In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long can cooked broccoli stay in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of cooked broccoli. Moreover, we are going to discuss tips to properly store cooked broccoli.
So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.
How long can cooked broccoli stay in the fridge?
Cooked broccoli can last for about 3-5 days when stored properly in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag.
Thus, the cold temperature of the fridge will decrease the rate of bacterial growth and will subsequently prolong the shelf life of your cooked broccoli.
The proper way to store your cooked broccoli in the fridge is to put it in the air-tight container or zip lock bag once you have cooled it thoroughly at room temperature. It is best practice to refrigerate the leftovers of your cooked broccoli within 2 hours after broccoli is being cooked.
How long does cooked broccoli stay at room temperature?
Cooked broccoli lasts for about 2 hours when kept out at room temperature.
You should discard the cooked broccoli that has been left in open for more than 2 hours as bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore there are greater chances of the cooked broccoli being already contaminated with bacteria when left out for more than 2 hours.
Moreover, if the temperature of the surroundings is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then the process of spoilage takes place at a faster pace and it is recommended to discard cooked broccoli that is left out in the open for more than an hour at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
How long does cooked broccoli last in the freezer?
Cooked broccoli if kept in an air-tight container or air-tight bag in the freezer can last for about 10-12 months provided that it was stored properly.
Thus keeping the cooked broccoli in the freezer will increase its shelf life considerably owing to the cool temperature of the freezer that halts the bacterial growth on cooked broccoli.
It is worth mentioning that the figures mentioned above are the estimated shelf life of the cooked broccoli.
How to thaw frozen cooked broccoli properly?
You can thaw frozen cooked broccoli by leaving them in the fridge overnight. The cooked broccoli that you thaw in the fridge can stay there for 3-4 days before you decide to reheat and eat it.
On the other hand, you can also directly thaw and reheat your frozen cooked broccoli in the microwave but the cooked broccoli thawed and reheated this way should be consumed immediately.
Can I refrigerate the reheated cooked broccoli?
So once you have reheated the cooked broccoli, you should never refrigerate it. As when you reheat the cooked broccoli, its temperature rises more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit and we know that bacteria grows at a faster rate between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. So the bacteria will find their way to your cooked broccoli and you should never refrigerate the reheated cooked broccoli.
Tips to properly store cooked broccoli
- You should always store your cooked broccoli at 40°F or below. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40°F and 140°F, therefore it is always advised to store your cooked broccoli at a lower temperature.
- It is a good practice to store cooked broccoli on one of the shelves of the refrigerator rather than the door as there is a lot of temperature fluctuation at the door of the fridge that can mess up the quality of cooked broccoli.
- One thing to keep in mind is to let your cooked broccoli cool thoroughly before putting them in the container or the zip-lock bag. If you put steaming hot cooked broccoli in these airtight bags or containers, the moisture will build up inside them which can provide suitable conditions for the bacteria to grow.
- Thaw the cooked broccoli properly before reheating it. If you are thawing your cooked broccoli by keeping it in the refrigerator then you can reheat and utilize it within 3-4 days but if you are directly thawing and reheating it in the microwave it is recommended to consume it immediately.
You can read how to steam broccoli here.
Different ways to spot bad broccoli
There are a couple of indicators that point out bad broccoli. You should consider the appearance, color, texture, and smell of broccoli to give a final verdict about whether or not broccoli has gone bad.
If you spot mold or any organic growth on your fresh broccoli then it is an indication of bad broccoli and you should discard it.
Moreover, if you spot white mold on your cooked broccoli then it is an indication that your cooked broccoli has gone bad and you should discard it.
If you notice that there are black or brown colored spots on the head of your broccoli then it is better to cut them out. But if the dark spots are very large then you can discard the whole broccoli.
If you notice that the broccoli has become mushy or limp or if you feel something slimy or gooey while touching it then it is better to discard such broccoli as it has gone bad.
If you smell an off-smell, putrid or sulfur-like smell when you take a sniff test then it is better to get rid of such broccoli.
Other FAQs about Broccoli that you may be interested in.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long can cooked broccoli stay in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of cooked broccoli. Moreover, we discussed tips to properly store cooked broccoli.