Cornmeal is a staple food in many kitchen cabinets. It is advantageous for pizzas, bread, bagels, and also other delicious foods. Regardless of so plenty of uses, we often end up save a single package the cornmeal for months or even years at a time. That begs the question: go cornmeal go bad?

If you want to bake your favorite cornbread, yet the cornmeal is past the day on the label, asking if it’s still it s okay to use makes sense.

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In this article, we go v storage, shelf life, and going poor of cornmeal.

We also touch top top differences between whole grain and degerminated cornmeal. The difference could be subtle, however it’s quite important when it concerns storage and also shelf life that the product.

Cornmeal and wooden utils

How To save Cornmeal

Since degerminated cornmeal is the much more popular variety, us will begin with it. To read around the difference in between whole grain and degerminated cornmeal, walk to the end of the article.

Storing degerminated cornmeal is pretty similar to save on computer flour. You need to store one unopened bag or container in a cool and also dry place, far from sources of heat. The pantry or a kitchen cabinet room both good choices.

Once you open the package, cornmeal demands to it is in tightly sealed. That means it’s finest to carry the floor corn into an airtight container or sealable glass jar. This means the product will be safe from moisture also from any type of insects.


If you want to save the cornmeal fresh for a couple of years, freeze it is the method to go.

When it pertains to whole-grain cornmeal, it’s more volatile 보다 the other kind (just prefer whole-grain grits). It doesn’t critical that lengthy in the pantry, so it’s best to keep it in the fridge or also in the freezer after opened the package.

Corn grits in a wooden bowl

How lengthy Does Cornmeal Last

Again, let’s start with degerminated cornmeal.

Generally, every bag that cornmeal comes through a best-by date. That date informs us around how lengthy the product have to retain the freshness.

Since degerminated cornmeal keeps up yes, really well, friend can quickly assume the it will certainly still be okay to usage for months past that date. How long past the day on the label exactly, girlfriend ask? Unfortunately, it’s difficult to say.

A much better way come go about this is to research the product, also if it’s 3 years previous the best-by date and also decide whether to usage it based on its quality.

When it comes to whole-grain cornmeal, the doesn’t critical in good quality practically as long as the degerminated counterpart.

Generally, it should retain freshness because that a few months in the fridge and at least half a year in the freezer. Of course, it won’t walk rancid ideal after the period, but its quality can not be as an excellent as it supplied to.

Degerminated cornmealBest through + 1 yearBest through + 5 years
Whole-grain cornmeal (unopened)Best through + 3 months
Whole-grain cornmeal (opened)3 – 6 months6 – 12 months

Please note that every the durations are rough estimates and also for the finest quality only.

Wooden spoon v cornmeal

How come Tell If Cornmeal Is Bad?

Similarly to coconut flour and also many various other ground products, cornmeal degrades in quality over time.

Degerminated cornmeal doesn’t usually go rancid, but it loser its flavor and also freshness. So unless water or any bugs acquired into the package, in which instance you have to discard it, you should decide to usage or toss out the cornmeal based on its quality.

Many human being decide about the high quality using the sniff test: if the smells okay, it’s good to use. Of course, if you an alert any classic signs of spoilage, prefer an odd smell or indications of mold, you should eliminate the product.

When it comes to whole-grain cornmeal, there are a few more things about going poor that you should know.

First off, due to the fact that the germ is left intact, the oils in the germ deserve to go rancid, particularly if the food clip wasn’t stored in ~ cold temperature. So offer it a an excellent sniff prior to using it. If that smells rancid or sour, it’s previous its prime, and you have to discard it.

Another thing to mental is that black and also grey specs in whole-grain cornmeal space normal. Those flecks have the right to be attributed come the germ that the corn. Various other than that, you should use the guidelines for degerminated corn.

Image offered under an innovative Commons indigenous Rebecca Siegel

Cornmeal FAQ

What’s the difference between whole-grain and degerminated cornmeal?

Cornmeal is a outlet flour ground indigenous dried corn. Girlfriend can uncover yellow, white, and also even blue range of it.

Corn kernels consist of 3 parts: germ, hull, and endosperm. The germ is wealthy in oils, and therefore is vulnerable to walk rancid.

The difference in between the two varieties of cornmeal is in the visibility of germ: degerminated cornmeal has the germ removed. Gotten rid of germ method less nutritional value, and also that’s why most cornmeal is enriched. It also means the taste isn’t the rich.

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But what’s most essential for the food market is the the lack of the germ renders the shelf life the cornmeal much longer. That’s also why many of the cornmeal on the market is degerminated.