In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “do pecans go bad” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not pecans can go bad. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of pecans and the proper way to store pecans.
So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.
Do pecans go bad?
Yes, like any other food item pecans tend to go bad or rancid after a certain time. So after a certain time, your pecans tend to develop off-flavors and off-smell and they won’t have the same flavor profile as that of the fresh pecans.
Certain indicators point out bad pecans. So you can tell whether or not your pecans have gone bad by considering their appearance, color, texture, smell, and taste.
If you spot a mold or organic growth on your pecans then the best thing you can do is to toss out such pecans.
Moreover, if you see the mold, it is recommended never to smell the pecans as molds can produce mycotoxins in it and if you smell such pecans the mycotoxins can enter your body via inhalation where they can disrupt your natural microflora and can weaken your immune system.
Moreover, if you spot weevils or bugs once you crack open an in-shell pecan then it is better to toss such pecan out.
The absence of the characteristic nutty aroma of the pecans or the presence of rancid smell is the indication that pecans have gone rancid.
If you notice that your pecans have become brittle, or they are wrinkled or shriveled then it is the indication that they are past their prime age.
Last but not least, you can try to taste your pecans and if you taste something bitter then it is an indication of bad pecans.
How long do pecans last?
In-shell/ unshelled pecans
In-shell/ unshelled pecans last for about 6 months when they are stored in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight and heat. Thus you can store raw in-shell pecans in a cool and dry corner of your pantry. It is worth mentioning that you should never store your pecans in a humid environment because if somehow moisture finds its way to your pecans then it can mess up their quality.
On the other hand, in-shell pecans last for about 12 months when stored in a plastic zipper bag or air-tight container in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can also keep in-shell pecans in the freezer where they last for about 2 years or more if stored properly in a plastic freezer bag or vacuum sealing.
When it comes to the storage of pecans in the fridge or freezer then care should be taken in this regard and it is better to try vacuum sealing because if otherwise, the cool air from the fridge or freezer finds its way to your pecans, it can mess up their quality.
Shelled pecans last for about 2-4 weeks when they are stored in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight and heat. Thus you can store shelled pecans in a cool and dry corner of your pantry but it is recommended only to store them in an air-tight jar or plastic zipper bag in the pantry if you are going to eat them within 1-2 weeks.
On the other hand, shelled pecans last for about 9 months when stored in a plastic zipper bag or air-tight container in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can also keep shelled pecans in the freezer where they last for about 1-2 years if stored properly in a plastic freezer bag or vacuum sealing.
It is worth mentioning that these figures are just the estimated shelf life of pecans and pecans can even last longer than this, provided that they are stored properly.
You can read about the benefits and nutritional profile of pecans here.
How to properly store pecans?
- Moisture is an enemy of the freshness and flavor of the pecans therefore pecans should be kept in air-tight containers or air-tight jars to reduce their exposure to air.
- Do not store your in-shell or shelled pecans in the humid environment.
- If you want to store pecans in the refrigerator, then it is recommended to keep them in vacuum-sealed containers because they are hygroscopic and if not stored properly they can absorb moisture from the environment which will mess up their quality.
- In-shell pecans can be kept in a cool, dry, and dark place. A cool and dry corner of your pantry can serve this purpose nicely but if you want to further increase their shelf life you can keep them refrigerated.
- Do not unnecessarily open the lid of the pecans jar or container and seal it again as soon as possible after scooping out the pecans that you need.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “do pecans go bad” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not pecans can go bad. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of pecans and the proper way to store pecans.