Who doesn’t love carrots? They are great for cooking, make a great addition to any salad, or for snacking. Also, they are very high in minerals and vitamins. For that reason, most people will buy a package or a bundle of carrots to store at home. Carrots contain a lot of moisture and they can go bad quickly if not stored properly. Therefore, most will wonder how long carrots will last and the best place to store them.
So, how long do carrots last? Carrots stored in the pantry can last between 4 days and a week. Carrots stored in the fridge will last about a month. In the freezer, carrots will last for about 12 months.
Above are just an approximate date of how long carrots will last. There are other factors that can affect the shelf life of the carrots which will make it shorter or longer. Some of them are where the carrots are stored, the storage’s temperature, and the quality of the carrots when it was bought.
In this short guide, we will be discussing how long carrots last, how to properly store carrot, how to tell when they go bad, and how to keep them fresh longer. If that’s the information you’re looking for, keep reading.
Carrot Shelf Life
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How Long Do Carrots Last?
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Carrots start to go bad and have their shelf life decrease when it starts to lose moisture. Therefore, to help the carrots last as long as possible is to find ways to retain moistures in the carrots.
With carrots, there are a couple of options to store them so they can last for a long time. Depending on how you will use them, you can store them in the pantry, in the fridge, or even the freezer.
How Long Do Carrots Last Outside The Fridge?
When it comes to storing carrots outside the fridge, there are many different options. The most popular one is keeping them in the pantry. The pantry is cool and dark, which is a good location to keep carrots. In the pantry, expect the carrots to last between 4 days and a week.
Another place is in the kitchen closet or the countertop drawers. These are only acceptable if the carrots are a small amount. In these locations, the carrots should last for up to a week.
Where ever you’re storing them, how long they last will depend on the air temperature. If it’s hot in the house and you have no air conditioning running, you should expect the carrots to go soft within 3 days.
One location beside the kitchen where you can store carrots which will last for a long time is in the sand. Make sure the leaves and stems of the carrots are still intact. Simply stick them into the sand and you can have them for months.
How Long Do Carrots Last In The Fridge?
Carrots in the fridge will last for about a month. The colder the temperature in the fridge, the longer it will last. Like all vegetables, how long it lasts will depend on the quality of the carrots when you bought it. However, there’s a lot you can do to help keep them longer in the fridge.
First off, carrots that come with leaves and stems intact will likely not last long. It’s best to remove both parts when you put the carrots in the fridge. If you’re planning on using them, store them separately from the carrots. If not, toss them out. The leaves of the carrots pull moisture from the carrot. If left intact, the carrot will start to wilt slowly due to moisture loss.
Second, keep the carrots in the vegetable drawer of the fridge. Avoid keeping them with fruits that produce ethylene, which includes apples and bananas. When putting them in the vegetable drawer, avoid washing them.
By doing all the above, you should be able to keep the carrots fresh for at least 2 to 3 weeks.
However, if you want the carrots to last a little longer than 3 weeks, you need to keep the carrots humid. One option is to wrap them in wet paper towels.
If you need the carrots to last up to a month or longer in the fridge, place the carrots in an airtight container and submerge it in water. Once a week, change out the water for the best results.
Can Carrots Go Bad?
Like any other vegetables, carrots do go bad. Most people will usually just throw carrots away after a week or so. Most of the time, carrots are still of good quality. If it’s stored properly, they will last for several weeks.
Heat is their worse enemy and it can drastically shorten their shelf life by half. This is the reason why carrots should always be stored at a cool temperature. The cool temperature helps retain moisture in the carrot.
These vegetables can go bad either stored at room temperature or in the fridge. At room temperature, if it’s hotter than normal, they will start to go bad within a day or so. In the fridge, they will start to go bad slowly over time.
Carrots have a high amount of moisture in them. Once the vegetable starts to lose moisture, it will start to go bad slowly. They will start to show some signs of spoilage which will give you time to use them before they reach their prime.
Once the carrots has reach their prime, it’s recommended to not eat or use it for cooking. Not only will it taste bad, but you could get food poisoning from the bacteria growth on the carrots.
How To Tell If a Carrot Is Bad?
When carrots go bad, it will start to show signs of rotting. There may be visible white fuzz all over it or when you touch it, it’s slimy. If that’s the case, throw out the whole carrots.
On the other hand, if a section of the carrot turns black, you can simply cut it out and use the rest for cooking or eating.
Good carrots will be crunchy and firm. Sometimes, it becomes soft and rubbery. If it does, you can throw it away or keep it. It all depends on your personal taste and quality standards. Soft and rubbery carrots are safe to eat and cook with.
Some people don’t prefer eating soft and rubbery carrots. Instead of throwing them away, you can use them in soups and stews. Good quality and bad quality carrots will get soft when it’s cooked anyway.
The only exception to soft and rubbery carrots is when it’s too soft and rubbery. If the carrot can be easily bent, it’s best to throw them out.
How To Store Carrots
At room temperature, carrots should be stored in a cool and dry place. Avoid storing them in direct sunlight and away from any heat source. The heat will cause the carrots to lose moisture, which will make them go bad quickly.
While the carrots are being stored at room temperature, they should never be washed. It’s best to wash them before using the carrots.
Another great idea for storage is to plant the carrots in the soil or sand. This will work for any carrots you have, as long as they haven’t gone bad yet. Simply stick them in the soil and they’ll last for a very long time. When you are ready to use the carrots, not only will you get fresh carrots but bigger ones as well.
In the fridge, carrots can be stored as whole or cut and sliced vegetables. It depends on how much time you have to prepare them. If you don’t have time to prepare them later, simply cut or slice them beforehand. Otherwise, store the whole carrot in the fridge and prepare them later.
If you have cut or sliced carrots, they should be stored in a resealable plastic bag or an airtight container. Since the flesh of the carrots is exposed to air, it will dry the carrot quickly. Therefore, always store them in a container to prevent loss of moisture.
For whole carrots, they should be stored in the crisper section of the fridge. While it’s being stored there, cut the leaves off the carrots. The leaves will pull moisture from the carrots and will dry them out.
Can You Freeze Carrots?
If you’re planning to keep carrots for a long time, freezing is the best option. By freezing carrots, it will retain its taste quality for up to 12 months. After that, the quality will start to decrease slowly.
Of course, frozen carrots won’t have the same taste quality as it would with fresh carrots. Therefore, frozen carrots are best used in cooked dishes and hot meals, not in salads.
Freezing carrots is a good option if you do a lot of cooking that uses carrots. It will save you a lot of time preparing the carrots for the meal.
If you’re planning to make soup or stew, there’s no need to thaw them. Simply take them from the freezer and throw them in frozen.
When it comes to defrosting carrots, you can let it thaw slowly in the fridge or leave it on the kitchen countertop. If you’re in a hurry, put them in cold water.
How To Freeze Carrots?
Storing carrots in the freezer is a good option if you’re planning to keep it for longer than a month. Freezing carrots is simple, but will require some time to prepare it for the best results.
Below are the steps to prepare carrots for storage in the freezer:
- Gather all the carrots you’re planning to store in the freezer.
- Wash all of them thoroughly and make sure there are no dirt and any other debris on it.
- Peel and cut up the carrots. When it comes to cutting, you should cut them on how you’ll be using them later. It can be diced, cut in half, or not even cut at all. This way, when you take them out of the freezer later, they are ready to be used without further prep.
- Blanch the carrots. Fill a pot with about 80% of the water in it. Heat the water until it starts to boil. Slowly submerge the carrots into the boiling water. For small carrots or cut up carrots, leave it in the water for approximately 2 minutes. For whole carrots or large cut carrots, leave it in the water for about 5 minutes.
- After that period, immediately transfer the carrots to a pot of cold water to stop the cooking process. Besides that, you could run cold water on the carrots until it cools down.
- Once it’s cooled down, strain the water from the pot and let it sit to dry. You can increase the dry time by using a paper towel or kitchen cloth wipe it dry. Make sure the carrot is completely dried before proceeding to the next step.
- Pack the carrots into the freezer bags and label them with a date. This way, you know the date it was prepared and when to throw them out.
- Place the carrots into the freezer.
How To Keep Carrots Fresh Longer
Like all other vegetables, it starts at the grocery store or supermarket. It’s hard to determine when the carrots were harvested and brought to the store. There could be a time-lapse of a couple of days to even a week. The longer it takes for the carrot to make it onto the store’s shelves, the short shelf life the carrot will have.
Another great place for fresh and quality carrots is the farmer’s market. These places will usually grow their own carrots and other vegetables. For that reason, they will harvest them the day before bringing them to sell.
Whether it’s the grocery stores or the farmer’s market, always check the quality of the carrots when buying them. When looking at the carrots, make sure they are good quality. Quality carrots will be firm and brightly colored. Bad quality carrots will be soft and rubbery.
Once you get home, either put it in the refrigerator or prepare it for storage in the freezer right away. Colder temperature will help increase the shelf life of the carrots.
Can old carrots make you sick?
It depends on if there are any bacteria growth on them. Old carrots, especially those stored in the fridge can last up to a month. Due to the cool temperature, it has a less likely chance of bacteria growth. You won’t get sick eating it, but the carrot won’t taste very good.
However, if it’s stored at room temperature, more than likely, the old carrot will have bacteria growth. Therefore, it’s best to throw them out.
Can you wash off slimy carrots?
You can wash off the slim from the carrots, but it’s recommended that you do not eat the carrot. Slime on the carrot is usually a sign that the carrot is bad. To be on the safe side, it’s best to just discard it.