The Best Ways To Store Buttermilk And Keep It Fresh

Buttermilk, for anyone who is unfamiliar, is fermented milk — it has a thicker consistency than regular milk, as well as a tart flavor. It's used for a variety of baked goods, from pancakes and biscuits to muffins. If you enjoy baking or cooking, then it's really useful to have buttermilk on hand. However, if you want to have buttermilk available at all times, then you need to know the best way to store it to keep it fresh.

If you're going to use buttermilk within about two weeks, then you can simply keep it in the fridge. If the container is unopened, you could even keep it there for a few days past the two weeks. However, it's always important to look out for signs that it's gone bad before using it — for instance, buttermilk naturally contains small lumps, but if it's overly chunky, then that's a sign that it's no longer good. Additionally, if there's a strong odor, any discoloration, or mold, then throw it out. If you're planning to hold on to buttermilk for longer than two weeks, then you'll need to store it in the freezer.

What to know about freezing buttermilk

Thanks to the wonders of the freezer, frozen buttermilk can keep for up to three months. You can definitely store it in the container it came in, as long as it is not full to the top — the liquid requires room to expand when frozen. Another option is to freeze the buttermilk in smaller amounts, such as in ice cube trays. This method allows for the added benefit of not having to thaw it all at once because once you thaw buttermilk, you can't refreeze it. If you don't have ice cube trays — or don't want to use them up on something other than, well, ice — then you can also pre-measure specific amounts of buttermilk and pour it into small Ziploc bags.

When it comes time to thaw the buttermilk, all you have to do is place the amount you need in a container in the fridge for 24 hours or until it has melted. Alternatively, you can defrost it on low in the microwave. Then, make sure to give it a good stir before integrating it into your recipe. If you keep all of these tips in mind, then you'll be able to safely keep the ingredient for months, giving you plenty of time to find ways to use up that leftover buttermilk.