Being milder than onions in terms of flavor and odor, shallots are the favorite allium family member for many people. But before you stock up on shallots it is good to know how long they last and how you should store them to get the best out of these elegant-looking ‘onions’.
So, how long do shallots last? Shallots stored in a cool panty will last 4 to 8 weeks. If you want to ensure a longer shelf life for shallots, store them in the fridge where they will keep well for 3 months and longer. Freezing shallots is also an option if you want to clear up some space in the fridge and have already chopped shallots ready at hand at the same time.
Continue reading to learn all about the storage rules of shallots and what is the best storage method for you depending on how many shallots you buy and how often you use them.
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Shallots, like their counterparts, onions and garlic, have a limited shelf life. They do last quite long if you compare shallots with some other vegetables. But they also quickly go bad if not stored properly.
But before storing shallots so that they maintain their best qualities, it is important to choose good ones. If you buy onions that are already on the verge of going bad, no matter how perfect your storage conditions are, they will soon go bad and become unsuitable for use.
Here are a few simple rules to keep in mind when buying shallots.
- Buy shallots that feel heavy for their size. This means that shallots are not dried out.
- Make sure there are no mushy spots on shallots. They should be firm and crunchy.
- Don’t buy shallots with sprouts. These indicate that the shallots are old.
- As for the size, pick smaller shallots if you are after the mild flavor profile. If you don’t mind the more distinct oniony flavor, you can also pick the bigger ones.
You can store shallots both in the pantry and in the fridge. The former isn’t really an option for people living in warm climates where it is hard to find a room where it is slightly cooler. In such cases, the fridge is a safer option. It also makes shallots last much longer.
If you know you will use up the shallots within the coming few weeks and you have a cool pantry or cellar where you can safely keep the shallots, go ahead and do it.
Make sure you store the shallots in a dry area. Don’t wrap the bulbs in a plastic bag. Allow them to breathe. You can keep the shallots in a mesh basket or bag. It is best to hang the basket or the bag with shallots as this way you keep them well-ventilated.
Don’t store shallots near fruits and vegetables that produce ethylene gas. This will cause the shallots to ripen and sprout much sooner.
The fridge is probably the best storage place for shallots especially if you have bought too many of them and need a few months to use them.
The temperature in the fridge is ideal for shallots. Simply put the shallots in the fridge uncovered and they will stay nice and fresh for weeks and even months.
Chopped or sliced shallots, as well as peeled ones, should always be refrigerated. Keep them in an airtight container or bag and use them as soon as possible.
You can freeze shallots. But keep in mind that freezing affects the texture of shallots, making them slightly less crunchy when thawed.
To use frozen shallots, you need to defrost them. Depending on what dish you are planning to use the shallots in, you can choose between two thawing methods. You thaw shallots either in the fridge or at room temperature or you can thaw them in the microwave.
If you are planning to use the defrosted shallots in a raw dish where the texture matters, thaw them first in the fridge or on the kitchen counter. Shallots won’t take long to defrost especially if they are finely chopped.
If you will be using the defrosted shallots in cooked dishes, such as stews and sauces, you can use the microwave to accelerate the thawing process. A few seconds in the microwave will bring the shallots back to life. Microwaving makes shallots softer. Go for this method only when the texture of shallots in the dish is not of central importance.
Don’t refreeze shallots.
We don’t recommend you freeze whole shallots. While removing the skin and throwing the shallots into the freezer is easy and time-saving, it won’t produce satisfying results. The shallots will be too mushy and soft when thawed. This will make it very difficult to properly slice or chop the shallots too.
So, if you have decided to freeze shallots, put in some effort and time into it. Having chopped, sliced, and minced shallots ready in the freezer will also save you time during the cooking process.
If you pick good shallots initially and provide all the necessary storage conditions, shallots will last quite long.
Shallots stored properly in a cool pantry have a shelf life of up to 4 weeks. In certain cases, they may keep well for around 2 months.
It is recommended, however, to store shallots in the fridge if you know you will need more than a month to use them. Refrigerating makes shallots last 3 months and longer.
Chopped, sliced, or minced shallots refrigerated in airtight containers should be used within a week.
Freezing doesn’t necessarily extend the shelf life of shallots but it is certainly a good way of saving space in the fridge as well as prepping some shallots for later use.
Shallots stored in the freezer will maintain their best qualities for 3 months. They will remain safe for consumption for longer but the texture and flavor will certainly be affected.
To see if shallots are still good or not, remove the skin and inspect them. If the flesh is rotten, dark-colored, or has any signs of mold or other organic growth, discard the shallots.
Another sign of spoilage is the mushy texture. Good shallots should be crunchy and crispy and never soft. Additionally, if you see that liquid is leaking from the shallots, toss them out.
When shallots go bad, they also start to smell different. While the smell of good shallots is bad for most people, once these vegetables go bad, they start to smell even worse. If you think your shallots don’t smell the way they should, it is best to err on the safe side rather than risk an entire dish tasting bad.