Pickles are always great, there is no arguing about that. There are a plethora of recipes that will become magical once you have include this simple ingredient in the recipe. For example, your favorite salads, sandwiches, and burgers can all taste better if you add some pickles.
Therefore, a lot of us (including me) are always sad whenever we run out of pickles in our kitchen. Sometimes, we hoard them in case they run out soon. That's how much we love our pickles!
But do pickles go bad? It is a frivolous question, I know, but it still needs to be answered properly as eating out-of-date items that have off is not good for your health. Your safety is on the line here, so you should be wary. Let’s discuss pickles in more detail in the next section.
Seriously, Do Pickles Go Bad?
Unless you are oblivious to them, you should already know the answer. No food lasts forever. It all eventually spoils, even if you have applied the proper preservation methods, and pickles are no exception as this ingredient has a limited lifespan.
In fact, you should not be bothered by such a question, and instead inquire how long you can store them in your fridge. It is important that we know about all the factors that can affect their freshness.
Check out the next part to find out!
How Long Do Pickles Last?
The lifespan of a pickle can be shortened or extended, depending on how you go about storing them. This concept applies to all of the raw ingredients in your kitchen.
You will be relieved to know that pickles can last a pretty long time, for as long as two years, even if there is an expiration date on the jar. If they are properly sealed, you can expect this kind of assurance, whether you’ve stored them in your fridge or not.
But why does such a miracle take place? Well, it has a lot to do with how this ingredient is processed. Before it is pickled, a raw cucumber will rot within five days. But if you process the ingredient in the right manner, its lifespan lengthens exponentially.
The processing goes like this. First, they put the cucumbers into a mixture of pre-boiled vinegar and brine (salt water). They then put them in a clean and sterilised jar together with the solution that’s been made. After this, the container is locked in a way that is airtight. The longer they are contained in this airtight jar, the better the pickles’ flavor will become.
The brine is like a boxing ring where the bad and good bacteria will fight it out, with the good bacteria always winning in the end and preventing the food from rotting fast. And that's the reason why your favorite pickles have a long lifespan!
But what if the pickle jar has been opened, will its lifespan then be curtailed? Well, I cannot really give you any exact figures here, but let me explain some fundamental facts here about air. When your food interacts with the air, a process called oxidation takes place. This phenomenon hastens the aging process of the food, which soon loses its original texture.
Despite this, you can still expect that pickles in an opened jar will last for a year or two, regardless if you have stored them in your pantry or fridge.
How To Know If The Pickles Have Gone Bad
One of the most immediate signs of this is their texture, as a pickle that is going bad will lose its crunchiness. Some believe pickles are still safe to eat even up to this point, but I would not risk it myself.
You can always know if your pickles have gone bad by using the following methods:
1. The Container
The jar or container has a lot to do with the lifespan of the pickles. If you have noticed that its lid is dome shaped instead of being flat, there is a good chance that your pickles have already gone bad. A dome shaped lid is an indicator that the container has not been sealed properly.
Also, don't forget to look at the lid itself and check if there are any brownish or dark colorations on it. These marks will be fungus and other types of bacterial growth. If they are present, you must throw the pickles away.
2. Check The Pickle
Always assess both the physical texture and condition of the pickles. If the pickles are covered with a sticky, suspicious looking liquid, or are soft and squishy, then you can be sure they have already gone bad.
The color of a fresh pickle is bright and vibrant. When it goes bad, it will change and become soggy and start looking dull. The probable culprit here is either fungus or mold.
3. The Odor
The taste of pickles is generally sour, even if they are not fresh. However, throw them away if they have a pungent, foul scent.
So, as you can see, pickles go bad just like everything else, but if you seal them properly after you have opened them, you will still be able to preserve their lifespan for longer and keep adding them to your favorite treats.
For those of you who want to make your own homemade pickle, here are a few reminders for you. First of all, you need to half fill the container with water. Next, put it in the oven and let it heat until the water boils.Then, remove the jar and drain its water content. This is the best way to sterilize the jar so that it can become pickle-worthy!
Did you learn what you wanted from this article? If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to get in touch and ask me in the comments section below!