How long will nuts keep in freezer?

lazycookFebruary 14, 2009

I found an unopened bag of pecan halves in the freezer. The "use by" date is 1/06. I suppose I could taste it but I would like to know normally what would be the maximum amount of time that nuts could be kept in the freezer without it starting to taste bad.

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You really are going to have to smell/taste them. Usually smelling is enough for me. I make pecan pies for quite a few people at Christmas and this year I found a couple bags of pecans in the bottom of the freezer. Most of them were from 2006 but two different baggies of bags. In one baggie those bags were not good. Smelled old and tasted not great. The other bags smelled and tasted like they were new and I used them successfully. I know many won't keep them that long, but I find 2 to 3 years is generally fine. It probably depends on how fresh the nuts were to begin with and how they were handled/stored.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 1:16AM
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All the USDA charts I have say 9-12 months for frozen nuts. There's a link to one below. I'd say double that if they were vacuum sealed in a FoodSaver bag, because that removes the damaging oxygen.

Freezing only slows down food degredation - it doesn't prevent it. In this case, you still have oxidated nut oils that would concern me (the oils become a free radical), and possible texture changes from such long storage.


Here is a link that might be useful: Freezer Storage Chart

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 5:21AM
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Thanks for the link. After reviewing the freezer list and looking in my freezers, it's frightening.

I have been making a job aid for shelf life job aid for pantry items. I can add this to my project.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 9:21AM
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I agree, packaged carefully they'll last much longer than 9-12 months, but they won't last indefinitely.

I had some slivered almonds in my freezer from two years ago and when I opened a bag, they tasted "old". The oils in nuts will become rancid and even if it's not a safety issue, they won't taste good. I'm possibly the most frugal person you'll ever meet and I tossed them, I didn't try to "save" them for any use.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 10:16AM
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I think if they are frozen in glass jars they'll last much, much longer. If only in a bag they can pick up freezer taste. The Foodsaver bags would probably be fine though.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 12:21PM
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Gee, I don't know how long nuts will keep in the freezer--all my relatives won't fit in the freezer!
I keep pecans for a year with no detriment to flavor or texture, but I wouldn't want to keep them much longer than that.
When I freeze nuts I put the nut meats in a zipper bag, then put the bags in a large glass jar in the freezer. Double protection may help the nuts stay fresh longer.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 12:26PM
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Yeah, I have a couple of nuts I'd like to put into a freezer!
Anyway, when packaging nuts for freezing, I vacuum seal them and they last for a very long time.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 12:13AM
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I haven't had a vacuum sealer in a long time so I did bag the nuts then put several bags in a freezer ziplock, removing as much air as possible, then bag again. Maybe that's why the one batch seemed to be in such good shape. Who knows.. maybe they were swimmin in free radicals.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 12:25AM
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While doing my Christmas baking, I found pecans in the freezer and didn't know how long they had been there. I tasted them and they seemed find, just a little bland. I toasted them in the oven and the favor came back only better. I had never bother toasting nuts before, but will from now on the favor was so good. My advice would be, if they don't taste or smell rancid give them a toasting and then see if you want to use them.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 2:17PM
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