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How Long Do Pistachios Last? Can They Go Bad?

Nuts are not something you should stock up on. Being a source of healthy fats, they go bad quite easily. And pistachios are not an exception. But what if you have bought too much of these nuts and don’t know what to do with them?

How long do pistachios last? How long can you keep them? Pistachios last for 5 to 6 months at room temperature. This is enough time to use up a good amount of pistachios especially if you know the many different ways you can use them. Cold storage will extend the shelf life of pistachios. Pistachios will last up to a year in the fridge and around 2 years in the freezer.

In this article, you will find out why pistachios go bad, how to store them properly, and whether it is worth stocking up on these nuts considering their shelf life in different conditions.

Do Pistachios Go Bad?

Pistachios do go bad. As they contain fats and nutrients, pistachios are highly perishable if you don’t pay enough attention to the storage conditions.

Thus, if your local supermarket has bags of pistachios on sale and you want to get some, keep in mind that these nuts won’t last forever. You will need to either provide ideal storage conditions or come up with a plan of using them up quickly.

Luckily, there are many ways you can use pistachios. They work well in both sweet and savory dishes. Make desserts with pistachios and bake bread with them. You can also add them sauces to create a thicker base and salads for some crunch. Beef crust with pistachios is also something a lot of people enjoy making.

How to Store Pistachios?

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If you are planning on stocking up on pistachios and buying them in bulk, go with unshelled pistachios as they last longer and won’t cause you too many problems.

Depending on how long you want the pistachios to last and how often you will be using them, there are three storage options.

  • At room temperature
  • In the fridge
  • In the freezer

When storing pistachios at room temperature, the key rule to follow is putting pistachios somewhere dry and cool. The pantry or kitchen cabinets will work. Make sure that you keep the pistachios away from direct sunlight, heat, and pests.

As pistachios contain a lot of fat, they do better at colder temperatures. The fridge and the freezer are ideal for long-term storage. The freezer is a great option if you know you won’t be using the pistachios too often.

No matter where you store the pistachios, it is best to keep them in an airtight bag or container. If you fail to seal the container or bag tightly, pistachios will absorb other odors.

It is especially important to package the pistachios correctly before putting them in the freezer. Otherwise, the pistachios will suffer a freezer burn and change their texture and taste qualities.

In any case, check the instructions on the bag to see what the manufacturer suggests. Some brands suggest storing an opened bag of pistachios in the fridge while others recommend room temperature storage.

Remember that the date indicated on the bag doesn’t mean a lot. You should pay attention to it when buying the pistachios. Once you bring them home, you can enjoy the pistachios as long as they taste, smell, and look good.

To sum up, store pistachios in the pantry for short-term storage and in the fridge or freezer for long-term storage.

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How Long Do Pistachios Last?

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If you want your pistachios to have a long shelf life, you should buy good ones. Stale and old pistachios won’t last long no matter how you store them.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to buy good unshelled pistachios.

  • Pay attention to the color of the shell. The shells of good pistachios have an even ivory color. There shouldn’t be any blemishes on the shells.
  • Look at the opening. Have you ever struggled with pistachios with no opening? Well, the problem with them is not only that you can’t open and eat them but also that they are not mature yet. Choose pistachios that have an opening but are not fully cracked.
  • Inspect the color. Look for the famous pistachio green color. Green pistachios taste the best. Pale yellow and green nutmeat is also a sign of good pistachios. The color of these nuts changes from bright green to pale yellow and green while they ripe.
  • Check the date. You may come across pistachios sold in bulk with no date. If you can’t see the product, check it, and give it a try, don’t risk letting your money go to waste. You can always buy pistachios in smaller bags that have the production and expiration date printed on them.

If you can, it is always best to crack open a pistachio or two before buying a large amount. If there is no possibility of trying, err on the safe side and don’t buy in bulk.

Also, buy pistachios from stores that have high turnover. Or else, you may buy a bag of pistachios that has long been sitting on the shelves.

If you have bought good pistachios, here is how long they will last.

At Room Temperature

How long pistachios will last at room temperature depends on how you will store them.

If you provide proper storage conditions, shelled pistachios will last up to 5 months at room temperature. Pistachios with the shells on will keep well for around 6 months.  

In the Fridge

The shelf life of pistachios will be significantly extended if you store them in the fridge.

Both shelled and unshelled pistachios will last up to 12 months in the fridge.

In the Freezer

Storing shelled pistachios in the freezer is a great way to keep them fresh for over a year. Shelled pistachios will keep well for around 2 years in the freezer.

As for the unshelled ones, there isn’t much difference between the freezer and the fridge. Unshelled pistachios will last around 12 months in the freezer too.

Signs that Pistachios Have Gone Bad

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Commonly, there are four cases when you need to discard the pistachios.

  • If the nutmeat has lost all its moisture and has dried out.
  • If you see mold on the pistachios.
  • If there are bugs in the bag or container where you have stored the nuts.
  • If the nutmeat is neither green nor yellow.

But even if you can’t see that the pistachios have gone bad, they still may not taste as good.

Pistachios will start to deteriorate even if you have stored them properly. Like any other nut variety, pistachios contain fats. These fats go bad over time and cause the pistachios to go rancid.

Rancid pistachios taste and smell different. If you can’t detect rancid pistachios by smelling them, try to eat them. Rancid pistachios taste bitter.

Eating rancid pistachios doesn’t involve any health risks. However, it is not something you are recommended to do. Luckily, rancid pistachios have such an off-putting taste that you won’t eat too many of them anyway.

Another problem you may come across with pistachios is the loss of crunch. Pistachios will lose their crunch no matter where you store them. The good thing is that this problem is quite easy to solve.

All you have to do is to spread the pistachios on a baking sheet and toast them for around 15 minutes. It is important to shell the pistachios before putting them in the oven to get them evenly crispy and avoid burning the shells.

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