Shelf Life Tips
- How long does cracked black pepper last? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions - to maximize the shelf life of cracked black pepper store in a cool, dark cupboard, away from direct heat or sunlight.
How long does cracked black pepper last at room temperature? Properly stored, cracked black pepper will generally stay at best quality for about 3 to 4 years.
To maximize the shelf life of cracked black pepper purchased in bulk, and to better retain flavor and potency, store in containers with tight-fitting lids.
Is cracked black pepper safe to use after the "expiration" date on the package? Yes, provided it is properly stored and the package is undamaged - commercially packaged cracked black pepper 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 cracked black pepper will remain at peak quality.
Does dried cracked black pepper ever spoil? No, commercially packaged cracked black pepper does not spoil, but it 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 cracked black pepper is still good? To test whether cracked black pepper is still potent enough to be effective: Rub or crush a small amount in your hand, then taste and smell it - if the aroma is weak and the flavor is not obvious, the cracked black pepper should be replaced.
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Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here