How Long Does Pancake Mix last? Can it Go Bad?

This iconic American breakfast has been around for more years than you may think, the Greeks were cowing down on pancakes in the 1400s, and pancakes are even mentioned in two of Shakespeare’s plays. Pancakes are deliciously sweet or savory, but when it comes to the shelf life of premixed pancakes, is it shelf stable?

Did you know that size matters when it comes to pancakes? According to the New York Times, pancakes should be approximately 4 inches in diameter. Allegedly a 4-inch pancake demonstrates that the mix is perfect for that average ladle size. Any wider, it’s too runny, and vice versa.

In this article, we will explore the life shelf of pancake mix and if it does actually go bad. In addition, we will answer many questions regarding this iconic breakfast.

Let’s get into it.

Does pancake mix expire?

Yes. Pancake mix has a shelf life of approximately 6 to 12 months, which will be the box’s expiry date.

However, the expiry date does not mean that the product is garbage. It means that the product at the expiry date is still in peak condition and will start to degrade past this point.

So, how long does it take for pancake mix to expire? Well, it depends on how it is stored. If you leave it on the side open, you can consider it expired permanently and ready for the garbage after two hours.

On the other hand, an unopened pancake mix stored in an airtight container in the pantry or fridge is going to last a considerable amount of time before the product is useless.

But you can expect a shelf life of between 6 and 12 months, opened and unopened.

Does covering the pancake mix make a difference?

Yes. Pancake mix, like any other food product, is susceptible to contamination from bacteria. Assuming the pancake mix is open, covering the pancake mix in an airtight container can make a big difference to the product.

Once bacteria enter the pancake mix, the shelf life is shortened considerably. Covering the pancake mix in an airtight container reduces the risk of contamination, and you may consider placing the dry pancake mix in the fridge to extend its life further.

This will depend on how fresh the pancake mix was when you purchased it. The pancake mix will last longer if the leavening agents are fresh.

Does pancake mix need to be refrigerated?

No.  It is not recommended to place pancake mix in the fridge because the fridge has a lot of moisture. You may expect the fridge to be a dry environment to store powdered goods. 

Still, every time the door opens (which is often), the moisture in the air enters the fridge, so in a busy home, the fridge is a constant cycle of cold air and warm air, which could contaminate the milk powder in the pancake mix.

However, placing the pancake mix in an airtight container reduces the risk of moisture contamination, keeping the pancake mix in good shape.

How long does pancake mix last in the fridge?

Dry pancake mix will have roughly the same shelf life if stored in the fridge. It will depend on how fresh the leavening agents are in the pancake mix, but by and large, the extended life of the product will be negligible.

Storing pancake mix in an airtight container in a cool pantry could be a better option and will free up space in the fridge for products that do need to be in the fridge.

Does pancake mix go bad if left out?

Pancake mix is going to last between 6 and 12 months if it’s stored properly. Pancake mix is a stable product, and the only things that are going to shorten its shelf life are bacteria and moisture.

Placing pancake mix in an airtight container will prevent bacteria and moisture from entering the product. Storing pancake mix is common sense. If you have excess pancake mix after cooking, store it correctly; otherwise, it will spoil.

Does frozen pancake mix go bad?

Freezing pancake mix does not really extend the product’s life, and you will likely eat all of the pancakes before the product expires or goes bad.

Correct storage is the key to extending the life of pancake mix. Store in an airtight container to maximize the life and get the full potential from your pancake mix.

How do you know if the pancake mix has expired?

It can be hard to tell if the pancake mix has gone bad. Being a dry product, it does not expire like other products if stored correctly. You may get insects eating the product with dry products, such as ants.

If you have insects in the pancake mix, discard it and buy a fresh pancake mix.

Dry products will inherently absorb water. If your dry pancake mix is clumping its absorbed water and you can no longer guarantee the integrity of the product, it should be discarded.

Your pancakes might not be as light and fluffy as they were if the mix is more than a few months old since the raising agent may not function as well as it should.

How long is an unopened pancake mix good for?

Pancake mix in sealed packs will remain fresh for about a year and occasionally even longer when stored in the pantry. Pancake mix packages that have been opened have a shelf life of about six months or less. The longest homemade pancake batter will last one week.

What does an expired pancake mix look like?

You can have spoiled pancake mix before the expiry date if the pancake mix is not stored correctly in an airtight container.

Do a visual check first to check for anything that doesn’t look right in the pancake mix. If pantry bugs and insect eggs are in the pancake mix, discard them immediately.

If the pancake mix has dark specs, it could be mold from moisture, don’t eat any moldy products.

Smell the pancake mix, and it should smell sweet and delightful. If it smells funky, moisture has been absorbed, and bacteria have taken a foothold in the product. Discard the pancake mix.

When pancake mix has expired, it’s a food quality issue and not food safety, meaning the pancakes are okay to eat but may not taste as good as they should.

Different types of pancake mix

Does dry pancake mix go bad?

Pancake mix does not go bad like other products if it’s stored correctly. You may notice changes in how the pancake mix rises when being cooked. If the pancakes are not rising, the leavening agent has lost its properties, but it’s not a big deal.

If your pancakes are not rising, you can add some baking powder to the mix, and this should fix the problem.

Pancake mix will deteriorate over time, and you could get specs of mold growing in the product, have a keen eye. If you see specs in the dry pancake mix, then it’s bad and should be thrown away.

Does Kodiak pancake mix go bad?

Kodiak pancake mix has a long shelf life and can last up to two years unopened without deteriorating in the slightest.

Once Kodiak pancake batter is opened, you have a shorter shelf life of no more than 3 months before the product is considered bad, losing its flavor and leavening properties.

Does Bisquick pancake mix go bad?

Like any other food, Bisquick can go bad, but if kept in the pantry, in a sealed container, or in a cold place away from direct sunlight, it can keep for a long time. 

It’s okay to keep a regular box of Bisquick mix in the pantry for up to a year, and occasionally even longer.

You may be wondering why Bisquick and other pancake mix last so long, and it’s because they are dry products that give them an incredibly stable shelf life.

Does Aunt Jemima’s pancake mix go bad?

Aunt Jemima pancake mix is a regular pancake mix with the same shelf life as the others. As a rule of thumb, the Jemima pancake mix has the same shelf life, opened and unopened, if stored correctly.

Even after the best-before date, the Jemima pancake mix will last at least 3 months past this date before it degrades and loses its flavor profile and leavening properties.

Final thoughts

Pancake mix has a stable shelf life and does not really change so much if open or unopened. The product is fine to use past its expiry date.

Mostly correctly stored pancake mix will reach the end of its life when the leavening agent expires. This is evident as your pancakes will not be light and fluffy. However, even this is not a big problem. You can simply add baking powder to the pancake mix, and the pancakes should rise as before.

Refrigeration pancake mix does not extend its shelf life, but if stored in an airtight container may be a good storage place.

Freezing dry pancake mix does not affect its shelf life. It is a dry powder, so no benefits can be gained by freezing it.

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