Perhaps you’ve found an old bag of pecans in your pantry.
Or maybe you’ve become health-conscious and bought a large pack of pecans to meet your nutritional needs.
Either way, now you may be wondering how to store them, how long they last, and if pecans go bad.
If so, you’ve come to the right place. We are covering the shelf life, storage, and signs of spoilage in pecans.
Here’s the lowdown: Look for the normal signs (changes in appearance, smell, and taste) to check if your pecans have gone bad. If you know you want your pecans to last for a while, get shelled pecans. It may seem like a hassle, but the shell acts as a protective barrier against your pecans and the outside world!
How To Know If Pecans Have Gone Off
Maybe you have a bag of unshelled or shelled pecans.
To find out if your unshelled pecans are spoiled, you’ll have to crack them open. Observe your pecans. If they look dried out or there is a net formation, they have gone off.
If your shelled pecans are spoiled, they may show signs like:
- mold or organic growth
- rancid smell
- bitter taste
Now: Even if your pecans have become rancid, you can still eat them safely. But they may not taste great. They’ll also have lost some of their nutritional quality.
How To Store Pecans
Your pecans are like other nuts. So you can store them like your pine nuts or walnuts.
The bad news is that they contain a lot of oil. When oil comes in contact with moisture, air, or changing temperatures, it goes rancid.
The shells protect your pecans from the outer atmosphere. So you have to store your unshelled pecans slightly differently than your shelled pecans.
- You can store your unshelled pecans in a dry and cool place, like your pantry.
- There is no need to refrigerate them for a couple of months.
- If you are not planning to use them for the next six months, transfer them to your refrigerator or freezer.
- Don’t keep your shelled pecans at room temperature.
- Your best bet is to keep them in your fridge.
- If you plan to use them after a year or so, pop them in your freezer.
Remember: You have to protect your pecans from moisture.
So you can keep an unopened package of pecans in its original packing. In case you have opened the packet, transfer your pecans to freezer bags or airtight containers before keeping them in your fridge or freezer.
Before you continue: Always check that the bags or containers are closed tightly. It will protect your pecans from moisture and also prevent them from absorbing strong odors from the surroundings.
How Long Pecans Last
The shelf life of your unshelled pecans is slightly different from your shelled pecans.
Here are the rules of thumb:
- Unshelled pecans can retain their quality for a minimum of 6 months if you keep them in your pantry.
- You can use your unshelled pecans for one year if you store them in your fridge.
- Shelled pecans last for a shorter time. You can enjoy the best quality pecans for nine months if you refrigerate your pecans.
The Bottom Line On Pecans
Pecans have a lot of nutritional value. Store-bought pecans may be unshelled or shelled. There is a slight difference in the shelf life of the two varieties.
The good news is that you can keep your unshelled pecans in your pantry and enjoy the best quality pecans for nearly six months. And for one year if you keep them in your refrigerator.
You can keep your shelled pecans in your fridge and use them for nearly nine months.
One last thing: Don’t forget to seal the bag or container of pecans tightly. Your pecans will get spoiled if they come in contact with air, moisture, and changes in temperature.