Call it winter squash or pumpkin, the fruit contains plenty of vitamins along with riboflavin and iron. So it’s not just a Halloween decoration if you must. But what about canned pumpkin? Little is known about this one. How long does canned pumpkin last in the fridge? What is the shelf life?
Now, this is a tricky business because canned pumpkins don’t really have a Best Before date There’s usually a Sell By date, which is the date of the day you purchased those canned pumpkins.
So let’s find out everything you might possibly want to know about the shelf life of canned pumpkin…
How Long Does Canned Pumpkin Last In The Fridge?
Needless to say, when the can is opened, the storage conditions and duration change. But when kept in the refrigerator, an unopened can of pumpkin keeps good for a week. And when placed in the freezer, the same unopened can gives you a shelf life of almost 6 months. That’s half a year.
Let’s delve deeper?
Isn’t refrigerating food the most common form of storage? The optimal temperature here should be between 1 and 3 degrees Celsius. That’s between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the typical temperature range of household refrigerators.
So how long does canned pumpkin last in the fridge depends on the temperature. The standard temperature range (as mentioned above) is perfect. But for how long? And if this temperature range changes, then does the canned pumpkin become unusable?
Pumpkin butter, when kept in the fridge at a temperature between 1 and 3 degrees Celsius, lasts for as long as 2 years. But then it should remain sealed. An unopened can means it’s not affected by external factors like temperature, moisture, air, etc. The preservatives in these keep the food edible for a very, very long time.
But if it’s an opened can, then the scenario changes entirely. Once you open the can of pumpkin, place it in the fridge immediately or within a few hours. So the canned fruit doesn’t spoil.
As for how long, you can keep opened canned pumpkin in there for only a week. The temperature range should be the same of course. That is between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
But what if you want to keep them edible and fresh for longer? Then please opt for storage in a dark, cool, and dry place. Such as your pantry or cabinet that’s away from heat and light sources. And also where there’s no moisture.
What about storing canned pumpkin in the freezer? You can, no doubt, opt for freezer storage. In fact, the freezer keeps the fruit fresher and edible for longer in comparison to refrigeration. And this is only applicable to opened cans of course. Because why would you store a sealed can of pumpkin!
So how long does an opened pumpkin can last in the freezer? For almost half a year, that’s 5-6 months at least. When stored out, that means at room temperature, this same opened can remains edible for just one week. And sometimes even for a shorter span of time when the weather is hot and humid. But in the freezer, you can count on it for as long as 6 months.
And how do you go about freezing pumpkin puree? You can use an ice-cube tray for the task. Pour the puree into the tray. Fill up all the slots. And then put the tray into your freezer and let the pumpkin puree freeze for 2-3 hours at least.
Once frozen, remove the cubes from the slot and put them all into a plastic airtight container. Needless to say, one that’s freezer-friendly. Or you could also use freezer bags. Divide it up into small batches. So you don’t need to thaw or remove the entire thing unnecessarily for just one recipe.
Freezing, by far, is the best method for long-term storage. When you freeze vegetables, meat, fish, dairy products, canned goods, etc., you’re increasing the shelf life by 2-3 times. In comparison to normal storage of course.
What About Canned Pumpkin Past Its Expiration Date?
What if your stored pumpkin puree has been sitting in the pantry for a few months now? What do you do then? If it’s canned, then check the can for any Best By date.
But then keep in mind that these dates only tell you for how long is the food at its freshest and most edible. Because canned items and a lot of packaged foods are safe to eat past the Best By date as well.
As for bulging or busted cans, discard them right away. Even those that have crossed the expiration date should not be consumed.
How to Tell If Canned Pumpkin Is Bad, Spoiled, Or Rotten?
Preventing foodborne diseases is a priority when it comes to the storage of canned items. Be it short-term or long-term storage. In that light, what are the warning signs to look out for here?
Soft bottom and leaking liquid – these are the first signs that tell you the pumpkin has gone bad. Then comes the onset of multi-colored mold. It’s best to throw out the pumpkin before it turns to this. It all goes downhill pretty quickly once the fruit becomes soft. Just 3 to 5 days only.
Also, if you want to increase the lifespan of the pumpkin, then avoid cutting it open.
No matter the conditions, never eat spoiled or expired foods. They pose some serious health risks.
Conclusion – How Long Does Canned Pumpkin Last In The Fridge?
When the can of pumpkin is unopened, make it a point to store it in a dark, cool, dry place. But once opened, transfer the canned food to an airtight container. And then store this in your refrigerator. That way you keep the food fresher and more edible for longer. Wile also cutting down on waste.
But what about pumpkin when used in a recipe? How long does that last? As long as just about any prepared dish. Just look out for any liquid making the pumpkin pie crust, for example, soggy.
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