How Long Do Pickles Last?

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Should you be contemplating a pickle purchase this weekend, you might be floored to discover the remarkable longevity they boast on the shelf.

Pickled items have been around as long as fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut.

However, the way that we eat has changed over the years, which has meant that people have had to adjust their methods of storing pickles, too.

The best thing about pickles is that they’re delicious, but there are many different ways to store them so that they don’t spoil quickly.

Here’s everything you need to know about pickle storage.

How long do pickles last?

There’s no definitive answer to this question because it depends on what kind of pickles you’re making.

Pickles made from vegetables or fruits will last longer than those with vinegar added, for example.

You’ll also want to consider whether you’re buying these pickles straight out of the jar or not.

If you’re buying them from a supermarket or food shop, then they probably won’t last very long because they’ve been opened and re-opened frequently.

However, if you’re buying them fresh from your local deli counter or grocery store, then you should expect them to last until the end of summer.

If you’re not planning on eating the pickles straight away, then you can store them in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

You should only use a plastic container rather than glass or metal ones, as the acidity could react with the metal and cause it to rust.

Keep in mind that pickles are full of bacteria, so don’t leave them in an open air cupboard or near other foods that may contain bacteria.

If you’re buying pickles from a deli counter or supermarket, then they’re most likely going to be packed in a sealed container, which means that they’ll last much longer than anything else.

Once you take the lid off, make sure to replace it immediately afterwards.

It doesn’t matter if it is loose or not – just get rid of any moisture that gets trapped inside the container.

This can happen if you leave the lid off for a while.

When you first start using pickles, they can taste quite strong, but after a few days, they’ll begin to lose their sharpness.


How long do pickles stay fresh?

There are two main factors that determine how long your pickles will last.

First, you should make sure that the jars or containers that you use to store them are airtight.

This means that no oxygen can get into the jar, and it also means that any moisture cannot escape from the jar either.

Secondly, you want to make sure that the pickles aren’t sitting in direct sunlight.

This isn’t because you want to protect your pickles from the sun, but rather because heat changes the chemical composition of the pickles, altering the flavor and texture of the food.

You can also freeze your pickles, but only if they’ve been canned in a water-based brine solution.

In other words, you shouldn’t try freezing pickles in vinegar, since vinegar contains acetic acid, which prevents the pickles from being frozen safely.

How long do pickles stay crunchy?

When we talk about pickles staying crunchy, it’s not just the type of pickle that matters, but also where you store them.

It’s important to make sure that you store your pickles in an airtight container or bag, because moisture will cause them to rot more quickly.

This means that you should store them in the refrigerator, ideally in an airtight container or bag.

You can also use a jar with a tight-fitting lid, but that won’t stop the pickle from absorbing any excess moisture.

So what about the humidity levels in your home?

Well, if you keep your house warm enough, then you could consider storing your pickles on the countertop.

This isn’t ideal, though, as they won’t last as long as they would in the fridge.

Pickles tend to get soft when they absorb too much water, so it’s better to avoid putting them in direct sunlight.

That said, if you live somewhere that has a lot of sun exposure, you can leave them out on the counter for a few hours before eating them to dry them out.

How long do pickles last in the refrigerator?

Pickles are one of the most perishable foods on your supermarket shelf, which means it’s important to understand how long they will last before you buy them.

You should never store pickles in an open container because they will lose moisture and become moldy very quickly.

Instead, you should store them in a sealed container in the fridge or under cool running water.

This method is also recommended by the FDA, who say that pickles should not be put into the crisper drawer of the refrigerator or in the freezer section.

This is where condensation from other food items will cause them to rot faster.

The length of time that pickles will last depends on what type of pickle you choose.

There are two main types of pickles that you can buy – cucumber slices (also known as dill pickles) and bread-and-butter (also called relish).

Cucumber slices are much more perishable than bread-and-butter pickles.

They must be refrigerated immediately after purchase and should only be kept for up to six weeks.

Bread-and-butter pickles can last longer, however, and are good for up to 12 months.

It’s worth noting that neither type of pickle should be kept in the sun, as this will accelerate the process of spoiling.

The same goes for hot temperatures, as this will speed up the growth of bacteria.

How long do pickles last in the pantry?

You probably won’t find any pickling recipes on your grandmother’s recipe box, but she would have likely known how to preserve them by salting or brining.

These techniques can still work today, even though most modern pickles use vinegar instead of salt water.

Pickling jars come with lids that are airtight, which means that you don’t have to worry about the pickles spoiling because of exposure to oxygen.

Of course, it doesn’t matter how well-sealed your pickles are if you leave them out on the countertop.

That’s why it’s important to store them in an area where they aren’t exposed to light and humidity.

You should also make sure not to refrigerate pickles because that will cause them to ferment.

To avoid these issues, store your pickles in the refrigerator or freezer.

As far as the lifespan of pickles goes, it depends on what kind of pickle you’re talking about.

Some pickles are more perishable than others, and you may want to think about how you plan to use them before deciding whether or not you should buy them.


Cucumbers are one of the easiest pickles to make, but they’re also among the least durable ones.

They’ll go bad pretty quickly if you don’t store them properly.

For example, fresh cucumbers shouldn’t be left out on the countertop because they will start to rot.

If you want to make fresh pickles, you will want to cut up the cucumber into slices no thicker than 1/4 inch (6 mm) so that they can absorb more of the brine when you add the vinegar.

This is especially true if you’re using a plastic jar to store them, since the vinegar can leach out through the lid.

If you’d rather freeze your pickles, then you can still use them later.

Just pop them in the freezer, and you should have no problem eating them later.

Make sure that you label your pickles well so that you can easily identify them when you pull them out of the freezer.


Beets are another type of vegetable that you can enjoy raw, but they’re also great pickled.

Like cucumbers, beets require plenty of brine to stay crunchy and juicy.

Beets tend to be very fragile, so you’ll want to store them in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.

You can put them in the fridge once they are fully cooked, but you will want to wash them first to remove excess dirt.

You can also soak them in ice water to cut down on the cooking process.

Corn relish

This is a traditional Southern dish that requires corn to be pickled in a spicy mixture of red pepper, onions, sugar, and vinegar.

It’s usually served alongside fried chicken, but it’s also delicious on its own.

Corn relish isn’t as easy to prepare as other pickles, but it’s worth it if you love spicy food.

You’ll want to make sure that the corn is thoroughly cleaned before adding it to the mixture.

Also, you’ll want to cut off the kernels from the cob and remove any silks.

After all of the corn is peeled, you can proceed with making the relish.

How long do pickles last unopened?

There are two key factors when it comes to how long pickles will last before spoiling.

They’re firstly dependent on the type of pickle itself, and secondly on the way that you choose to store them.

For instance, one of the most popular types of pickle is bread and butter, which is made from sliced cucumbers with vinegar added.

These pickles are usually eaten straight away after being prepared, so they’ll only last for a few days at most.

On the other hand, dills or green peppers are typically preserved by boiling them in salt water.

This method produces pickles that are very salty, so they should be used within 2-3 weeks once opened.

Pickles can also be stored using brine, which is a mixture of salt and water.

This helps to preserve the flavor of the vegetables, while reducing the likelihood that the contents will go bad.

Once again, these pickles will only last for a couple of weeks.

Finally, pickles can be packed into jars, which prevents them from going bad.

You can then add the lids afterwards, ensuring that the pickles stay fresh.

canned pickles

How long do pickles last opened?

When it comes to pickles, keeping them fresh is more important than keeping them alive.

This means that it’s better to open your jars when you want to use them rather than wait until they go bad, then throw away all of the food inside.

This isn’t something that you should worry about with canned pickles – these will usually last longer once you open them up.

But with jarred pickles, things are a little bit different.

There are two factors here – firstly, how much air is allowed into the jar while the pickles are being made.

Secondly, how tightly the lid is screwed on after they’ve been filled.

Keeping both of these things in mind is key to making sure that your pickles last as long as possible.

Let’s look at what each one does separately.

1. How Much Air Is Allowed Into the Jar During Fermentation

Pickles are fermented vegetables, which means that they contain lactic acid bacteria.

These bacteria create CO₂ during fermentation, which helps preserve the food inside the jar.

However, if there’s too much oxygen in the jar, the lactic acid bacteria can start eating the food instead of preserving it.

This leads to the food going off quicker than it would otherwise.

To solve this problem, manufacturers add an ingredient called “pickling spice” to the pickle mixture before it goes into the jar.

This ingredient acts as a barrier between the air and the food inside the jar.

So, if you’re using a standard sized jar, you shouldn’t have any problems.

But if you’re getting smaller pickles out of larger jars, you’ll need to make sure that you leave enough space for the air to get through the liquid.

2. How Tightly You Screw the Lid On After Filling the Jar

When you fill a jar with pickles, the liquid level should come just below the rim of the lid.

Otherwise, the lid won’t seal properly.

If you put too much liquid in the jar, the lid won’t fit down onto the top of the jar, which could lead to mold growing underneath the lid.

So, make sure that you leave room for the lid to sit flat on the bottom of the jar.

As well as leaving a gap for the air to pass through, you also need to make sure that the lid sits flat on the jar after filling it.

This is because if the lid doesn’t sit flat, it will allow condensation to form beneath it, which causes mold to grow.

You should also check the label on the jar to see if it states whether or not the pickles were packed in brine.

If they were, you’ll need to add salt to the water used to fill the jar, since it’s not suitable to drink.

How long do pickles last after being cooked?

You can cook your pickles for hours or days before eating them, depending on what kind of pickle it is.

Some pickles will last longer than others because they contain more sugar, salt, spices, and vinegar, while other types will get softer over time.

If you want to keep your pickles fresh longer, make sure that you follow these tips:

Keep them in a cool place, such as the refrigerator or freezer, to slow down the process of fermentation.

Don’t add additional water to your pickle brine when cooking, as this will dilute its acidity.

Store your pickles in airtight containers (or bags) with an oxygen absorber inside to prevent mold growth.

To extend the shelf life of your pickles, try putting them in a jar with a vacuum sealer.

If you’ve got leftover pickles from dinner, you can use them to make a quick snack for yourself.

Here are some ideas for using up those leftovers:

Make a sandwich out of leftovers.

Add pickles to your next batch of hummus.

Top a salad with chopped pickles.

Use pickles as garnishes for tacos.

Serve pickles on top of pizza.

Make a quick and easy dip for tortilla chips.

How long do pickles last in the freezer?

When it comes to storing your pickles in the fridge or freezer, the first step is to make sure that they’re stored correctly.

This means that you should only use glass jars with tight-fitting lids, and that you should never put any type of food into plastic containers.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when storing pickles in the fridge is that they leave them open.

When left open, the pickles will begin to lose flavor and texture.

In fact, if you leave them open for more than four weeks, they could actually start to rot.

Pickles should also not go into the refrigerator after they’ve been opened.

This is because bacteria will begin to grow on the inside of the jar, leading to mold growth and an unpleasant smell.

It’s best to store pickles in the freezer until you’re ready to use them.

The problem with freezing pickles is that they won’t last nearly as long as they would in the fridge.

The reason for this is that the ice crystals that form during freezing cause the pickles to burst.

As a result, you end up losing most of the pickle’s flavor and texture.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though.

For example, pickles made from cucumbers that are still firm can be used in place of fresh ones.

However, if you want to preserve the taste and texture of your pickles, then you shouldn’t freeze them.

Instead, you should consider drying them out instead.

Drying your pickles is easy to do, especially if you use a dehydrator or oven.

You simply spread the pickles onto a baking sheet, dry them out, and then package them into small portions.

You can then store these pickles in a cool, dark location for up to two years.

They’ll retain all of the flavor and texture that you loved about them in the first place.

How long do pickles last after being canned?

Canned pickles last longer than fresh ones because the acidity in them helps preserve them.

When pickles are made from vinegar-based products, such as tomato or dill pickles, they will last for several weeks.

But when you make your own pickles, you can choose whether you want them to be shelf-stable (which means they won’t go bad once opened) or just edible (so that they don’t lose any flavor).

Fresh pickles are much more perishable than canned ones.

As with most preserved food, pickles should be kept out of direct sunlight, as exposure to high temperatures will speed up the process of fermentation and cause them to become mushy.

To find out how long pickles last once they’ve been canned, it depends on what kind of pickles you’re making.

Dill pickles will last for four to six weeks while a quick-pickling recipe made with green tomatoes will only last two to three days.

How Long Do Pickles Last? 1

Easy Homemade Pickles

Prep Time 15 minutes
Resting time 3 hours
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 178 kcal


  • 1 medium to large cucumber
  • ½ cup water at room temperature or cooler
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons syrup or sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional, for heat
  • 20 twists of ground black pepper
  • 2 dill roughly chopped (about ¼ cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
  • 1 bay leaf


  • For pickle rounds (“chips”), slice the cucumber(s) into thin rounds, about ⅛-inch thick. Or, for spears, slice them in half lengthwise, then slice the halves lengthwise into quarters, then slice the quarters lengthwise into eighths. If your spears are long like mine (from one long cucumber), slice them through the middle so they’re not too tall for your jar. Set aside.
  • In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, combine the water, vinegar, maple syrup, salt, red pepper flakes (if using) and black pepper. Stir until most of the salt has dissolved into the liquid, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Set aside.
  • Place the cucumbers into a wide-mouth jar about 3 to 4 inches in diameter, tall enough to offer at least 1 inch of extra space on top (for pickle spears, it’s important that all the pickles fit snugly, vertically—a wide-mouth pint-sized mason jar would work well).
  • Top the cucumbers with the dill and garlic. Tuck the bay leaf into the side of the jar. Pour the all of the liquid over the cucumbers so they’re fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (for pickle rounds) or at least 3 hours (for pickle spears). The flavor will continue to develop over the next couple of days. These pickles will keep for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.



Calories: 178kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 3gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 3532mgPotassium: 320mgFiber: 5gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 419IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 124mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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