How Long Does Cauliflower Last? Keeping Them Fresh

how long does cauliflower last

Cauliflower is a vegetable that grows and harvested during the summer months. When it becomes available, they are plentiful in the grocery stores. If you enjoy eating cauliflowers, you may buy a couple of them to store at home. Since cauliflower goes bad quickly once it’s harvested, you may wonder how long it can last.

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In this short guide, we’ll go through how long cauliflower last, how to store them, and how to tell when they are bad. If that’s the information you’re looking for, keep reading.

Cauliflower Shelf Life

 Room TemperatureRefrigeratorFreezer
Whole Cauliflower last2-3 Days1-2 Weeks8 Months
Cut Cauliflower last1 Hour7-10 Days8 Months
Cooked Cauliflower last1-2 Hours4-5 DaysN/A

How Long Does Cauliflower Last?

Fresh cauliflower will last 1-2 weeks. If it’s cooked, it will have a shorter shelf life.

At room temperature, fresh cauliflower will last for about 2-3 days. However, if the room temperature is very hot, it may last just a day before it starts going bad.

In the fridge, fresh cauliflower will last for 1-2 weeks. This will depend on how fresh it was when you bought them.

In the freezer, cauliflower will last for up to 8 months. This is possible only if the vegetable has been blanched and properly stored.

Cooked cauliflowers will last for 4 to 5 days in the fridge. Make sure to keep them stored in an airtight container. Otherwise, it will last for only a day or so.

Can Cauliflower Go Bad?

Yes, cauliflower can go bad. Once it’s harvested, it will start to go bad pretty quickly if it’s stored at room temperature. These vegetables need to remain at a cool temperature to prevent them from going bad quickly.

The fridge is the best place for storing cauliflower if it’s not going to be used within 2 days after being harvested.

For more in-depth article: Does cauliflower go bad

How To Tell When Cauliflower Is Bad?

When cauliflower goes bad, it will show some signs. Below are some of the things to look for:

Soft or slimy texture. Fresh cauliflower will be firm to the touch. If the vegetable is soft or mushy when you touch them, it has gone bad and should be thrown away.

Mold or large black and brown areas. Cauliflower should not have any signs of mold or dark spots on them. If you notice the vegetable has a couple of dark spots on them, you may be able to still use it. Just remove the dark area and use the rest.

However, if the cauliflower is covered with mold or dark spots all over them, it’s best to throw them out. Eating it will not only taste bad, but it could make you sick as well from the mold growing on it.

It has an off smell. Fresh cauliflower should have a neutral smell to it. If it starts to smell rotten or have an off smell, it’s best to discard the entire vegetable.

When it comes to cooked cauliflower, look for signs of mold growing on it and a rotten smell. These are the usual 2 signs of cooked cauliflower going bad.

While cooked cauliflower will last for up to 1 week in the fridge, it can go bad much sooner. If it has been sitting at room temperature for an hour or more, the cooked cauliflower may be exposed to microbes. As you store them in the fridge, the microbes will multiply and cause them to go bad within a day or so.

How To Store Cauliflower

At room temperature, store the cauliflower away from direct sunlight and other heat sources. Keep them in their original packaging until you’re ready to use them. If the vegetables are cut in halves or into pieces, keep them in a container with a cling wrapper covering it.

In the refrigerator, you can either store whole cauliflower or cut them into florets. Avoid washing the vegetable if it’s going to be stored in the fridge.  Washing the cauliflower before storing them in the fridge will cause them to become mushy.

For the whole cauliflower, if they came into the original plastic wrapping, keep it on and place them into the crisp drawer of the fridge. Make sure the bag is not too tight to prevent damage to the vegetable.

To store florets in the fridge, place them into a plastic bag that has holes in them. You can also place it into a container for storage. Make sure to keep the lids is loose to allow moisture to escape.

If you cooked cauliflower and want to store them in the fridge, place them into an airtight container and seal it tight.

Can You Freeze Cauliflower?

Yes, cauliflower can be frozen and it’s recommended if you’re planning to store them for longer than a couple of weeks.

In order for the vegetables to stay fresh in the freezer for a prolonged time, it will need to prep and properly stored. The recommended method of prepping the cauliflower for storage in the freezer is to blanch them.

Blanching the cauliflower is a necessary step to take before it’s stored in the freezer. Blanching helps preserve the texture, color, and flavor of the cauliflower during freezing.

Once it’s has been blanched, you’ll need to place them in a storage container that’s designed for freezer usage. These products can withstand extremely cold temperatures without breaking or leaking.

An airtight container or freezer bag is what you should use to store cauliflower. Just make sure that the lids on airtight don’t have any leaks.

How To Keep Cauliflower Fresh Longer

Buying Cauliflower

How long cauliflower lasts will depend on the time you purchase them at the grocery stores or farmer’s market.

When purchasing cauliflower, always buy the freshest ones available. This can be something difficult to tell as most cauliflowers don’t have any expiration date on them.

For that reason, you should look at the quality of it before buying them. Unless you’re planning to use the cauliflowers within a day, you should pick one that is of good quality.

Fresh cauliflower will have no blemishes on the florets and it’s dry. Also, check the texture of it, which should be firm to the touch.

Handling Cauliflowers

Fresh cauliflowers are firm, but they can get bruise easily. When transporting them from the store to your home, always keep the vegetable at the top of the bag or keep them from getting crushed by other products.

When you get home, place them into the fridge right away if you’re not going to use them within a day or so.

Related Questions

How long does cauliflower soup last?

In the fridge, cauliflower soup will last for about 4-5 days. If you want to keep them longer, you can freeze cauliflower soup. In the freezer, the soup will last for up to six months.

At room temperature, cauliflower should not be left for more than 2 hours. If it’s going to be longer, place them either in the fridge or the freezer.

How long does cauliflower rice last?

At room temperature, cauliflower rice will last for 1-2 hours. You should never keep them stored at room temperature longer than that. The cooked rice gets contaminated with bacteria quickly. The best place to store cauliflower rice is in the fridge or freezer.

In the fridge, cauliflower rice will last for 4 days. They should be stored in a sealed container or plastic bag while in the fridge. Also, make sure cauliflower rice is cooled to room temperature before placing them in the fridge. Otherwise, the heat will cause condensation in the container and make them go bad quickly.

In the freezer, you can store cauliflower rice for up to 2 months. Make sure to only store uncooked cauliflower rice. Cooked rice will become mushy and watery when it thawed.

How long does cauliflower puree last?

Cauliflower puree will last 3 days in the fridge, while it will last up to 6 months in the freezer. If storing them in the fridge, make sure it’s cool first before storing them. Otherwise, the heat will cause condensation and cause the puree to go bad within a day.