Onion powder, like many spices, is often kept in a cupboard and not thought about until it is needed.
You will find that most spice racks are full of spices that are used maybe once a year or less. This can lead to the question of whether or not these spices are still good to use.
If you have onion powder in your spices, you might not use it for too many recipes. In most cases, the things that you need onion powder for do not call for much of it either.
Onion powder is a really nice spice to have on hand, but you might keep a bottle of onion powder for many years without making a huge dent in the contents.
If you are wondering if your onion powder goes bad, you need to read on!
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How Long Does Onion Powder Last?
Onion powder that is stored properly can last for three to four years. After this time, it can go bad. The trouble with spices is that when they go bad, they do not show clear signs that they have done so.
You might not even remember when you got your onion powder to know if it has surpassed the expected storage timeframe.
When spices are stored in their original bottles, in a cool and dark place, and with a tightly-capped lid, they can last for even longer than their expected lifespan.
There are some spices that have been known to last for as much as five to eight years when stored correctly.
New bottles of spices that have not been opened yet can eventually go bad, but they are much less likely to be spoiled than open bottles even after years of storage.
How do I Know if My Onion Powder Has Gone Bad?
The best way to check that your onion powder is still good is to look at the “best before” date that is on the packaging.
This is not always easy to find on jars, and some brands make it almost impossible to see this information on their spice jars.
If you are not sure about the expiration date from this method, you can taste test it to see if it has lost some flavor or to see if the texture is off.
Another way that you can see if your onion powder is still good is to rub a small amount on your hand and smell it. You should be able to smell the onion clearly.
If the aroma is weak or you smell anything unpleasant, you should get rid of the leftover onion powder that you have and get a new jar.
A lack of smell is a clear sign that your onion powder is well past its prime and needs to be thrown out.
While onion powder will not spoil in the sense that it will not be unsafe to eat when it ages too much, it can start to taste less pungent or have a funny texture.
This is because spices lose potency over time, and when the jar has been uncapped frequently, or if it has not been stored with the lid on tight, this can be the end result.
If moisture has gotten into your onion powder, it might appear like small balls of spice, or there could be a ring of powder that is stuck to the sides of the jar.
This is the instance where the onion powder might not be good to use because it will impact the texture of your food, and it might have a bad taste to it.
In most cases, your onion powder that has aged too long will just not taste like anything, and your food will be bland.
How Should I Store Spices to Prevent This?
The best way to keep your onion powder from going bad is to always make sure that the lid is replaced snugly when you are done with it.
You might also want to make sure that you marked on the bottle when you bought it. This can help you to be sure that you are not keeping spices around for too long.
Make sure that your spices are stored in a cool and dark place and that they are not exposed to lots of moisture in the air.
This can be a cupboard that is not near a sink or a spot in the pantry. Many people have a spice rack in the cupboard that keeps everything separated and tidy.
If you have a box or another kind of storage solution, just make sure that your spices are stored in the right kind of environment to prevent waste.
Another great way to prevent the waste of spices is to opt for using the real thing as often as possible. You might not even need onion powder from your spice rack if you are willing to take the time to chop up and use real onion for your cooking.
Fresh ingredients are always preferable to powders and mixes, and you might have better luck with the real thing in the long run.
Onion Powder Can Last a Long Time When Stored Properly
If you have stored your onion powder correctly, with the lid on tight, you should have no trouble keeping your onion powder good for as much as four years.
Just make sure that you check on the “best by” date or use a taste and smell test to check if the onion powder has lost its flavor.
You might be able to tell just by looking at your onion powder that it is past its prime, but a smell or taste test will answer that question with ease.
Always remember that using real onions can be a great solution to avoiding the storage of lots of spices that you only use once in a while.
You might need onion powder for some sauces and recipes, but if you can use real onion, this is always preferable.
Onion powder lasts for a long time, but it can eventually go bad, particularly if it has not been stored correctly.