Pecan Selection and StoragePurchase unshelled nuts that feel heavy for their size, uncracked, and free of blemishes. Shake the nuts, if they rattle in the shell, avoid them. Rattling is an indication of age.
Avoid bulk bins of shelled pecans and stick with those that are in sealed packages or tins with expiration dates.
Available year-round, fresh pecans are generally at their peak the first three weeks after harvesting season in the fall. After that, they will slowly begin their decline into rancidity.
Yet, properly stored at room temperature, unshelled pecans will keep up to three months. Once they are shelled, they will keep up to six months in the refrigerator in a sealed container or up to a year in the freezer. Pecans can be frozen shelled or unshelled.
Since they have such a high oil content, it is best to purchase pecans in the shell as they can turn rancid more quickly than other nuts with lower oil content. Since they will absorb odors and flavors, shelled pecans should always be kept in a closed container.
More about Pecans: Pecan Selection and Storage
Pecan Equivalents, Measures, Substitutions, and Cooking Tips
Pecan Harvesting, Sizes, and Grades
Pecan Legend and Lore
Pecans and Health
Pecans Photo © 2006 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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