Have you recently bought pecan gifts for a loved one that you wish to save until Christmas? Or perhaps you’re expecting to receive pecan gifts on Christmas morning and would like to make the product last through 2019. Regardless of your motives why, you’ll want to take care when storing pecan gifts this holiday season. Fortunately, we’ve provided you with a guide on how to store pecans properly to ensure longevity and freshness.
Why You Should Store Fresh Pecans Properly
Fresh pecans are entirely different than what you would buy at your local grocery store. Raw pecans are of much higher quality and taste better as a result. However, while you can purchase pecans at the grocery store throughout the year, fresh pecans are seasonal. That means if you wish to enjoy them during the summer, you’ll need to handle and store them properly.
Most people choose to store their pecans when shelled, although you certainly can store them unshelled as well. The only reason people tend to store them shelled is convenience. Shelled pecans take up considerably less space.
How To Store Fresh Pecans
We recommend placing pecans in an airtight container to improve their longevity. Shelled pecans have a lifespan of three months when stored at 70 degrees F. The lifespan increases to eight years when stored in the freezer at zero degrees F. Unless you plan on consuming all of your pecans immediately, we recommend using a refrigerator or freezer to increase their lifespan.
Storing your pecans in the freezer should not impact the taste. The only downside to storing them in the freezer is that you cannot remove them immediately for consumption. Instead, you must wait for them to thaw. However, if you end up thawing too many pecans, you can refreeze the remaining product without issue.
If you plan to store your pecans at room temperature, you should use a container that provides adequate ventilation. Store the pecans somewhere that is cool, dry, and dark. We don’t recommend storing pecans in a plastic bag unless you can ensure that you’ve dried them properly.
Handling Pecans That You’ve Grown
If you grow pecans in your yard, there are some other things you’ll want to consider to ensure the longevity of your crop. First things first, be sure to pick up pecans as soon as they fall from the tree. This will prevent squirrels and other rodents from stealing the delicious nuts, depleting your harvest in the process. It will also prevent the pecans from becoming over-saturated with moisture, which can happen when they lay on the ground for too long.
Once you’ve picked up your pecans, you’ll want to dry them before preparing them for storage. We recommend placing the pecans in a warm, dry room for approximately two weeks. If you cannot wait two weeks, try using heat and fans to accelerate the drying process. When the kernels loudly snap when bending, they are dry enough for you to store them.