Have you ever questioned yourself, do peanuts go bad, and how long do peanuts last? Until recently, I was convinced that these legumes could last forever. Legumes? Yes, you have heard correctly.
Despite their name, peanuts are not nuts since they grow underground, and their edible seeds are enclosed in rough pods. So, let’s answer these questions correctly.
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Do Peanuts Go Bad?
Since peanuts are highly beneficial to your immune system, you should take care to store them adequately and prolong their shelf life as much as possible.
The math is simple. You can place approximately 540 peanuts in a peanut butter jar. Calculate how many you can eat daily, check their expiration date, and you will get a rough period for consumption without using rancid seeds.
The best part is that there are chances these long-lasting legumes are still fit for consumption even months past their date. On the other hand, they contain a high oil amount and can go rancid when stored inappropriately.
How Long Do Peanuts Last?
The peanut shelf life primarily depends on the storing temperature, but it is not the same if you keep them in-shell or shelled. In-shell seeds are well protected, and you can store them for months, even at room temperature.
Once you take it out of the shell, your peanuts will become more vulnerable and lose quality after a few weeks. In some cases, you can keep shelled seeds in your pantry for up to four months when the storing conditions are ideal there.
Peanuts shelf life
|In-shell||4 to 9 months||A year||Up to two years|
|Shelled||1 to 4 month||6 to 12 months||1 to 2 years|
|Unopened roasted||9 months||/||/|
|Opened roasted||2 months||6 months||A year|
|Honey roasted||3 months||6 months||/|
|Unopened canned or bottled||2 years||4 years||Infinitely|
|Boiled||1 to 3 days||5 to 7 days||2 to 3 months|
|Unopened peanut flour||1 year||/||/|
|Opened peanut flour||2 to 3 months||9 months||/|
|Unopened peanut oil||1 year||/||/|
|Opened peanut oil||4 to 6 months||/||/|
Stored in a fridge, this highly beneficial food will last up to a year. It is not common to keep peanuts in the freezer, but it is not impossible. At such low temperatures, they will be edible for an additional year or two.
Be prepared that boiled peanuts’ shelf life is short at room temperature. Even stored in a fridge, they won’t last more than a week. When you want to keep this product longer, store a vacuum pack in the freezer and use it within a few months.
4 Tips to Tell if Peanuts Have Gone Bad
You probably know how awful peanut butter becomes once it spoils. However, many people don’t know that peanuts can go bad either. Therefore, you should check your packaging before consuming, particularly if you have an opened one staying in your pantry for months.
Peanuts are packed with fats and oils that will go rancid over time, especially if you have failed to store this product appropriately. The reason is oil oxidation once peanuts are directly exposed to air.
Stale peanuts will lose their typical aroma, and the product’s smell won’t be rich, nutty, and buttery anymore. When you notice a sour milk-like odor, you can suspect that the peanuts you have are already spoiled.
In some cases, you can even sniff chemical, somehow paint-like peanut smell. In such a case, don’t give it a second thought but throw the bag away as soon as possible.
Fresh peanuts are smooth and solid. Once seeds change their texture and become dried and shriveled, it is a sign that the product is not edible anymore.
If you are still curious and unsure if you should get rid of the peanut package, it is time to taste the product of dubious quality. Unlike fresh peanuts recognizable for a creamy and nutty flavor, you will discover the unusually unpleasant, sour, and bitter taste of the rancid product.
I don’t need to mention that any discolorations on the peanut surface are a sign that something is wrong with this product. Sometimes, you may notice white, green, or black spots all over on the shell or peanuts.
If your peanuts are entirely covered with mold, you should get rid of the whole packaging without thinking twice. Mold is always a sign that you have stored this food in a warm place with high moisture levels.
Tips to Store Peanuts
You can use peanuts for long only if you store them appropriately like any other nuts. That means you should keep this food in a dry, cold, and dark place, away from direct sunlight, moisture, and high temperatures.
When the product is exposed to air, you will get peanuts without a recognizable crunchy texture. Let’s take a look at your best options:
You can keep shelled peanuts at room temperature for a short time, while unshelled seeds can stay fresh for a while.
The exact time will depend on the product’s expiration date, the temperature in the kitchen, and the countertop position. Unfortunately, the warmth will speed up the peanut’s aging process over time.
It is the most convenient method for long-last peanut and peanut butter storage. The crucial thing is that your pantry is not a too hot place with high moisture levels and significant temperature variations. Keep the product away from direct sunlight and air, and you can use it for months.
Refrigerated shelled peanuts will stay edible for months when you place them away from moisture. Therefore, you need to keep them in an airtight container and regularly check for condensation. It is also the only chance to store processed peanuts to keep them fresh and of good quality.
It is a possible but not too practical option to store your peanuts. Put them in an airtight container or well-sealed freezer bag and store them below 32 F (0 C) for up to two years. The freezer is the best option for raw peanuts since the low temperature will kill insects and their eggs.
STORING BY PEANUT TYPE
Since the regulations about peanut aflatoxin contamination are strict in the US, the only thing you need to take care of when storing peanuts is to prevent the product from going rancid.
- Raw peanuts without the shell
The best option to keep shelled peanuts safe for a while is to put them into a tightly sealed airtight bag and store them in a dry and cold place.
- Raw peanuts in the shell
In-shell peanuts are vulnerable since their shell naturally protects edible parts. However, the properly packed product will stay fresh for months when stored in a pantry, while you can use it for up to two years when deciding to keep the bag in the freezer.
- Roasted peanuts
Roasted peanuts are an excellent product you can keep for a long. Always check the expiration date before buying this food and use them safely even after that day until the first spoilage signs appear.
The Risk of Consuming Expired Peanuts
Eating bad peanuts can be an awful experience but definitely not deadly. Consumption of several rancid peanuts will only leave a bad taste in your mouth without any side effects.
Sensitive people will experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea within a day or two after eating such food, but I hardly imagine anyone willingly eating an entire bag of rancid peanuts.
Can You Freeze Peanuts?
In most cases, there is no need to store peanuts in the freezer since this product can last for months when kept in the pantry or fridge.
It is an acceptable solution only if you get a large packaging of this food and need to keep it fresh for a long time. The best part is that you can thaw and refreeze unshelled peanuts repeatedly without any significant flavor and texture loss.
In such a case, place your peanuts in an airtight container or freezer bag and seal them tightly before putting a package into the freezer. Keep in mind that peanuts contain high oil levels, meaning they can’t entirely freeze no matter how long you keep them at low temperatures.
Still, freezing this product is a safe and long-lasting option for viable term storage. Even though it is possible, you should avoid freezing in-shell peanuts. A better option is to shell them before packing.
A freezer is also an acceptable option for storing opened roasted peanuts. You can keep this product safe at low temperatures for a year. On the other hand, boiled peanuts will be edible for two to three months when stored this way.
There is no reasonable reason to store unopened canned or bottled peanuts in the freezer since this product will last for years stored in the pantry or fridge. However, you can put even this packaging into the freezer and keep your peanuts that way infinitely.
Since you can find a few peanut types, you can expect their shelf life to be different. However, storing them in an airtight container away from high-odor foods and heat will prevent spoilage and rancidness.
Once the seeds start smelling bad or changing texture and taste, you should throw them away to prevent possible health issues.