How long can homemade Nutella stay at room temp?

It has cream in it, so I want to make sure I'm careful. Especially since I'm gifting it!

Brette Warshaw


Brain H. December 17, 2012
I agree that the intent is to spread cheer, not Salmonella! Perks of living in a cold climate: Our kitchen counters stay chilly all day, and everyone has a mud room that's as cold as the inside of a fridge.
ChefOno December 16, 2012

One might assume Bon Appétit is aware of the liabilities presented when publishing a recipe but one cannot assume, at least not safely, that a cook, unaware of the issues involved, would always follow the recipe verbatim. "Oh that's too sweet for me, I'll just leave out the sugar." [Buzz!] I didn't have any heavy cream so I just used… [Buzz!] I ran out of chocolate so… [Buzz!]

The recipe on Bon Appétit's Web site appears to be safe as published. Note the admonition to "keep chilled". Note, too, there are other issues in play here, e.g. spoilage bacteria and oxidation. The cream is far from sterile and has little to preserve it. Anyone know how quickly emulsified hazelnuts turn rancid at room temperature?

SeaJambon December 16, 2012
Okay - just reviewed the string. She's using a Canal House recipe which apparently says up to 4 hours at room temp and then fridge. That tells me either (1) it hasn't been tested (by "tested" that means sent to a reputable lab that does food testing for a living, that analyzes water activity/pH and everything else, and provides both required processing method and information on safe storage -- not "tested" as in tastes good/hasn't killed anyone so far), so they are using some loose food safety rules or (2) it has been tested and found not shelf stable, so "up to" would be a true limit, and earlier in the fridge the better. Back to my earlier recommendation on fridge-to-fridge gifting, and better safe than sorry.
SeaJambon December 16, 2012
Emily - Don't remember the author indicating she was using a trusted recipe, such as something from Bon Appetit. As Chef Ono pointed out, the recipe source is VERY important for EXACTLY the reasons (water activity/pH) that he shared.
em-i-lis December 16, 2012
I can't imagine Bon Appetit wants to poison anyone.
SeaJambon December 16, 2012
But why take chances? Gift them straight from the fridge, and tell your gift recipients that they need to be kept refrigerated. I have a couple of things I do that with and no one seems to find it too hard to manage -- and I can sleep well at night knowing that I'm not accidentally poisoning my closest friends.
em-i-lis December 16, 2012
I just made a batch of the gianduja recipe in the Dec 2012 Bon App. It does use cream and says it can stand at room temp for up to 4 days.
Brain H. December 16, 2012
I made of double batch of the Canal House Nutella and gave them away to friends at Thanksgiving. Hamilton and Hirscheimer say 4 hours at room temperature is OK, then refrigerate. My jars stayed solid and cold for at least that long before everyone took them home. I've been notified that all jars are empty and ready for refills!
ChefOno December 16, 2012

If it has a water activity level (aW) higher than 8.5 or a pH above 4.6, it falls under the category of Potentially Hazardous Food and requires continuous refrigeration to prevent bacterial growth. Foods with cream are automatically suspect; not because of the dairy but because of the water content. This is a case where you should use a tested recipe.

darksideofthespoon December 16, 2012
Not too long, 3 hours tops.
The recipe I invented and never wrote down was hazelnuts blitzed with melted chocolate and condensed milk. Something like that might keep a lot longer!
Monita December 16, 2012
Ah - not familiar with the recipe. Would think it would be ok a few hours at a time
Brette W. December 16, 2012
Hi Monita -- I actually already made it and used the Canal House's recipe (which uses cream, and I highly recommend!) :)
Monita December 16, 2012
Have you already made it? The recipes for homemade nutella that I'm familiar with don't use cream so you don't have that issue. Here's one --
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