Can You Freeze Roasted Pecans and Keep Them Fresh and Tasty?
Yes, you can freeze roasted pecans. If you freeze and thaw them with care, they will be fresh and tasty.
What pecans don’t like is to be stored in heat. Heat breaks down the oil in the pecans and they acquire a rancid taste, a dark color, and a shriveled appearance.
But, before you decide to freeze roasted pecans, know that pecans will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 10 months. If you have a pantry or a cupboard away from the stove, you can keep roasted pecans there for 6 to 8 weeks.
However, if you really stocked up and have more on hand than you can use in the next few weeks, freezing is the best option.
The first step to ensuring your frozen roasted pecans will be as tasty later as they are right now, you must freeze them right. It’s a simple process and well worth it to do it right and avoid disappointment later.
The US Pecan Growers Council says to put them in an airtight bag such as a freezer grade bag with a slider or Ziploc seal. Lay the bag flat and try to remove as much air from inside the bag as you can. If you have a vacuum sealer, use it. (If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, Aunt Patricia suggests inserting a straw into the bag and using it to suck out the air. She’s very protective of her nuts.)
If you’ve purchased nuts from us in any of the gold pouches, you can skip this step. If you’ve already opened the bag, just reseal it. Be careful to push out the air as you do.
Then, place the bag in the freezer. That’s it. You can keep them there for up to 2 years as long as the freezer is at a constant temperature of 0 degrees F or -18 C. But really, why wouldn’t you eat them sooner?
How to Thaw Pecans
Now that you’ve frozen your roasted pecans, it’s very important to thaw them correctly. Remove the bag from the freezer and Do Not Open It. Allow the unopened bag of pecans to thaw in your refrigerator or on the counter. Frozen pecans will absorb the moisture in the open air and they will lose their crunchy goodness. This is because they have a very low moisture content, about 4 percent. Once thawed, they no longer do that.
Don’t sweat it if the bag gets opened too soon. If that happens and the pecans are slightly soft and not crunchy. There’s an easy fix.
How to Fix Soft Pecans
Just as the low moisture content means pecans can be frozen and refrozen without harming the taste, they can be heated again after they’ve been roasted. Heat your oven to 250 degrees F or 120 degrees C. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, less if they were mostly thawed, longer if they were frozen and left in the open air to thaw. Keep in mind that warm nuts straight from the oven will not be as crunchy as nuts that have cooled.
Whether you keep them in the freezer or in the refrigerator, with a little care, they’ll retain their full flavor and crunchy goodness.