Food preservation

When do brownies go bad?

Brownies are a go-to snack for most people, me included. Unfortunately, they do not last for as long as we would want them to.

It is unlikely that you would store brownies long enough for you to start wondering whether they are safe to eat.

However, if it happens, you may ask yourself; when do brownies go bad?

There is no straightforward answer to that question because there are many brownies recipes out there.

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Each recipe is somewhat different from the other in terms of ingredients. However, we can still estimate how long the brownies will last.

When stored in the pantry or kitchen cabinet, brownies may go bad after four days. In the refrigerator, they may go bad after seven days.

This article discusses all the information you need to know about brownies, including how long they last, how to store them properly, how to freeze them, and signs that your brownies have gone bad.

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How long do brownies last?

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The shelf life of brownies significantly depends on the ingredients used to make them. If you or your baker used any preservatives, the brownies would last for much longer. 

Generally, homemade brownies last for approximately four days when you store them in the pantry. In the refrigerator, they retain their good quality for approximately seven days.

Store-bought brownies also last for four days in the pantry and seven days in the refrigerator.

Note that there are specific types of brownies that last for much longer than others.

Those that contain a lot of butter and chocolate last longer than those containing a lot of flour since chocolate and butter have a long shelf life. 

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The quality of specific brownies starts deteriorating after three days. For instance, brownies with dairy toppings are not likely to retain their quality for longer than four days.

Be sure to look out for any signs of spoilage before eating them. 

If you order brownies online, you should read the instructions on the package. Some suggest that the brownies can last 5-7 days in the pantry and 30 days in the refrigerator. It is, therefore, a little difficult to predict exactly how long they will last.

Please note that the mentioned periods are estimates of how long the brownies will last, so you should ensure they are still of good quality before eating them since the periods can be a bit off.

How to properly store brownies.

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How you store your brownies greatly influences how long they last. The most important thing you should do when storing brownies is to ensure that they don’t dry out.

This explains why store-bought brownies are always packed individually. Most bakers also pack the brownies in plastic containers.

If you buy brownies that are not in a plastic container, you should store them in airtight containers, plastic wrap, or freezer bags. 

For homemade brownies, you should first partition the brownie slab into squares as it cools. Alternatively, you could cut the slab into large pieces or store it as it is.

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Note that cutting the slab into pieces plays a role in smaller pieces ensures that the brownies don’t dry out easily.

There are two places you can store brownies; in the pantry and the refrigerator.

In the pantry/ kitchen cabinet

The pantry or kitchen cabinet is ideal for storing airy brownies with high moisture content. These include brownies that don’t have frosting or filling.

In the refrigerator

The refrigerator is ideal for storing dense brownies that have a high moisture content. These include fudge-like brownies that have a creamy filling and have more eggs in them.

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Likewise, if your brownies have dairy-based frosting, filling, or any other ingredient sensitive to temperature, you should store them in the refrigerator.

When storing brownies in the refrigerator, ensure you have sealed the container you put them in tightly.

Brownies tend to pick up the smell of other foods you store in the refrigerator; hence you may end up with brownies that have a funny aroma if you fail to seal the container tightly.

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If you buy the brownies, be sure to check the packaging for storage instructions.

Some recommend that you refrigerate the brownies regardless of how long you plan to store them.

Always follow the storage instructions.

How to freeze brownies.

Freezing is the way to go if you want your brownies to last for a long time. 

Please note that different varieties of brownies freeze differently. Some brownies freeze well while others don’t. For instance, classic (cake-like) brownies do not freeze well due to their density and low moisture content.

When you thaw them, their texture becomes grainy or crumbly. Brownies that have icing or filling also don’t freeze well. 

Fudge-like and dense brownies freeze perfectly and maintain their texture when thawed. Follow these simple steps to freeze your brownies.

Follow these simple steps to freeze your brownies.
  1. Partition your brownies into small portions. This is highly recommended, especially if you won’t eat the brownies within four days.
  2. Use cling wrap to wrap the brownies, then cover them with aluminum foil. Wrap each brownie individually for the best results.
  3. Label with a date to enable you to keep track of how long you have stored the brownies.
  4. Place the wrapped brownies in your freezer and thaw when you are ready to eat.

To thaw your brownies, place them in the refrigerator overnight. They will be ready to eat the next morning.

Signs that your brownies have gone bad.

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Like any other food item, brownies can go bad when you store them for long. Here are a few signs that your brownies have gone bad and are no longer safe to consume.

  • Color change

It would be best if you looked at the color of your brownies. If there is a change in appearance, the chances are that your brownies have gone bad, and you should discard them.

  • Mold
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The presence of mold is an indication that the brownies have gone bad. Discard all of them. Do not try to salvage them by removing the section where mold has grown.

  • Weird taste

Brownies taste amazing, so if they taste bad, the chances are that they have gone bad and are no longer safe to eat.

  • Unpleasant aroma
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Brownies should have a pleasant aroma. If the aroma is off, they may no longer be safe to eat. 

If you have stored brownies for longer than the recommended period, they may not be safe to eat even if they don’t show any signs of spoilage.

It would be best if you threw them out when they are past their due date. It’s not worth risking food poisoning for.

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Conclusion

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Unless frozen, brownies don’t last for a long time.

They will retain their good quality for four days when you store them in the pantry or seven days when you store them in the refrigerator.

Some brownies may last for longer, so check for any signs of spoilage before eating them.

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