This Is How Long Chocolate Chips Take To Go Bad

It's probably been a while since you relied on your oven for therapy time, but let's be honest: You kind of miss it. You miss being distracted by the step-by-step routine of the recipe. From kneading and melting to serving the first ooey-gooey slice of whatever you felt like having, nothing gets you feeling better than baking something delicious in the oven.

If you do it regularly or like to have your shelf ready for dessert inspiration, you probably have any number of clever ingredients that elevate your baking game stacked in your pantry. There is a bag of flour somewhere and baking powder leftovers you used on the recent holiday. You may also have a bag of chocolate chips from your last brownie-craving night — you remembered they were so good you need to give it a try all over again.

But, are the chocolate chips good to go? It's been months since you last used them, and the expiration date says to use them before a day that passed a long time ago. You try one, they don't taste bad ... but could something happen to you? In fact, there is a more important question you need to ask yourself before using your chocolate chips: How were they stored?

Chocolate chips can last years if stored properly

PureWow explains that chocolate chips can last for a decent amount of time if they are stored properly. Normally, if you have an unopened bag of chocolate chips in the pantry, this would be good to use for two to four months. But, if you are not sure that you are going to use them anytime soon, it would be better to put them in the fridge. In fact, moving them to the fridge can help them to last up to eight months. If you instead move them to the freezer, they could actually last for years.

Of course, the storage and use of the chips vary depending on what type of chocolate they are made of. As Food Guys indicate, the number of additives involved directly affects the quality of the chocolate in question. Additives include fruit, nuts, and milk — so yes, white chocolate chips spoil faster than dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips. Prepared Cooks suggests that chips with milk in it will be just fine if stored in an airtight container and stored in a cool spot so they can last for a year.

What about the expiration date? PureWow also explains that the expiration date is just an indicator of when the quality starts getting poorer. So, if the date indicates the chocolate chips are expired but the chips taste, look, and smell normal, you are probably okay to use them anyway. Of course, if the chocolate is getting white, rancid, or has mold on it, it's probably best to avoid that bag. Hopefully, your chips are good to go when the baking cravings hit!