So you’ve bought a bunch of shallots on offer and now you’re regretting it, as you forgot to check how long shallots last for.
Or maybe you’ve just got some shallots out the back of your cupboard, and you’re wondering how to tell if they’ve gone bad.
Here’s the lowdown: You can expect your shallots to remain consumable for about a month at room temperature and up to 2 months in the refrigerator. And in the freezer? That’s a hefty 10-12 months!
How To Tell If Your Shallots Have Gone Bad
First things first, let’s cover the signs that will help you identify a bad shallot.
- Downy mildew. Downy mildew is caused by fast-growing fungus growing over the shallot. This will happen faster if you keep your shallots somewhere humid.
- Dark spots. Dark spots on your shallots are another sign of spoilage.
- Weird smell. If your shallots smell different to when you first bought them – think a toasted sesame smell – then it’s time for the trash.
- Texture change. This is one of the easiest ways to tell how aged your shallot is. A good shallot should be firm, but after a few weeks, it will crumble and corrode or go mushy.
- Yellow. Shallots are usually red. When they become yellow, that means they’re too old for eating!
How To Pick The Right Shallot
The first step to ensuring your shallots last the longest is shallot selection.
When you’re in the grocery store, go for shallots that look like small, elongated onions. The color should be copper, grey, or reddish.
Stay away from shallots that are dry, or feel light. The best shallots are big and healthy.
One last thing: any rotting or soft spots and they’re definitely not the right shallots to buy!
How To Store Shallots
According to the research, shallots contain a high moisture content, and any heat will encourage the shallot to absorb moisture and start growing sprouts. Therefore, you should keep your shallots in a dry, dark, well-ventilated place.
Wherever you store your shallots, make sure you leave your whole shallots in ventilation bags so they get some airflow. You can also use a bamboo steamer, mesh bag, or even pantyhose! This will stop your shallots from getting too humid.
If you live in a warmer country, your best bet is probably the refrigerator. Make sure you don’t stack anything over or under the shallots, as the shallots may absorb moisture.
If you live in a cooler area, you can leave your shallots in your cellar, pantry, or even just a kitchen cupboard that’s far away from heat sources, like the oven or stove.
One last thing – store your whole shallots in smaller batches. That way, if one shallot starts to spoil, it will only contaminate the other shallots in the batch, rather than all of your shallots.
How To Freeze Shallots
To freeze shallots, follow these simple steps:
- Peel our shallot.
- Chop your shallots into chunks.
- Flash freeze your shallots by lining the pieces out on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Cover this over and freeze for 2 hours.
- Now your shallot pieces are frozen, you can transfer them to an airtight container and they won’t stick together.
- Return your shallots to the freezer.
It’s a good idea to peel and chop your shallots before freezing, because it’s harder to prep them after they’ve thawed.
How Long You Can Expect Your Shallots To Last
At room temperature, you can expect your shallots to last for up to a month.
Above room temperature, your shallots will only last for 2-3 weeks.
In the refrigerator, your shallots can last 1-2 months.
Lastly, for chopped or cooked shallots, you can store them in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 7 days.
But here’s the best part: frozen shallots will last 10-12 months in the freezer.
The above dates are guidelines only, and you’ll find a whole range of different answers for shallot storage periods on the internet. Your best bet is to do some trial and error to find the best storage location (that depends on the humidity and temperature in your area), and always check for signs of spoilage.
The Round-Up On Shallots
Great. Now you know how to store your shallots, how long they’ll last, and how to tell if they have gone bad.
Unfortunately, shallots aren’t the easiest vegetable to store. Here are the key points if you need a recap:
- Pick shallots that haven’t gone yellow yet and don’t have any soft spots.
- If you’re in a humid place, store your shallots in the refrigerator.
- If you’re in a cool country, store your shallots in a cellar ideally, otherwise a pantry or kitchen.
- You can freeze your shallots, extending their life to 10-12 months!