How Can You Tell If Puff Pastry Has Gone Bad?

The packs of frozen pastry you have kept in your freezer for the last 6 to 12 months. They probably are still okay to eat but you want to be sure its not a waste of time.

So maybe you forgot about the puff pastries you had in the freezer. Now you want to try and see if you can still cook them up. No worries just take them out and make sure they’re not spoiled.

The problem is it can be hard to tell if they are still good. So here are the easiest ways to know. These are the tell tale signs along with a helpful guide to puff pastry storage, handling and shelf life.

How Can You Tell If Puff Pastry Has Gone Bad?

A puff pastry that has gone bad will have undesirable changes in smell and appearance. The pastry can loose its original presentation and overall texture. Look for any spots on the pastry surface, mold generally begins on the outside first.

You should always follow the safest measures before attempting to eat something past its expiration date. Puff pastries can be tricky to tell when they have gone bad, especially frozen ones.

Read More: How To Tell If Pie Crust Has Gone Bad

Each situation can be different, so if you have frozen puff pastries or refrigerated ones. Here is what you should know if you are unsure about their remaining quality.

Signs A Puff Pastry Has Gone Bad

Usually there are distinct signs that a puff pastry has gone bad. So you can get a feel for the quality before you accidentally eat spoiled food or spend time cooking it.

Puff pastry like other pastries and breads show signs in the early stages of spoilage.

So while most of the pastry looks perfectly fine. When you take a closer look you start to see signs of mold.

When the outside might start to have a gray discoloring. Black spots might appear across the surface or only in one location.

Frozen puff pastry can be harder to identify if it has gone bad. Since there could be ice covering up any noticeable changes. Most likely frozen pastry will succumb to freezer burn

Freezer burn is not as bad as mold, but will change the flavor. Cooking will not get rid of the effects from freezer burn.

Sour or funny smell is a striking and obvious giveaway that the pastry puff has gone really bad. Always perform the smelling test with any food you suspect is past its time.

Does Puff Pastry Go Bad In Fridge?

Both baked and unbaked puff pastry do not last long in a refrigerator. Expect them to degrade and possibly start to spoil after 1 to 3 days. Baked puff pastry can go bad after 48 hours.

The reason they don’t hold up so well in the fridge is moisture. Storing them in a plastic bag or container can lead to condensation. This forms from the trapped air that contains water vapor.

Once the puff pastry becomes wet and soggy it starts to go bad. Plus it is hard to reheat already baked puff pastry. So its best to enjoy it the same day or not refrigerate it.

You can avoid the condensation problem by placing the pastries in a paper bag first. Then place the paper bag inside a plastic container. The paper should soak up some the moisture before the pastry becomes soggy.

The good news is the moisture does not continue to build up. So if you can dry out the bag, you should be able to store the puff pastry in the fridge for longer.

If you plan to eat your baked puff pastry the next day, then its best to not refrigerate them. Just wrap and seal them and keep them in a cool dry place in your kitchen.

When you plan to keep puff pastry stored for longer than one week. You should consider freezing them.

How Long Does Puff Pastry Last Once Thawed?

Since frozen puff pastry needs to be thawed before cooking. It is best to thaw it out overnight. Thawing takes between 6 to 8 hours.

Once thawed puff pastry can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Keeping the puff pastry cool is key. The dough should remain cold before cooking.

When the dough becomes too warm the butter will melt and ruin the layering. So a thawed puff pastry should last longer if kept cold.

This brings us to the next point.

Can You Leave Puff Pastry Out Overnight?

Depending on the temperature in the room. If you are trying to thaw out a frozen pastry, then its best to do this in the refrigerator.

I would say you should not leave puff pastry out overnight. Leaving them out for too long is a easy way to ruin the pastry.

The chance of the butter melting or the dough drying increases at room temperature. When the butter melts too soon it actually causes the layers it holds the layers together, when they are suppose to puff apart.

Check for thawing instructions on the package if you’re using store bough puff pastry.

Is It OK To Use Expired Puff Pastry?

Expiration dates aren’t always an exact way to know when food has gone bad. Certain labels like “sell by’ date are designated for grocery stores to follow.

The type of labels you might find on puff pastry would be “Best if used by” or “Guaranteed fresh”. If you eat a food past this date it doesn’t necessarily mean you will get sick.

Since puff pastry is best eaten as fresh as possible, these labels give the date that quality will have peaked.

Going off those type of expiration dates, its okay to use a expired puff pastry.

Doesn’t mean that its the best idea and there is still a chance you could get sick from it. I would personally stick to the expiration dates, don’t go too far over them.

Can You Get Food Poisoning From Puff Pastry?

Puff pastry has a short shelf life and in order to extend that they are often frozen. Then before eaten are baked at a high temperature. These extremes help eliminate spoilage and also cook away potential bacterial contaminants.

You can get food poisoning from puff pastry similar to other foods that go through production processes. There are several ways this can occur where they are being manufactured.

During handling of the raw materials, preparation and or packaging. Food borne illnesses in these conditions usually are the result of cross-contamination.

When puff pastries are made in a factory there are three main lines of production. That is dough forming, layering and added fillings. Each action needs to follow strict food safety guidelines.

As we all know outbreaks occur pretty frequently from food production facilities. Usually they make the news and the food is recalled.

Even making homemade puff pastry you must still practice good hygiene. Im not sure if making them at home is any safer, since the same cross-contamination can occur.

I would say its less likely though, since puff pastry is pretty safe compared to say raw meat.

Puff Pastry Dough Preparation Tips

Cooking puff pastry can go wrong, but these mistakes are easily avoidable. Here are a few tips to follow.

  • Always Thaw Frozen Pastry Completely Before Baking
  • Thaw Out But Don’t Let Pastry Get Warm
  • Do Not Refreeze Thawed Dough
  • Bake At High Temperature (400 Degrees Fahrenheit)


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