Do Pickles Need to be Refrigerated?

There are several types of pickles, including pickled vegetables, beets, onions, eggs, and cucumbers. Each type must be carefully stored to preserve its delicacy and freshness. This necessitates knowing whether or not they may be refrigerated.

How to Preserve Pickles

To begin with, you are supposed to store your pickles in a clear jar. An unopened jar of pickles is best stored in a cool, dry area, whereas an opened jar of pickles should be stored in the fridge to prevent the formation of bacteria. Also, when the jar is opened, it should remain airtight.

To avoid contamination, you are expected to use tongs or a spoon every time you want to pick the pickles from the jar.

Commercially made pickles are often sold alongside condiments on supermarket shelves. However, some are sold chilled because they haven’t been pasteurized. What is pasteurization? You may ask.

It is a heat treatment that inhibits the growth of bacteria and microorganisms in solid food. The heat slows down the fermentation process, allowing the pickles to last longer.

The germs and pathogens in unpasteurized pickles are eliminated by vinegar, salt, and water brine during the fermentation process. Probiotics, on the other hand, are not eliminated by brine. As a result, the pickles ought to be refrigerated to prevent the fermentation process from continuing.

Whether or not pickles have been pasteurized, they should always be stored in brine to ensure that no part is exposed to air, which would otherwise make the pickles dry out, change color, as well as get a weird taste. Also, remember to ensure that the container with the pickles is airtight.

Related: Top 5 Recommended Airtight Containers

While chilled pickles are sweeter and crunchier, both pasteurized and unpasteurized pickles are nutritious and delicious.

When it Comes to Pickles, How Long Does a Jar Last?

If stored properly, unopened pasteurized pickles can last up to 3 months past the “best by” date. Pasteurized open pickles should be chilled immediately after opening, after which they can last slightly more than 3 months. It is not advisable to eat them past their “best by” date.

If kept in the fridge, unpasteurized, unopened pickles can last for 3 months, past the “best by” date. Open, unpasteurized pickles can last for more than 3 months. Avoid eating them past their best by date.

Are Pickles Safe After Being Frozen?

You might be curious if pickles can be frozen and if they are still good to eat after being frozen. The answer to both questions is yes. Pickles can be frozen for up to 6 months.

When you want to use them, you should take them out of the freezer and thaw them in the fridge the day before. After you’ve thawed them, make sure to eat them within two weeks; otherwise, they may become unhealthy to eat. Also, be aware that after freezing, the quality and freshness of the product will deteriorate.

How to Tell if Pickles Have Gone Bad

Maybe you’ve had your pickles in the fridge for a long time and have no idea when you bought them. Perhaps the best before date has passed you by. You’re probably debating whether or not the pickles are edible.

When you’re not convinced whether your pickles are still fresh, look out for these signs:

  1. Change of smell. If the pickles no longer smell the same or have an unpleasant odor, then there is a 90% chance they are spoiled. Consider throwing them away.
  2. The metal screw top is bulging. If the pickling jar bulges out, something terrible must be going on with the pickles, and they might have expired, hence the need to dispose of them.
  3. Presence of mold. If you see a pickle with a sign of mold – the color could be something like dark green – discard it.
  4. Change in taste: If you’ve tried all of the above ways and are still unsure about the pickle’s freshness, you should give it a taste. The lack of crunchiness means the pickle isn’t entirely fresh. As a result, consider getting rid of it. However, the crunchiness of the pickle does not always signify its freshness.

Related: Canned Food Expiration Dates Chart: How Long Does Canned Food Realy Last?


After reading this article, you should be able to tell when pickles should be refrigerated and when they shouldn’t. As a result, you’ll be able to make smarter pickle storage decisions and enjoy them while they’re still fresh.

Further Reading: How Long Do Pickled Eggs Last?

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