Question: I am planning to make a pecan pie for Thanksgiving. After it’s baked, does the pecan pie need to be refrigerated or can I leave it at room temperature?
Answer: You should refrigerate the pecan pie, unless you’re planning to serve it within two hours of baking.
As both the United States Department of Agriculture and the American Egg Board note, it’s unsafe to eat homemade pies with egg-based fillings, including pecan pie, that have been allowed to sit at room temperature for two hours or longer. (Commercially produced pecan pies that are displayed and sold unrefrigerated have preservatives and other ingredients added to make them shelf-stable.)
The reason is that bacteria grow rapidly when your pecan pie is kept at temperatures between 40° F and 140° F. To prevent foodborne illness, homemade pecan pie should be refrigerated within two hours. It’s okay to place the pie in the fridge if it’s still warm.
The baking experts at and likewise recommend refrigerating homemade pecan pie (check the links for some tasty recipes.) Cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Properly stored, pecan pie will keep for three to four days in the refrigerator.
You can also freeze pecan pie successfully. To freeze, wrap the pie tightly with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place in heavy-duty freezer bag. For best results, use the frozen pecan pie within two months.