Shelf Life Tips
- How long do dried peppercorns last? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions - to maximize the shelf life of dried peppercorns store in a cool, dark cupboard, away from direct heat or sunlight.
How long do dried peppercorns last at room temperature? Properly stored, dried peppercorns will generally stay at best quality for about 3 to 4 years.
To maximize the shelf life of dried peppercorns purchased in bulk, and to better retain flavor and potency, store in containers with tight-fitting lids.
Are dried peppercorns safe to use after the "expiration" date on the package? Yes, provided they are properly stored and the package is undamaged - commercially packaged dried peppercorns will typically carry a "Best By," "Best if Used By," "Best Before," or "Best When Used By" date but this is not a safety date, it is the manufacturer's estimate of how long the dried peppercorns will remain at peak quality.
Do dried peppercorns ever spoil? No, commercially packaged dried peppercorns do not spoil, but they will start to lose potency over time and not flavor food as intended - the storage time shown is for best quality only.
How can you tell if dried peppercorns are still good? To test whether dried peppercorns are still potent enough to be effective: Rub or crush a small amount in your hand, then taste and smell them - if the aroma is weak and the flavor is not obvious, the dried peppercorns should be replaced.
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Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here