Shallots are root vegetables that can grow to produce numerous bulbs at the time of harvest. They are enjoyed by many and used in many different dishes. Do they ever go bad? Let’s explore this topic together.
Like all fruits and vegetables, shallots will eventually go bad. When stored at room temperature, shallots can last for about a month, as long as the environment is relatively dry and cool. Storing shallots in the refrigerator can help keep them looking fresh for up to 2 months unless they are peeled or diced. Doing these will shorten the shelf life by a couple of weeks. If you store your shallots in the freezer, they can last for about 3 months, permitted your store them whole. Peeled or diced shallots will be preserved for between 15 days if diced, to 2 months if peeled.
Ok, so now we know the gist of a shallot’s shelf life. What could be the determining factors around these? Keep reading to find out.
Do Shallots Go Bad? How Long Do Shallots Last?
You brought home your newly-bought shallots, and have big plans for some of them! Some of them won’t get used up, so how should you store them?
How Long Do Shallots Last Outside?
Freshly harvested shallots can last for about a month at room temperature. If you live in a hot or humid area, be sure to keep the shallots in a slightly cooler place.
Keeping your shallots in a cool and dry place will help delay the growth of mold or mildew. If you live in a cooler environment, this may not become an issue, but keep the seasons in mind.
If you buy shallots at the store, they may not last as long as freshly harvested varieties. Always check the expiration or “best-by” date printed on the package to get the most out of your shallots.
How Long Do Shallots Last in the Fridge?
The great thing about a refrigerator is that they can help preserve foods for much longer than a root cellar or in the pantry. Hooray for modern conveniences!
Shallots that are stored in the fridge can last for anywhere between 7 days to 2 months. This broad time-frame is dependent on how the shallots are prepared going into the fridge.
Placing whole shallots in the fridge will give you about the longest time frame of about 2 months. The smaller you cut them up, though, the shorter the timeframe is. Following this principle, diced shallots will last about 7 days.
How Long Do Shallots Last in the Freezer?
If you buy a large quantity of shallots and decide there’s no way you’ll be able to eat them before they go bad, another way to store them is in the freezer.
Depending on how you decide to freeze them, shallots can last anywhere between 15 days to 3 months. Some of the most common methods are to freeze them whole, peeled, or diced.
Whole shallots with the skins still on will last about 2-3 months on the freezer. If you peel them, they will keep for up to 2 months. If you dice them, they will only last about 15 days in the freezer.
Now that you know the average shelf life of shallots using different storage methods, let’s look into other related aspects concerning this delicious vegetable.
How To Tell If Shallots Have Gone Bad / How To Know Shallots Fresh
You’ve had your shallots around for a few weeks and start to notice certain changes. You may be wondering if the shallots are going bad. There are a few signs that you can be on the lookout for when trying to determine whether it’s time to discard the shallots or not:
- Appearance: Shallots that are beginning to go bad will have a soggier look to them. Their firm outer skin will soften, and you may notice dark spots starting to grow on various places.
- Smell: As things begin to break down, the presence of bacteria, mold or mildew can cause the shallot to give off a bad smell. Anything that doesn’t smell right should be discarded.
- Taste: If you decide to taste a questionable shallot and get a mouthful of “yuck!” then you should throw it away. A yucky taste can be anything from soggy to sour to bitter.
Fresh shallots will be firm to the touch, with a nice smooth skin covering the root vegetable. There should be a strong, unique smell that’s not too overpowering. They should taste crisp and clean, perhaps with a nice crunch to it. Some people even like to dip their shallots in vinegar before eating them!
How to Store Shallots?
Shallots should be stored in a cool, dry place. That being said, you have three options:
- Room Temperature: You can keep your shallots in a mesh bag or somewhere they will be adequate ventilation, such as a basket or drawer.
- Refrigerator: Whole, peeled or diced shallots can be stored in the refrigerator if you need to save some for another time. You can leave them free if they are whole, but if the shallots are peeled or diced they should be kept in an air-sealed container.
- Freezer: You can freeze your shallots in a freezer bag if they are peeled or diced. You can leave them free or store whole ones in a bag to make organizing easier.
Can You Freeze Shallots? How?
Shallots can last a good while if frozen. The key is to keep air from getting to the shallots, as oxidation will begin the decaying process. For the best outcome in terms of shallot flavor and aroma, consider the following method:
- Peel: Peeling and slicing your shallots can both save you time and help preserve the flavor and smell for longer periods of time.
- Wrap: Using a freezer bag or other type of air-sealed bag is the best way to keep them. If you don’t have access to either of these, you can use cling wrap or aluminum foil to thoroughly cover the shallots before placing them in the freezer.
- Label: It’s always good to label what you’re freezing with the name of the item and the date it went into the freezer. That way there is no confusion as to what you have in the freezer later on down the road.
How to Thaw Shallots?
When the time comes to pull out the shallots you’ve been storing in the freezer, how do you thaw them before using them in your next dish?
The best method for thawing frozen shallots is to let them sit on the counter for a few minutes and let the ice thaw off naturally.
Frequently Asked Questions About Shallots
Are Shallots the Same As Onions? Shallots are in the same family as the common onion, but there are some differences. Like garlic, shallots have cloves rather than rings. The other difference is that they typically grow in clusters, whereas the onion will have a single bulb all to itself.
Do Organic Shallots Last Longer Than Non-Organic Shallots? One might think that because organic shallots are more natural, that they might last longer. One the contrary, organic shallots will actually not last as long as their non-organic rivals. This is due to any preservatives or chemicals that are sprayed on the non-organic shallot in order to keep them fresh while being delivered from the farm to the grocery store.
Shallots are a really cool vegetable that can add a lot of flavor and fun to your next dinner idea. When stored at room temperature they can last for about a month. If you want to keep them in the refrigerator, they will last about 2 months as whole bulbs, and less the smaller they are chopped up. In the freezer, whole shallots last 3 months, and chopped last about 15 days. Have you ever tried shallots? Let us know in the comments below.