🥒 Do Pickles Go Bad?  ▶ Do You Feel Weird Smell? Detailed Guide

Do Pickles Go Bad? 

All you ever wanted to know and all about strange odor

Do Pickles Go Bad

Caper can be served as a great appetizer or a nosh for the savory and hot dishes. In some countries, preserved food has been popular for decades whereas in others it has become so widespread only recently.

Naturally, folks started wondering: how much time are gherkins usable for? Do they go bad?

If it is a point of concern for you, too, keep on reading because this article will give you replies to all the questions.

Off we go!

Why Consuming Pickles Is Good For Us

At first sight, caper can seem to be simply a tasty appetizer to add to some more nutritious dishes. However, this sort of food has its undeniable benefits.

First of all, they include a very small amount of calories. Also, if the preserved foods are agitated, they can be very helpful when dealing with many diseases from insulin resistance to different inflammations.

Fermented food like Sauerkraut (reduses the risk of cancer), Yogurt (National Institute of Health), or Pickles reduses the risk of obesity.

What pickles do you like best of all?
I don't like pickles

But even though the style=”font-weight: 400;”>gherkins you eat regularly are not fermented, they still have lots of useful qualities, for example, they contribute a lot to the weight loss and the pickle juice is useful for muscle cramps and diabetes.

Consuming pickles regularly will let the body to intake more antioxidants and manage the electrolyte balance as well as Natalie Butler, R.D says.

Since gherkins and preserved food is so healthy and useful, everyone began to wonder how they can extend the lifespan of the agitated vegetables at home.

Well, let’s take a closer look at this issue.

Shelf Life of Pickles. Nuances and Specifics

how long are pickles good for
Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

To begin with, let us clarify the duration of caper shelf life.

How long do pickles last?

Normally, if they have been properly and tightly closed when being prepared, gherkins can stay eatable for two years at most past their expiry date, no matter whether you keep them cooled or in the pantry.

Can pickles expire?

They can, especially if they are being stored improperly under the wrong circumstances or the tanks were screwed not tightly enough and some air got inside causing the growth of harmful bacteria.

But these are not the only important facts one needs to know about the gherkins. To learn more, check out the following questions. Perhaps, you will find the answers you needed.

How often do you eat pickles?
Only in winter

Storing this appetizer may appear to be quite simple: why not just toss them onto the pantry shelf and forget about it?!

However, they requires far more careful treatment and maintenance.

How long are pickles good for?

It hangs upon whether they are crafted or purchased in a store.

preserve cucumbers in jar
Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

How long are homemade pickles good for?

Crafted capers are not that durable, in fact, since they are able to last for nearly sixty days. If they are kept longer, they will lose the crispness pretty fast. 

On the contrary, their counterpart from the shop is far more durable since it’s able to remain fresh for two years!

Many of us prefer preserving this appetizer exposed to cold and thus the most frequent question asked is “how long do refrigerated capers last?”

The matter is about the method the appetizer was produced with since made at home one will stay consumable for two months only whereas those from a store will be still ok to eat even after 12 months of storage.

Let us now check out some other issues which are useful to know when dealing with pickled veggies.

do pickles go bad

How long can pickles last unrefrigerated?

Closed jar, in case it’s closed tightly, will keep its content ready to eat for two years for sure. Once opened, this appetizer reduces its lifespan to 12 months or a bit less.

How long do opened pickles last?

Always keep an open jar with pickled veggies exposed to cold, otherwise, they’ll spoil very fast! When stored cooled, an opened appetizer is OK to enjoy for 12 months after unsealing them.

How long do opened pickles last
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Do leftover pickles need refrigeration?

Definitely! If we leave them outside exposed to air, warmth, and light, they’ll rot very soon.

How long do dill pickles last?

If the jar is closed, the appetizer will stay fresh and ready to consume for 24 months for sure.

Do pickles need to be refrigerated?

Another troublesome moment that bothers every pickle fan is the constant question: “do you have to cool caper?”

Indeed, many of us store them in our pantries and everything seems to be OK! So, to refrigerate or not refrigerate?

Do pickles have to be refrigerated after opening?

You’d better do it since they tend to rot really fast when exposed to air, sun, or warmth. Since molded pickle is not the best thing to taste, let them chill in the fridge for your own sake.

Do pickles have to be refrigerated after opening
Photo by angela pham on Unsplash

Do store-purchased pickles have to be refrigerated?

If the jar is still sealed, decide yourself. They’re OK to stay in the pantry anyway.

How long can pickles last frozen?

Six months is the longest term. After that time, they’ll start spoiling and losing the crispness.

What’s the homemade pickles refrigerator shelf life?

The best term of storage for these is four weeks at most.

How long do pickles last in the fridge?

If you are asking about the opened jar of them, then don’t stress. Once being opened, gherkins will stay consumable for one year or a year and a half at most keeping all of their qualities such as taste and flavor without changes.

cucumbers preserve
Photo by Reka Biro-Horvath on Unsplash
  • How long do canned pickles last?

Canned veggies last less than their counterparts in glass tanks. To enjoy their crispness, you’d better consume canned caper within half a year after they were bought. Also, ensure they are being stored in a cool and moisture-free place to protect them from premature rotting.

  • How long are pickles good for after opening?

Everything depends on what kind of pickled vegetables we are talking about and the place that they are being stored in.

For example, pickled peppers, corn or cabbage will stay edible for two years at most when being kept chilled. This is the strictly required rule for opened caper storing!

  • How long do pickles last out of the fridge?

Only gherkins pickles can stay out of the fridge! So, if it so happened that you decided to keep the tanks in the pantry, be sure that they will stay consumable for approximately two years if it is cool and dry there.

Do Pickles Go Bad

How long do homemade pickles last unopened?

Caper made at home will be possible to consume within two years after they were made and screwed but only if the jars are closed properly and the storage surroundings are correct.

However, even when storing them correctly, they sometimes can turn bad and rot. In most of the situations, it happens because some mistakes were taken during the process of pickling (for example, some air could stay in the jar or got inside later because of the improperly screwed lid).

Like with any other off food, your stomach will not thank you for eating bad caper!

That is why everyone needs to know how to define the bad caper from the good ones to prevent any foodborne diseases.

How to Tell If Pickles Are Bad

Shelf Life of Pickles
Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

Many people start to panic when they notice some whites on the bottom of the jar. Calm down! It is an absolutely natural effect! But how do you know if preserved veggies have gone bad?

Consumable caper have a pleasant acidic aroma with the brine being light-amber in color.

On the contrary, bad ones have an off sour odor and the brine changes its color, too. And of course, if you notice any traces of mold, it is the significant sign of the caper rotting.


Discard them instantly without even trying to save.

Now that we know so much about the storage tricks, it would be useful to learn the basic signs of spoilage to protect ourselves from any unpleasant aftermath of consuming a rotten pickle.

Bad pickles are quite simple to identify since they look and they are smelled differently. An unpleasant sour stink and the signs of mold will be the direct symptoms of the appetizer turning bad.

pickle on the table

How long does it take pickles to spoil?

There’s no specific term, in fact. They can rot after a month or two of storage or last longer. Everything hangs upon the conditions and the way they were sealed.

Does pickle juice go bad, one may ask? Of course, it does, together with the pickles. There’s no chance that the juice stays drinkable when pickles are already off. 

How long does it take pickles to spoil
Photo by Reka Biro-Horvath on Unsplash

By the way, do dill pickles go bad? Unfortunately, they do, and it happens the same fast as with the other sorts of this appetizer.

Ways to Consume Pickles. Not Only Eating!

Can pickles expire
Photo by Alexander Duncan on Unsplash

Of course, the most obvious way to consume it is simply pulling them out of the jar and eating.

Some creative persons may even decorate the savory and hot dishes with the sliced pickles!


Nevertheless, this tasty snack can be used in many other approaches!

For example, they can be used for making sandwiches or as an ingredient for a salad, it will give the raw vegetables more piquant taste. And who said it is prohibited to use it for cold salads?!

Some people even use the pickle brine – for drinking, making lollypops (that’s true, don’t laugh!), and marinating meat. Some say that the brine is good for preparing martini, too. And finally, why not to use the pickles brine for a salad dressing? Both for fresh and cold salads.

How long do pickles last in the fridge
Photo by Alex Haney on Unsplash

As you can see, storing and looking after of pickles is not a big deal if doing it reasonably and being attentive and cautious.

Check the pickles now and then to see if they are doing well and, if noticing any suspicious signs of spoiling, double-check the jar and cast it away in case of spoilage.

Take care!

Frequently Asked Questions

Things You Would Hardly Think Of Asking About Pickles

There are questions that we normally ask when we need to know more about pickling veggies. But those inquiries mostly deal with some storage or usage issues. Quite a few of us get interested in rather peculiar things regarding this foodstuff. However, such information can also be handy for others! Shall we try and answer?

1. What water is the best for making pickles?

Even though some say that they use tap boiled water, and others swear that water from a spring is fine, the correct answer is only one: use distilled water when making pickled veggies at home since tap one is too harsh.

2. Can I pickle two different types of veggies in the same tank? 

Absolutely. Such a contact won’t harm both, moreover, such united pickling can give the brine more intense aroma and savor! You can find various pickling recipes that use two and even more sorts of vegetables.

3. What sort of vinegar is good for pickling?

Indeed, a question of the day! We have plenty of kinds of vinegar today so no wonder that folks get confused. In fact, most recipes ask for the ordinary distilled white vinegar since it won’t affect the color of the veggies and its taste is mild.

4. How to choose cucumbers for pickling correctly?

To get crispy pickled cucumbers, go for the freshest, blemishless, green, juicy, and firm veggies. Avoid waxed ones for pickling recipes since they won’t be properly penetrated by acid and salt, and the pickling process can go wrong.

5. Is it safe to leave freshly pickled tanks in a pantry? What if they explode?

Well, such a possibility exists (however, they won’t literally explode, they’ll just blow up a bit), but only if something was done wrong during the pickling process. If your pickles stay ok for quite a long time, then they’ll hardly explode.

We hope we managed to answer all the unexpected inquiries that could be asked regarding pickling. 

Stay safe and take care!

Sharing is caring!

Written by
Meredith is a family therapist, and you can always visit her with any problem or question that you have. She can consult or help you in any situation. Also, she fond of her library, and she is a garden-amateur, as she says, in Camden.
Or editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.
Watch Next
Are Pickles Bad For You?
Does Polyester Stretch?
Is it stretchy, and if yes, then how much