The ranch companies nowadays focus more on convenience and shelf life than the flavor and taste of the ranch they sold.
While it may be a smart move for corporations, we consumers often end up dissatisfied with the taste.
That is why we turn to the old-fashioned way of homemade ranch.
But how long is homemade ranch good for?
Then Homemade ranch lasts up to 1 month in the refrigerator.
If you want to store it longer, you can keep it the freezer for longer shelf life.
Homemade Ranch lasts up to 2 months at 0°F in the freezer.
This is something really important to consider because consuming bad ranches (expired) can cause you a lot of problems like food poisoning.
So, to prevent those unfortunate scenarios, read our article to know how long you can store your homemade ranch.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Ranch Dressing? What is it Made of?
- 2 Does Homemade Ranch Go Bad? / How To Know If the Homemade Ranch is Bad?
- 3 How Long Is Homemade Ranch Good For?
- 4 How Long Does Homemade Dressing Last in The Refrigerator?
- 5 Can You Freeze Homemade Ranch Dressing?
- 6 How To Freeze Homemade Ranch Dressing?
- 7 How to Thaw Homemade Ranch Dressing?
- 8 How Long Can Homemade Ranch Sit Out?
- 9 How Long Does Homemade Hidden Valley Ranch Last in The Fridge?
- 10 How Long Does Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Last in The Fridge?
- 11 How Long Does Homemade Avocado Ranch Last?
- 12 Frequently Asked Questions
- 13 Final Thoughts
What is Ranch Dressing? What is it Made of?
Do you know that the ranch we consume nowadays is not the same as the original ranch?
The ranch was first made by Steve Henson (Keneth Henson).
He invented it in the early 1950s when he was working in Alaska.
Basically, he made it as a salad dressing because he was bored of eating Mayonnaise and buttermilk separately.
The guest visiting him loved that weird dressing so much that Henson started selling that. And that is what we know as the ranch.
The original ranch dressing recipe includes buttermilk, mayonnaise, thyme, parsley, pepper, salt, garlic, onion powder, and MSG (Monosodium glutamate).
The original mostly focused on dairy.
So, Clorox cooked up a modern ranch dressing in 1983 that we consume today.
This modern ranch dressing has vegetable oil, egg yolk, water, sugar, disodium phosphate, xanthan gum, and calcium disodium ethylene diamine tetraacetate.
It is more science than cooking.
So, this new recipe is what we consume today.
Honestly speaking, it does not taste as good as Steve Henson’s original ranch recipe.
Does Homemade Ranch Go Bad? / How To Know If the Homemade Ranch is Bad?
Homemade ranch goes bad quicker than expected. That is if you do not store it properly.
The homemade ranch that is made by following the original recipe of Steve Henson does not have a great shelf life.
That was the reason why commercial ranches were not made that way.
Regardless, if you follow Steve’s ranch recipe, then you can store it for up to 4 weeks.
This 4-week shelf life can be achieved only if you put the ranch in an air-tight container and put it in a refrigerator.
Sometimes the ranch can last for more than 4 weeks.
If you fail to follow one of them, then the ranch will go bad sooner than 4 weeks.
Now how can you be sure if your homemade ranch has gone bad?
There are two ways. One is the smell, and the other is the mold.
If the ranch is giving a bad odor, then it is ruined.
And if there is mold forming in the ranch, then it is surely ruined.
How Long Is Homemade Ranch Good For?
The homemade ranch can stay good for 3 to 4 weeks (18 days/ 1 month).
That also depends on how you make the ranch and how you store it.
If you follow the original recipe of Steve Henson (Which is the easiest), then you will have to put up some effort for storing.
The original recipe is focused on dairy.
You have mayonnaise and buttermilk on the ranch. And there is salt and onion powder.
These ingredients can quickly deform and ruin the whole recipe.
But the ingredients of the original recipe are easier to get and it is perfect for the homemade ranch.
So, it is likely that you will follow this recipe.
If you want to store this homemade ranch, then you will need two things.
An air-tight container and a refrigerator.
Put the ranch in the air-tight container.
But before you do that, we suggest you clean the container and make sure there is no water in it.
Now pour the ranch in it and close the lid. Make sure it is air-tight.
Now put it in the refrigerator. It shall last from 3 to 4 weeks.
If you are lucky, then it can last more than 4 weeks.
If you place the ranch in an air container and not put it in the refrigerator, then the temperature will cause bacteria to grow in the ranch and it will form molds.
Which means that the ranch is ruined.
Now think of another scenario, where you have put the ranch in the refrigerator but not in an air-tight container.
The air in the fridge still can carry bacteria in the ranch and it will start deforming.
So, you need to do both of them together.
Put the ranch in a clean air-tight container and then put it in the refrigerator.
If you want to be double sure your ranch is all right, then you can do two things.
Check the smell. If it gives a bad odor, then it may be ruined.
We would recommend you to not eat that.
The other thing is to check for molds in the ranch.
If the dressing color is pale, that means it has molded.
Throw the ranch away. Do not eat it.
How Long Does Homemade Dressing Last in The Refrigerator?
A homemade ranch lasts for 3 to 4 weeks in the refrigerator.
It can last for more if you store it properly.
The ideal temperature of storing ranch in the refrigerator is from 35°F to 38°F.
It is the optimal temperature.
Also, you will need to store the ranch in an air-tight container before putting it in the refrigerator.
Otherwise, the temperature won’t matter.
Now if you open the container regularly and use it, then the ranch may not last for 4 weeks.
But that should not bother you, because regular usage will make you consume all the ranch before reaching 4 weeks.
Can You Freeze Homemade Ranch Dressing?
Yes, you can freeze homemade ranch.
Otherwise, how can you store them longer?
Like we said before, you must put the ranch in a refrigerator.
Because, unlike commercial ranches, your homemade ranch contains dairy products and no preservatives.
So, it must be refrigerated to store it.
Ranch dressings are usually stored in the refrigerator.
Otherwise, it will not last and molds will start to form in the ranch.
But you want to preserve it longer than a few days, you can freeze it.
Once it is thawed, it will be safe for consumption, but the consistency of the Ranch and the overall texture may change.
The ingredients in the Ranch may separate when thawing.
If this occurs, you can add a little amount of ranch mayonnaise or sour cream.
Then whisk together nicely to get all of the ingredients back together as one and refresh your dressing.
But you must use fresh ingredients while making homemade ranch if you are planning to freeze it and store it for longer.
How To Freeze Homemade Ranch Dressing?
You can freeze Homemade Ranch dressing by following way so that it can last longer.
You can freeze homemade ranch dressing in two different ways.
Option 1: Freezing in the ice cube tray
Transfer your ranch dressing into a clean ice cube tray by using a tablespoon.
Then simply place the tray in the freezer.
When the cubes have become solid, you can take them out of the tray and transfer them to a Ziplock freezer bag.
Option 2: Freezing directly into a freezer bag
Pour the dressing directly into a heavy-duty freezer bag that zip closes.
Make sure that 1-inch of space is free after closing the bag.
Because the dressing may expand during the freezing process.
Alternatively, the leftovers may be placed in an airtight container.
Take out all leftover air inside of the freezer bag.
Tilt the bag bit to the sideways and press down to get the air out. Seal it Immediately.
If you are storing it in a container, make sure the lid is sealed tightly.
Label the container or plastic bag with the date.
You may freeze it at 0°F for 2 months. When you want to use it, keep it in the refrigerator to thaw.
Whisk it properly before consuming to ensure the right creamy consistency.
How to Thaw Homemade Ranch Dressing?
If you freeze the ranch with the ice cube method, transfer it into a jar or a bowl and keep it in the refrigerator.
If you want to consume it immediately, heat them in ten-second intervals at the lowest setting in a microwave.
The whey and the buttermilk in the dressing may get separated during the freezing procedure.
Before consuming, stir the mixture to combine the liquids.
How Long Can Homemade Ranch Sit Out?
Steve Henson’s homemade ranch recipe was not acidified to the level for bacteria repelling.
That was the only reason why Clorox had to come up with a new recipe for the ranch.
The commercial recipe of the ranch can sit out on an unrefrigerated shelf for up to 180 days. That is 6 months.
According to the manufacturers, the commercial ranch can sit out for less than 24 hours.
Because the acid ingredients will fight off all the bacteria.
Since we are talking about the homemade ranch, it cannot perform the same as commercial ranches in terms of bacteria repelling.
That is why the homemade ranches cannot sit out.
They cannot sit out for an hour.
Our suggestion is 10 minutes for the container with its lid open.
And after applying on the salad, we would suggest not more than half-hour.
How Long Does Homemade Hidden Valley Ranch Last in The Fridge?
Have you ever heard of the Hidden valley ranch?
That is a place the Hensons owned.
This is where Steve Henson entertained his guests with his homemade ranch and this is where he started selling his ranch.
So Homemade Hidden valley ranch is referring to the original homemade ranch recipe of Steve Henson, which used buttermilk and mayonnaise.
That ranch had to be refrigerated, otherwise, it would deform.
In the refrigerator in an air-tight container, that ranch can last up to 4 weeks/ 1 month.
It can do better if you are lucky and the ranch did not form any molds.
How Long Does Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Last in The Fridge?
Buttermilk was used by Steve Henson to make the original ranch recipe.
Now it is used by some commercial companies to bring out the original flavor.
Buttermilk is a dairy product. It can spoil too quickly if not refrigerated.
So, if you prepared a homemade ranch with Steve Henson’s original recipe using buttermilk, it will last for about a month in the refrigerator.
That is given that you will store the ranch in an air-tight container and then put it in the refrigerator.
But if you add some preservatives like vinegar, you can increase the life of the buttermilk ranch.
How Long Does Homemade Avocado Ranch Last?
Homemade Avocado ranches are another great salad dressing item.
It goes with many diversified dishes and salads.
Unfortunately, the homemade avocado salads are more insatiable than the original Steve Henson ranch.
Steve Henson’s salad could last for one month in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
But an avocado ranch can last for 4 days.
Moreover, it has to be stirred in a more sophisticated way.
There should be no air in contact with the ranch, otherwise, it will slowly start deforming.
That means there should be something like an aluminum foil covering the exposed surface of the Avocado ranch.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does homemade vegan ranch last?
If you store the homemade vegan ranch in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator, it lasts for up to 10-14 days.
The shelf life may vary which is also depends upon the ingredients you used in the ranch.
Can you make a homemade ranch with regular milk?
Usually, the homemade ranch is made with buttermilk.
But you can also use regular milk if the buttermilk is not available.
How to thicken up homemade ranch?
The consistency of the ranch is as important as the flavor.
If you freshly made ranch at home, you should chill for 12 to 24 hours before serving for achieving the right consistency.
If you seem the consistency of ranch is not desirable and want to thicken it you can add corn starch to it.
You can also add xanthan gum, mayonnaise.
By doing that, you can at best store the ranch for 4 days in the refrigerator.
How to thin out homemade ranch dressing?
You can thin out your homemade dressing by adding some kind of liquid.
You can just add more milk or buttermilk.
Another way of thinning your dressing is by adding pasta water.
The pasta water contains starch but does not have that strong taste.
So that was our discussion on how long is homemade ranch good for?
Homemade ranches are unstable but tastier.
But regardless of what the scenario is, do not consume ruined ranch.
It will cause food poisoning.