Do Cashews Go Bad? How Long Do Cashews Last?

Cashews are a great snack food, add to your favorite salad or an ingredient in any number of savory dishes, but they can be expensive.   You may be wondering if cashews go bad.  Let’s find out.

Quick Answer

Cashews can spoil quickly due to their high oil content.  Cashews will be good if left on the counter, in a bowl for example, for about a week.  Cashews can be refrigerated and will be good for up to six months.  They can also be frozen and are good in the freezer for up to twelve months.  Here is a handy timeline:

Shelf Refrigerator Freezer
Opened 1 week 6 months 12 months

Cashews are a delicious treat, but because of the way they are harvested and separated from the seed, they can be expensive.  Learning the proper way to store your cashews will keep them fresh for as long as possible.

Do Cashews Go Bad? How Long Do Cashews Last?

Cashews have a limited shelf life, but if you store them properly, and depending on where you store them, they will stay fresh anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

How Long Do Cashews Last Outside?

Cashews, either bought in bulk or pre-packaged, both purchased from the grocery store, can be stored on the counter in a nut bowl, for example, but they will only be fresh stored this way for about a week.

You can keep your cashews fresher longer on the counter if they are in a sealed and air-tight container, but this still is not the best way to store your cashews for optimal freshness as they may be exposed to heat and light stored this way.

Cashews left on the counter and eaten within a week will be perfectly fine.  This may help you ensure you eat your cashews while they are fresh, so enjoy them.

How Long Do Cashews Last in the Fridge?

Cashews stored in the refrigerator will last about six months, but that may vary a bit by manufacturer.  It’s easiest to store cashews in the refrigerator if they are in a re-sealable pouch, but you may also store your cashews in a food storage container.

Regardless of the vessel, you use to store your cashews, be sure to remove as much air from the container as possible and be sure to seal the container properly.  Cashews can take on the odors of the food around them, so you’ll want to avoid that.

You should also store your cashews in the coldest part of the refrigerator to avoid the temperature fluctuations that occur near the refrigerator door.  If exposed to changing temperatures your cashews will lose their freshness more quickly.

How Long Do Cashews Last in the Freezer?

Cashews, if stored properly, will last in your freezer for about 12 months.  As with refrigerating, it is easiest to store your cashews in a re-sealable container as the nuts will not freeze together.

Be sure to remove as much air as possible from the container of cashews and be sure to reseal the container properly.  Both will ensure your cashews stay fresh and don’t take on the odors of the freezer.

You’ll also want to store your cashews in the middle of the freezer and away from the freezer door.  This will ensure your cashews stay as cold as possible, which will help them to stay fresher longer.

Cashews, which have a high oil content, benefit from proper, air-tight storage.  They are best stored in a cool, dry, dark place.  If stored properly and unopened, your cashews will be good for six to twelve months.

How To Tell If Cashews Have Gone Bad / How To Know Cashews are Fresh

Cashews, like many different nuts, can go rancid over time.  Eating rancid nuts isn’t good for you, but they won’t taste very good either so you probably won’t eat more than one or two.  Knowing what to look for will help ensure you eat fresh cashews and discard cashews that have spoiled.

Odor changes:  Rancid nuts don’t have the fresh, creamy smell of fresh cashews.  Rancid cashews will –smell off, bitter, or have a chemical-like smell.  If they aren’t fresh, do not eat them.

Color changes:  Nuts that have gone rancid will darken in color from the normal caramel-like color of fresh cashews.  Once the color changes, you should throw your cashews away.

Change in appearance:  Nuts that are going, or have gone, rancid may change in appearance and start to look dry or begin to shrivel.  If this happens, you will want to throw them away.

Change in taste:  If in doubt, taste your cashews.  If their taste has changed to where they have a chemical taste to them, or even if they just taste “off,” throw them away as they are spoiled or are in the process of spoiling.  Eating rancid nuts won’t make you sick unless you eat a lot of them, but they will not taste good.

How to Store Cashews?

Cashews are best stored in a cool, dry dark place away from temperature fluctuations and light.  Unopened and stored on the pantry shelf, your cashews should be good for up to six months.

Air-tight storage:  Whether you store your cashews in the pantry, the refrigerator, or the freezer, they are best stored in an air-tight container with as much air removed as possible.  This will help them to stay fresh for as long as possible.

Away from heat:  Cashews are best at a cool, steady temperature so you will want to keep them in the coolest part of your pantry, refrigerator, or freezer.

Can You Freeze Cashews? How?

Cashews can be frozen.  If stored properly, cashews should be good for up to twelve months in the freezer.

Air-tight storage:  Be sure to store your cashews in an air-tight or re-sealable container.  This will help keep freezer odors away from your cashews.

Store in packaging:  If the packaging for your cashews is air-tight or re-sealable you can store your cashews in their original packaging.  If it’s a re-sealable bag, for example, that will help to keep light away from your cashews and it will also minimize the space requirements in your freezer.  Since your cashews will not freeze together, you can remove the amount you want from the bag and re-seal it again.

Store in the middle of the freezer:  You will want to keep your cashews in the middle of your freezer and away from the freezer door.  Cashews won’t do well with temperature changes so keeping them away from the door will help them stay fresher longer.

How to Thaw Cashews?

Cashews do not do well in extreme temperature changes.  You should move your cashews from the freezer to the refrigerator overnight then move them to the counter for a slow thaw.

Be sure to keep your cashews in an air-tight container while thawing them so they don’t pick up odors from the foods around them during the thawing process.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cashew’s Shelf Life

Cashews are a great snack, but because they are expensive and can go bad rather quickly once opened, there are a lot of questions as to if cashews can go bad.  Here are a few of those questions and their answers:

Why do cashews go bad so quickly?  Cashews have a lot of oil in them and the oil goes bad quickly.  If you store your cashews properly they should last a few weeks once opened.  Proper storage includes air-tight storage in a cool, dry, dark place such as a pantry.

Are cashews that have changed colors safe to eat?  No.  Fresh cashews are usually the color of pale caramel.  Cashews that have darkened, or change colors, can be a sign that your cashews have either gone bad or they are going bad.  If this is the case, your cashews should be thrown away.

Wrap Up

Cashews are good for about a week on the counter, six months in the refrigerator or up to a year in the freezer.  Tell us in the comments below where you store your cashews.

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