How To Tell When Buttermilk Has Gone Bad

Taking a big swig of milk and realizing its gone bad is never a fun way to start the morning, but thankfully, there are some tricks to knowing if your milk has gone bad. For example, take a look at the color to make sure the milk is a pure and bright white. Although visual signs and color are reliable for cow's milk, there are lots of other signs to tell when different milks have gone bad. Sometimes, you can't rely on color alone. Buttermilk is off-white, so don't look for a bright white color to see whether it's spoiled — it's a little more complicated than that.

If you're concerned about food safety, one surefire way to ensure that you don't consume bad buttermilk is by finishing up your carton before the expiration date. That being said, Healthline states that if unopened, it's possible that buttermilk is still good past its expiration date, so avid buttermilk users should also be aware of what the color or smell of bad buttermilk looks like.

From texture to taste, there are multiple signs to tell when buttermilk has gone bad

Since buttermilk already has a bit of a sour smell, a bit of acidity isn't a telltale sign of a spoiled drink. But if the smell of buttermilk has gotten significantly stronger, there's a sign that you need to get rid of the carton in your fridge. Besides the small, other major red flags include a chunky texture or mold, which is typically a blue or green color.

But there's also a point where buttermilk isn't necessarily expired, but it's not as effective in your dishes. America's Test Kitchen tried using buttermilk in pancakes, and they learned that pancakes made with buttermilk that had been open for longer than three weeks had less flavor. This is because buttermilk becomes more acidic once its opened, and the acid kills off the diacetyl in the liquid, and diacetyl is what gives buttermilk its distinct flavor. So if your buttermilk recipes don't taste quite as good, your buttermilk may not be spoiled, but it might still be time to purchase another bottle.

Need ideas for how to use up all your buttermilk because it loses its delicious flavor? Buttermilk comes in handy for much more than just pancakes. From fried chicken to cookies, here are some great ways to use up leftover buttermilk.