Does Cinnamon Go Bad?

Cinnamon is a must-have for anyone who loves making desserts. Its sweet, woody flavor instantly makes baked goods, such as cinnamon rolls, cookies, and pies, taste even more delicious. Cinnamon is also an essential component of some warm beverages, including apple cider and horchata. Even though cinnamon is commonly used in sweet-tasting dishes and beverages, it also works nicely in savory dishes from a variety of cultures. For example, this spice is used in Greek chicken kapama, seasoning for Jamaican jerk chicken, and Persian jeweled rice (per MasterClass).

In addition to being tasty and versatile, many studies suggest that cinnamon can benefit health when consumed in moderation. According to Nourish by WebMD, this spice could potentially help with blood sugar management, irritable bowel syndrome, heart disease, and a number of other problems. With its delicious taste, versatility, and potential health benefits, it seems like cinnamon is the total package, but do you ever have to worry about this useful spice going bad?

Cinnamon does go bad

Unfortunately, cinnamon does eventually expire. There is some variation in the spice's shelf life across different sources, but it is generally thought that ground cinnamon lasts for about two to three years, per the WebstaurantStoreblog. However, cinnamon sticks have a slightly longer shelf life, lasting for roughly four to five years. Even though ground cinnamon is perfectly safe to use for a few years, it's best if you use it within six months after opening it, as the spice will be of the highest quality during this time period.

You should be able to tell if your cinnamon has gone bad by smelling it. According to Healthline, expired spices have a diminished aroma and flavor. The good news is that even though bad cinnamon will lose its delicious qualities, it will likely not cause any health issues. So, if you really want to, you could still consume expired cinnamon; it just won't taste that great.

How to store cinnamon

Although cinnamon does go bad, there are several storing tips you can follow to extend its shelf life. One of the best things you can do is store cinnamon in a dry area, per K Agriculture. If spices come into contact with water, they can grow mold, which is definitely something that you want to avoid. This is why it's important to keep cinnamon in a dry space. Additionally, storing cinnamon in an area where the temperature is unstable can result in condensation, which can also cause mold growth. So, it's crucial that you keep cinnamon and other spices in a consistently cool environment.

Another cinnamon storage tip involves keeping the spice in airtight, nonporous containers, per Healthline. As mentioned, the key to extending the shelf life of cinnamon is protecting it from the elements, including moisture and heat; storing it in airtight containers is one of the most effective ways to do this. If you follow these storage tips and do your best to keep ground cinnamon dry and cool, it should retain its deliciousness past its two to three-year shelf life.