jelly Last In The Fridge?

Jelly will typically last in the fridge for between 2-7 days, once set and stored inside.

That being said, if you are making jelly from cubes, it is always a good idea to check product packaging and follow the manufacturers guidelines.

They will typically provide storage instructions and how long you can expect the jelly to last, once made.

If you want to extend the jelly for longer than this, you could consider freezing it in sealed airtight containers, too.

How To Properly Store Jelly In The Fridge

The best way to store jelly in the fridge is in an airtight container, or in a container that can be covered and made airtight.

So start off by making your jelly.

Add the hot water, mix through until the cubes dissolve and give sufficient time for cooling (typically 15-30 minutes).

Place in your storage container and then either apply the airtight lid or cover in a strong clim film.

Add to the fridge and leave to set (around 4 hours).

The reasons to keep the jelly sealed are twofold:

  1. To stop the jelly from hardening or drying out,
  2. To ensure the jelly doesn’t absorb any odors from other foods in your fridge.

The best thing to do if preserving jelly and trying to maximize its shelf life is to keep it in the fridge as much as possible.

If you are looking to serve on multiple occasions, its best to divide the jelly into portions (such as in individual bowls) and then serve these as and when required.

How Long Does Jelly Last Unrefrigerated?

Jelly will typically last between a few hours and a couple of days unrefrigerated. That is if you are looking for peak quality.

The good news is, jelly does not have enough moisture to support bacteria – so you can technically leave jelly out of the fridge.

Saying that, it’s just not the same warm, and it is best cold.

Added to the fact that the quality degrades quicker in warmer temperatures.

We’ll get into signs of degradation later.

For now, just consider this.

The cooler environment the jelly is kept in, generally the longer it will last (at peak quality).

So if you do want to keep jelly unrefrigerated, be sure to keep it in a cool kitchen, or cool part of the kitchen.

A pantry is generally best.

How Long Does Sealed Jelly Last?

Sealed Jelly cubes can last almost indefinitely if stored in a cool, dry place outside of direct sunlight (such as in a cupboard or drawer). Potted (preset) jelly however will likely come with a best before date; it typically will last longer than (assuming proper storage conditions) but quality will likely degrade beyond this date.

However this all comes with a couple of caveats:

  • You ensure that any packaging is not broken or pierced, or any of the jelly (or cubes) are exposed.
  • If the jelly is mixed, or sat on other foods (such as cream in a trifle, for instance), you should stick closely to the dates on the packaging.

How Do You Know When Jelly Goes Bad?

Most jellies will not ‘go-off’ the sense of becoming unsafe to eat, however, they will degrade in quality over time. Signs that jelly has gone bad in this sense include a deterioration in the shape, consistency and sometimes flavor.

While in most cases older jelly will not make you ill – it just will not be very satisfying.

Note, this is assuming the jelly was made from typical brands of cubes, or made using gelatin and fruit juices. If additional ingredients or contamination with other foods has occurred, it may be possible to get sick from eating spoiled jelly.

If in doubt, throw it out and make a new batch.

Sure it will take some time, but it’s better to be safe and sorry. And besides, it is best served fresh and generally quite cheap too!

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