Chocolate is a delicious treat that can be enjoyed year-round, but in order to make sure your favorite dessert continues to stay fresh and flavorful, you must understand how to properly store it. If you’re wondering how to store chocolate correctly, you’ve come to the right place! In this expert guide, we’ll share the best tips and tricks on how to store chocolate so you can enjoy it for as long as possible.
The Importance of Proper Chocolate Storage
Are you a fan of chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate bars, gourmet chocolate truffles, or homemade chocolate? If so, you should know how to properly store chocolate to keep it fresh and tasty. Chocolate is a popular indulgence, but it doesn’t last forever. Have you ever wondered how chocolate is made? The process of making chocolate involves several steps, which is why it’s important to ensure that you get the most out of your chocolate, and store it correctly to honor its unique production. Proper storage helps protect the quality of your chocolate by maintaining its flavor, texture, and appearance. Chocolate won’t necessarily go bad, but when exposed to extreme temperatures, moisture, or other elements, it can become discolored, brittle, and develop an unpleasant taste. Storing chocolate improperly can also cause it to melt and stick together, making it much less enjoyable.
By properly understanding how to store your favorite chocolate treat, you are guaranteed to have chocolate that will be fresher for a longer period of time. With proper storage, you can rest assured that your chocolate will remain delicious and enjoyable.
How Long Does Chocolate Last?
The shelf life of chocolate depends on the type of chocolate and how it is stored:1
- Dark chocolate – has the longest shelf life of all types of chocolate and can last up to two years if stored in a cool, dry place such as a pantry or cupboard. Avoid storing dark chocolate in the refrigerator, as condensation can cause the chocolate to spoil or bloom (turn white).
- Milk chocolate – has a shorter shelf life than dark chocolate. Depending on how it is stored, it will usually last anywhere from 6 months to a year. Like dark chocolate, milk chocolate should also be kept away from humidity and temperature fluctuations. If you store your milk chocolate in the refrigerator, make sure to tightly contain it to avoid moisture buildup.
- White chocolate – lasts around 4 months if stored properly. For best results, keep your white chocolate in an airtight container at room temperature. Refrigeration can cause the fat and sugar molecules to separate, leaving your white chocolate looking grainy and greasy.
- Filled chocolate – including chocolate truffles, has the shortest shelf life. This type of chocolate can last around 3-4 months if stored properly. So, what are chocolate truffles made of and how do you properly store them? Chocolate truffles are bite-sized confections that should be consumed within 2 weeks. If they aren’t consumed quickly, they can be stored in the refrigerator. When refrigerating chocolate truffles, put them into a plastic bag and an airtight container for extra protection.2
Tips For Storing Chocolate Properly
1. Know What Type of Chocolate You’re Storing
Before you decide how you are going to store your chocolate, it is important that you know what type of chocolate you have. If you’re not sure what type of chocolate you have, take a look at the label or packaging for information about its shelf life and proper storage guidelines.
If you have homemade or gourmet chocolate, you should store it in an airtight container to protect it from moisture and unwanted odors. For frozen chocolate, it is best to use a freezer bag or tightly seal the container before placing it in the freezer. When storing cocoa powder or compound chocolate, it is essential to keep them in a cool, dry place to prevent them from melting or becoming grainy.
2. Pick the Best Environment
Where you store your chocolate plays a big role in how long it will last and remain fresh. For best results, store chocolate in a cool, dry place. Avoid direct sunlight or areas of high humidity.3 If you store your chocolate in the pantry or cupboard, make sure to choose an area away from heat sources such as ovens and dishwashers.
3. Choose the Proper Temperature
When storing chocolate, the temperature is just as important as the environment. The ideal temperature for storing chocolate is between 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s best to keep the humidity around 55%, as too much humidity can cause the chocolate to absorb moisture and develop a grainy texture.
4. Understand When to Use the Fridge
Storing your chocolate in the refrigerator or freezer is never ideal. Doing so will cause condensation to form on the surface of the chocolate, which can make it sticky and harden. Temperature fluctuations can also cause the cocoa butter to separate from the other ingredients, resulting in an unenjoyable texture.5
If you live in locations with higher humidity or temperatures, storing your chocolate in the fridge might be necessary. If so, ensure you are tightly containing it. If you plan on storing your chocolate for longer periods of time, then using the freezer could be beneficial. To avoid temperature shock, refrigerate your chocolate for over 24 hours before placing it in the freezer, and make sure it is tightly sealed.3
5. Use Original Packaging
Eating your chocolate as soon as you get it is the best-case scenario. However, if you have not finished your chocolate right away, using the original packaging is always a great option. Keeping the chocolate in its original packaging protects the product from unwanted contaminants and helps maintain its freshness.3 It also helps to keep the temperature and humidity levels regulated, which can be particularly important for certain types of chocolate.
6. Don’t Forget Airtight Containers
Using an airtight container is one of the best ways to store chocolate. This will help keep the chocolate fresh and free from moisture, which can make it melt. Be sure to label the contents with the date that the chocolate was purchased and/or opened. This will help you keep track of how long the chocolate has been stored and remind you when it’s time to replace it. If you don’t have an airtight container, you can use plastic wrap or aluminum foil to cover your chocolate. However, these methods won’t be as effective as a dedicated airtight container.
7. Avoid Unwanted Odors
Chocolate has a very sensitive aroma, and any strong smells can seep in and affect its flavor.4 This is especially true when storing chocolate for long periods of time. It's best to store it away from other foods or products that have a strong smell. That way, your chocolate will remain as flavorful as possible!
8. Protect From Pests
Pests can ruin your chocolate. To avoid this, make sure to keep the chocolate stored away from any critters. Avoid leaving chocolate out where pets or insects have easy access. If you live in a warm climate, make sure to store your chocolate in a cool place, as pests love warm temperatures. Make sure that any containers or wrappers you use to store your chocolate are sealed tightly.
Purchasing Premium Chocolate With Ethel M Chocolates
It is important to remember that quality matters. Buying luxury, premium chocolate will ensure the best possible taste and texture when you are ready to enjoy it. If you want fresh chocolates with no artificial ingredients or preservatives, Ethel M Chocolates are perfect for you.
Ethel M Chocolates contain a variety of different treats, all made with the finest ingredients. So not only can you purchase quality chocolate, but you now know how to properly store it to ensure the best possible flavor!
- The Chocolate Journalist. The Real Expiration Date of Chocolate Bars.https://www.thechocolatejournalist.com/blog/real-expiration-date-chocolate-bars
- Taste of Home. How to Store Chocolate Truffles.https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/how-to-store-chocolate-truffles/
- Dame Cacao. How to Store Chocolate For Freshness.https://damecacao.com/how-to-store-chocolate/
- Lake Champlain Chocolates. How to Store Chocolate & Keep it Fresh. https://www.lakechamplainchocolates.com/how-to-store-chocolate/
- Hotel Chocolat. Should You Put Chocolate in the Fridge?https://www.hotelchocolat.com/uk/blog/summer/should-you-put-chocolate-in-the-fridge.html