Black pepper is an essential spice used to give the right flavor to any dish. As a result, you probably buy a lot of black pepper per month.
When you have some black pepper leftover at the end of the month, you might be wondering: Has my black pepper gone bad? How long does it last?
This is what you need to know about black pepper and its shelf-life. Whole peppercorns last between 3-4 years, while, ground pepper lasts 1-2 years.
Signs Black Pepper Has Gone Bad
If you have suspicions that your black pepper has gone bad, have a look-out for these signs.
If the pepper becomes moldy or wet, get rid of it. If any water gets into the package, it spoils the quality of the pepper. When your pepper loses its heat or taste, it’s best to throw it out for quality purposes. Also, this indicates that your black pepper has been stored for longer than it probably should have been.
How To Store Black Pepper
Storing black pepper is similar to other spices. Keep your black pepper away from sources of heat, moisture, and direct sunlight. So don’t store it near the stove or sink. Instead, a dark cabinet or spice drawer is best. A spice rack can work, if it isn’t near direct sunlight. This is ideal for both ground and whole pepper.
Another tip is to store your black pepper sealed tightly, so it isn’t exposed to air.
How Long Does Black Pepper Last?
Unfortunately, black pepper doesn’t last indefinitely. Although, it has a pretty great shelf-life. When looking for how much longer your black pepper will retain its freshness, start with the best-by date on the label. The best-by date provides an estimation of how long your food will stay within the best quality. It will give a great indicator of how long your black pepper will last.
Generally, whole black pepper lasts 3-4 years, whereas, ground black pepper lasts 1-2 years.
Health Benefits Of Black Pepper
Firstly, black pepper is high in antioxidants thanks to the plant compound, piperine, found in it. Black pepper also has anti-inflammatory properties and may boost your brain health. It can improve blood sugar control and lower cholesterol levels. Another benefit is that it boosts the absorption of nutrients like calcium, selenium, and the beneficial compounds in green tea and turmeric. Furthermore, it can promote gut health, offer pain relief, and reduce appetite.
Is your black pepper starting to lose its flavor and spiciness? Here’s a simple trick to revive the taste of stale black pepper.
To bring back the flavor, roast them for a minute or so in a pan, or until you start to smell them. Roast the peppercorns in a dry skillet over medium heat, making sure to swirl often.
Although black pepper lasts long, be sure to store it properly so that it doesn’t spoil. Any exposure to moisture, sunlight, or heat, can spoil your black pepper, leaving your dishes less than flavorful.