This article will explain everything about the coconut milk shelf life, how to store, and spoilage of coconut milk. You’ll also know when to refrigerate it and how to tell if the coconut milk go bad.
If this is your first time buying coconut milk, you open the package and wonder how long does coconut milk last.
Sometimes you have coconut milk at home and it’s been stored for days, and you want to know if it’s still good to use or vice versa. Well, the problem is you are not sure about your coconut milk.
As mundane as it may sound, here you will find everything you should do with your coconut milk. This will be very useful for you as a beginner in the field of cooking.
To start the article about coconut milk, let’s first know what is meant by carton coconut milk and canned coconut milk. Both of them seem to be similar and the same, even though the two are far different and they cannot even replace one another.
Carton Coconut Milk vs. Canned Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is a white liquid extracted from coconut meat or also known as coconut starch.
So, this white liquid is changed to canned coconut milk. This liquid is what we often use to cook gravy, cook nasi lemak, curries, or we make it as a drink from coconut milk. Some smoothie recipes also use coconut milk as an ingredient.
The difference between carton coconut milk and canned is the amount of water and stabilizers that present within
Coconut milk usually only uses 2-3 ingredients such as coconut, water and guar gum, the water content is less than the other types. If the can is cold, the juices will separate from the water. When you open the can, there is a layer of coconut milk on top.
From the other side, carton coconut milk is contains a lot of water content and usually also contains some stabilizers. This ensures the fat doesn’t separate from the essence, making the drink delicious and smooth, even if you’ve kept it for months.
Refrigerated vs. Shelf-Stable Carton Coconut Milk
Usually, carton coconut milk can withstand storage and does not need refrigeration or refrigerator, unless you have opened the can. But there is also C. milk that is frozen and available in bottles or cartons and stored in the refrigerator.
The refrigerated and shelf-stable varieties of coconut milk are identical in terms of ingredients. Actually the aseptic packaging does not require refrigeration when you store it.
Other regular milks are also the same as above including dairy-free alternatives such as oat milk, soy milk, and rice milk.
Now we will describe all the types of coconut milk that exist, we will look at their shelf life, how they are stored and signs of spoilage.
Does Coconut Milk Need to Be Refrigerated?
As we said above, both coconut milk can be stored at room temperature as long as they have not been opened. If you have opened it, it must be stored in the refrigerator. Storage in the fridge should be in an airtight container and this will last 5 – 10 days.
But from everything we have explained, there is an exception, if coconut milk is stored in the refrigerator for the first time, then it must be in the refrigerator forever and cannot be moved to be stored at room temperature.
What if you’ve opened the coconut milk container and forgot to store it in the refrigerator, you accidentally left the container open with coconut milk left in it. How long it lasts, let’s keep reading!
How Long Can Coconut Milk Sit Out?
The USDA recommends that perishable products (of course including coconut milk in open containers) should not last more than 2 hours at room temperature. If it has been more than 2 hours at room temperature, then you should throw it away.
This rule seems a bit strict and it’s really to watch out for his health. sometimes you find a container of coconut milk that is open and more than two hours is still in good condition, the problem is you don’t know how exactly the condition of your coconut milk is, and just in case you should get rid of coconut milk in a container that has been open for more than two hours.
However, if you don’t heed this rule, it means you are still using the coconut milk, so be careful, it is at your own risk. But we still recommend throwing it away (if it’s been more than an hour at room temperature).
Other Storage Practices
Want to save coconut milk, this is what you have to remember!
- Keep the remaining coconut milk cooled and sealed, if your canned C. milk is still left, then store the rest in an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator.
- Shake it before use.
- If you’ve opened it for more than one day, always pour it into a glass, don’t use it straight from the carton. You will easily know if coconut milk is still suitable for use.
How Long Does Coconut Milk Last? Coconut Shelf Life
How long does coconut milk last, an important question in this article and you must know the answer so you can store coconut milk properly and be able to reuse it in good condition.
Carton coconut milk or canned coconut milk shelf life is long, the shelf life is approximately 12 months or 1 year. And after the stated shelf life, you can still use it for a few days.
If you have opened the carton or can, you should use up the nut milk within 5 to 10 days.
Refrigerated coconut milk is an exception to this rule.
This Refrigerated will keep for a few weeks, and after the stated date, you shouldn’t extend the shelf life even for another week.
If you open the container, it will only last in cold storage for 5-10 days.
|Unrefrigerated carton unopened
|Best-by + 3 – 6 months
|Unrefrigerated carton open
|5 – 10 days
|Refrigerated carton unopened
|Use-by + 3 – 7 days
|Refrigerated carton open
|5 – 10 days
|Best-by + 6 – 12 months
|5 – 10 days
|3 – 4 days
The shelf life of coconut milk in the table is only an estimate.
Tip: If you want to use coconut milk as an addition to coffee, then choose the carton type, if you like to make it frothy, then find a barista who is more suitable for that.
Expired Coconut Milk
Canned coconut milk or carton has a certain shelf life and is usually quite long, and is still quite safe to use for some time after it has passed its expiration date.
Although we can’t say exactly how long it lasts after the expiry date, coconut milk is still edible and I find that canned coconut milk lasts longer than aseptic carton coconut milk.
But this must also match what you get after opening the can or carton. If it’s after the date listed and you find any indication of a change in taste or smell, then it’s definitely spoiled and you should throw it away. But on the other hand, if the coconut milk is past its date and you don’t find anything worrying, then you can still use it.
If the coconut milk shelf life is very limited, then after the date stated, I don’t expect it to last a week let alone longer. if it’s been more than a week from the expiration date, then you should just throw it away.
Check out more:
Opened Coconut Milk
Coconut milk, whether in cans or cartons, only lasts 5-10 minutes after opening the container.
Storage for several days will certainly change the quality. Storing canned coconut milk in the refrigerator, it will separate between the coconut milk and water. But the product is still safe to use and don’t forget to shake it when using it.
On the other hand, carton coconut milk may separate a little after a few days in the refrigerator, this depends on the amount of additives and stabilizers used. Sometimes you also see some white fat particles floating on the surface of the container, and this is okay.
If you have opened a coconut milk product, and want to store it for a while, then consider freezing it. Both types of coconut milk (can and carton) are good for freezing and they freeze differently and certainly work well for certain things, such as cooking or baking. So, before freezing it, it’s best to gather information about how to freeze coconut milk.
Tip: To freeze coconut milk, label and write down the first day you opened the coconut milk carton, so going forward you can easily track how long you’ve been opening it.
Coconut milk will look fine in the fridge even two weeks after you open it. There will be a thick layer of fat on the surface and everything will look, smell and taste good.
However, if you have a problem with a bad smell, you can just throw it away instead of taking the risk.
How to Tell if Coconut Milk Is Bad?
When you check whether it is still safe to use, do the following steps:
Check the date, if the package has not been opened, check the expiration date. Conversely, if it has been opened, then make sure your coconut milk is not in the fridge for more than 5-10 days.
Smell it and make sure it smells good. If it smells sour or moldy, then this should be avoided and thrown away. For coconut milk, check if it smells sour, strong like chemicals.
If it’s a carton type of drink, then shake it and pour it into a glass.
Check the visuals, is there a change in color and consistency, if it’s lumpy or has been separated then this is done. Also check that there is no mold in the can.
Test the taste, you must already know what coconut milk tastes like. then check the taste. If you notice a change in taste then it’s over. Different brands will certainly have different tastes and textures. For canned coconut milk, it should taste like coconut milk and not go rancid.
This is just a glimpse of information on how long does coconut milk last, how to find out if coconut milk is spoiled, of course there is still a lot that is not included in this article. The bottom line is, if you find something that smells bad or bad, throw it away instead of taking the risk.