Did you find a long-lost and forgotten packet of graham crackers in your pantry and wonder if it is safe to consume them? Do graham crackers expire? Well, you have found just the article!
To answer your question, these crackers remain fresh for a very long time. As per the USDA, the expiry date mentioned on the packet is an estimate given by the manufacturer for how long these crackers will stay fresh.
In this article, we will discuss in detail the estimated timeline during which these crackers are safe to consume. We will also share some fantastic storage tips that can come in handy if you have bulk purchased these crackers!
Does Graham Crackers Expire or Go Bad?
Graham crackers are biscuits! Hence, sadly they do come with a limited shelf life. However, the good news is that you can use them way past their best by or expiry date since they tend to remain fresh for months after that.
How Long Does Graham Crackers Last?
Graham crackers can last very long as long as they are stored in ideal conditions. If you have an unopened packet of graham crackers, you don’t need any special equipment to store them in your pantry.
However, storing them in an area free from water and molds is imperative. An unopened packet can stay in the pantry without any issue for about 9 to 12 months if the packing is intact.
Once the packet has been opened, special care must be taken to ensure that these crackers have limited interaction with air. Hence, they should be stored in ziplock bags or vacuum-sealed containers. If you plan to store them in containers, choose one with a narrow opening or a barrel shape.
An opened packet of these whole wheat cookies can stay fresh for about 4 weeks if stored in the best condition.
How to Know if Graham Crackers has Gone Bad
We all love these versatile crackers; hence, it is imperative to know if they are safe to consume. In this section, we have listed a detailed guideline that can help you analyze your crackers before eating them so that you can enjoy the original flavor and taste!
These whole wheat crackers have an orange-brown color with salt crystals on their surface. Hence, if you notice that the cookies are losing their original fresh-baked color, the crackers may be approaching their best-by date or way past it.
Although the color will not make them harmful for consumption, it will significantly impact the overall taste and feel of the product.
We are all aware of the taste of these crackers! They have a salty taste with a tinge of honey and cinnamon. If you notice any funny taste in our favorite crackers, it’s best to avoid consuming them.
Graham crackers have a typical crunchy and crispy texture that most biscuits have. However, these crackers may lose their crispiness and become soft and stale when kept for a long time or exposed to air or moisture.
Stiffness: Graham crackers are not soft, but they are not very hard to chew. They are lightweight cookies that can quickly be eaten. If you notice that these cookies are hard to swallow or bite, it is best to avoid them since they may have lost their natural moisture and become rigid.
Crumbling: If you notice that a new packet of graham crackers has many crumbs and fragments, it may not be as fresh as you want them to be.
Sticky: Graham crackers should not have a stick or gluey texture since they are not chewy biscuits. If you notice that the crackers are sticky, it may be due to their excessive moisture. Moisture indicates spoilage since it makes way for many other microbes and bacteria. Hence, it is best to discard them without consideration.
Can we Freeze Graham Cracker?
Crackers, as the name suggests, are crisp biscuits that are known and liked due to their signature crunch. Freezing anything at low temperatures result in the formation of ice crystals that melt when the food is thawed.
The water will get absorbed in the biscuits, making them soft and soggy; hence, they won’t taste fresh.
Furthermore, these crackers have salt on their surface, which absorbs water and seeps inside them, making them taste like stale salty biscuits. Hence, it is best to avoid refrigeration or freezing these crackers to avoid changes in their overall taste and structure.
Authors Note: If the ultimate goal is to make pies or crust with these crackers, you can freeze them since a bit of moisture will only aid in the process of base formation.
Tips to increase the Shelf Life of Graham Crackers
Here are 4 tips that can help you store the Graham Crackers for a long time.
Tip 1: Keep these biscuits away from moisture to prevent them from becoming soft and soggy.
Tip 2: Always keep these biscuits in their original packaging if you plan to use them later during the following months.
Tip 3: If the crackers are open or the original packaging is tampered with, transfer the biscuits to an air-tight container or a ziplock bag to avoid water and air from interacting with these crackers.
Tip 4: Always use plastic clips if you have opened crackers in their original packaging.
Tip 5: If you wish to freeze them, make a powder before storing them.
Author Note: Before purchasing these crackers, it’s always best to check the expiry date. Although it can be used way past that date, it is best to choose one with more months left to reach that date.
In this section, we will answer some commonly asked questions.
Can we eat expired Graham Crackers without falling ill?
Answer: Absolutely! These crackers have a best-by date written on them, indicating the timeline during which these biscuits will retain their peak quality and taste the best. However, once this date is passed, you can still consume them, provided you have stored them in the ideal conditions to avoid contamination or quality deterioration.
Can I refrigerate Graham Cracker Pies?
Answer: Ideally, these crackers can be kept at room temperature since refrigeration can make them soft and soggy. However, pies made from these crackers have other additional ingredients like butter and milk that can get spoilt at room temperature. Hence, graham cracker pies should be refrigerated once ready.
Can we use Graham Crackers to make smores after it has expired?
Answer: Graham Crackers are generally safe to use even after it has passed their best-by date. However, it is very likely, that the crackers will lose their original consistency and texture. Hence, you may notice that the biscuits get crumbly and fall apart easily; hence, they may not be ideal for smores since they involve high temperatures.
Graham crackers can last long as long as they are stored in ideal conditions. An opened packet of these rectangular crackers can stay fresh for about a month if it is sealed and kept away from the air. If the packet is not opened, you can store them in your pantry for about a year without any problems.
However, it is always good to exercise caution. Hence, check the crackers based on the pointers mentioned above before eating them or adding them to any recipes.
I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any other questions regarding graham crackers, feel free to reach us in the comment section below.
Milburn Adler is a food enthusiast and connoisseur of wine. His area of expertise is food fusions and gourmet foods. He lives to experiment with new recipes every day and spends most of his day looking for fresh and exotic fruits and vegetables.