Does Horseradish Go Bad? How Long Does Horseradish Last?

Horseradish comes in two different forms: prepared in a bottle or as the whole root. If yours has been sitting in the fridge for a while you may be wondering: does horseradish go bad?

Quick Answer

Yes, horseradish can go bad. Horseradish root will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks outside the fridge. If kept in the fridge, it will last up to 3 months. Horseradish root can also be frozen, keeping it fresh for up to a year. Jarred or canned horseradish sauce will last 6-8 months. Once opened, canned horseradish will last about 5 months.

Let’s take a look at how long horseradish lasts in varying conditions, and how to keep your horseradish fresh longer.

Does Horseradish Go Bad? How Long Does Horseradish Last?

If you don’t use horseradish often, you may be wondering if that jar in the back of your fridge is still edible? Let’s break it down.

How Long Does Horseradish Last Outside?

Horseradish sauce in a jar and horseradish root can both be kept outside of the fridge. It’s recommended to place opened horseradish sauce in the fridge.

Horseradish root has the best taste if used within two weeks of purchase. If you don’t plan on using it within two weeks, horseradish root will begin to lose its flavor and aroma, but is still safe to eat.

On the other hand, horseradish sauce will last up to 8 months outside the fridge. It is not recommended to keep opened jars of horseradish sauce outside the fridge.

How Long Does Horseradish Last in The Fridge?

Horseradish root will last 2-3 months in the fridge. It will not rot like most vegetables. Instead, it will simply lose its flavor and aroma. It is still safe to eat far beyond the 2-3 months, but it will not taste as fresh, and may even taste a little bitter.

Prepared horseradish sauce doesn’t typically retain any more freshness when put in the fridge if it is unopened. It will last up to 8 months.

If prepared horseradish sauce is opened, it is best to put it in the fridge. This will prolong the freshness for up to 5 months.

How Long Does Horseradish Last in The Freezer?

Raw horseradish root will last up to a year in the freezer. If you don’t use horseradish very often, freezing is a great way to prolong the freshness and bite of the ingredient.

Prepared horseradish sauce is a different story. It is not recommended to freeze prepared sauces as they will typically lose their flavors very quickly if exposed to extremely cold temperatures.

If you plan to freeze horseradish, be sure to store it properly to keep it as fresh as possible. When horseradish loses its flavor, it becomes bitter and unusable in sauces.

It is recommended to discard sauces every six months. For this reason, if you don’t use horseradish very often, it’s important to know how long the different forms last.

How to Tell If Horseradish Has Gone Bad / How to Know Horseradish Is Fresh?

If there are no obvious signs, it may be hard to tell when your horseradish goes bad. Here are some ways to tell whether or not your horseradish is fresh.

Discoloration: Any suspicious coloration of your horseradish root indicates that the vegetable is starting to go bad. Small black spots can be cut away, but if larger spots appear, the root should be thrown away.

For prepared sauces, any discoloration on the surface of the sauce is an indication that the jar should be thrown away.

Smell: The sniff test is mostly reserved for prepared horseradish sauce. If the sauce smells off in any way, it’s best the throw away. It is hard to do the sniff test on horseradish root unless you cut it open.

Feel: On the other hand, testing the feel is reserved for the horseradish root. If it feels soft or mushy, it’s starting to go bad and should be used as soon as possible.

Taste: This test is used with both the root and a prepared sauce. If you taste it and it has less of a bite, the horseradish is beginning to go bad.

How to Store Horseradish?

To properly store horseradish, it will depend on if you have a prepared sauce or the whole root.

Prepared sauce: Horseradish that comes in a can or jar should be stored in a kitchen cabinet. Keep it away from sunlight and moisture. If your horseradish is opened, seal the container as best as possible and store it in the fridge.

Root: For best results, grate your fresh horseradish and add vinegar. This is best if you plan to use it within 2 weeks. If you want to store it longer, grate it and seal it in an airtight container and put it in the freezer.

Can You Freeze Horseradish? How?

Freezing horseradish is a great way to prolong the freshness of your root. The best part? There’s no need to thaw it out for a day before using it.

Grate: The first step to freezing your horseradish root is to grate it. Try grating it into small portions, such as how much you might need for a certain recipe. Smaller portions will keep the gratings as fresh as possible.

Airtight Container: If you want to freeze horseradish, it’s best to store the gratings in an airtight container or bag. This will keep the root as fresh as possible for the longest amount of time. Airtight containers will prevent frost burn on your horseradish.

Baking Sheet: You can also line a baking sheet with plastic wrap and spoon the grated horseradish onto the baking sheet. Once the gratings are properly frozen in spoonful’s, peel them off and place them in freezer bags.

How to Thaw Horseradish?

There is no specific technique to thaw horseradish.

Whole horseradish: If thawing a whole horseradish, it will be difficult to grate directly from the freezer. Leave it on the counter for an hour or two before use.

Grated horseradish: Grated horseradish can be used directly from the freezer.

Frequently Asked Questions About Horseradish’s Shelf Life

Here are some additional questions you may have about horseradish’s shelf life.

My bottle of horseradish is expired, can I still use it? Yes, but use caution. You can eat and use expired prepared horseradish. The flavor may be dull, or even bitter. This doesn’t necessarily mean your horseradish is bad. Check for obvious signs of mold or strange smells before eating.

My Horseradish root has a black spot. Is it rotten? Not likely. Horseradish root will develop black spots when it begins to go bad. However, small black spots can be cut away and the root can still be used to eat or put in recipes. If the entire root also feels mushy, throw it out.

Wrap Up

Horseradish packs a bite. Because of this, you may not use a lot of it at once. Make sure to properly store your horseradish to keep it fresh for as long as possible.

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