Many people like eating horseradish as a way of spicing up their meal. There are two main options with horseradish. You can choose the roots or you can buy or make horseradish sauce for convenient use. In either case, there are lots of questions about horseradish, one of them being about its shelf life.
How long does horseradish last? Do fresh horseradish roots last longer than the sauce?
This article is your guide to horseradish storage conditions and shelf life. Continue reading to find out the answers to the most popular questions about this root vegetable.
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Does Horseradish Go Bad?
If you need to add a spicy kick to your dinner, then horseradish it is. You can buy a few roots of this vegetable and make some horseradish sauce yourself or buy a commercially manufactured jar of horseradish sauce.
Either way, you may be wondering about the shelf life of horseradish. Is it worth buying horseradish if you eat it only every once in a while? How long does horseradish last?
Whether it is horseradish roots that you have or the sauce, it is important to know the storage conditions of these foods. If you don’t store horseradish properly, it will eventually go bad.
How to Store Horseradish?
Here is how to store fresh horseradish roots and horseradish sauce.
How to Store Horseradish Roots?
Horseradish roots are not one of those vegetables that you are recommended to store in the pantry. You can do it. However, know that refrigerating extends the shelf life of horseradish roots. If you know you will be using the horseradish roots within a few days, you can keep them in the pantry. Simply make sure that the area where you keep the vegetables is dry.
Horseradish roots stored in the pantry will spoil faster than the ones in the fridge.
Here are a few points about storing horseradish roots in the refrigerators.
- Wrap the root with two towels. The first one should be slightly dampened and the second one completely dry.
- Place the horseradish root in a plastic bag and put it in the vegetable drawer of the fridge. Make sure the bag is not tightly wrapped around the vegetable. You need to let some air get to the root to keep it nice and fresh.
- If there are any spots on the horseradish root, cut them out before storing.
- When using horseradish, cut off as much as you need, and put the rest back into the fridge wrapped as described above.
- Don’t cut or peel the horseradish if you will not be using it.
If you have cut and peeled horseradish and don’t know what to do with it, don’t simply put it in the fridge in a plastic container or bag. It may cause the horseradish root to quickly lose its flavor.
What you can do with already peeled horseradish is to preserve it in vinegar. This way you will maintain the spicy kick that the horseradish has. Additionally, you will have a delicious horseradish-flavored vinegar that you can use in other dishes for an added layer of flavor.
Can You Freeze Horseradish Roots?
Surprisingly, you can freeze horseradish roots. It will take you some time and effort to prepare horseradish roots for freezing but it is certainly worth it in order to preserve the flavor of horseradish as much as possible.
Peel the horseradish and grate it. It is best to freeze the horseradish in smaller portions to make the thawing process fast and easy. You can use ice cube trays to do this. Alternatively, you can freeze small amounts of grated horseradish wrapped in pieces of food wrap. Put the individually wrapped balls of grated horseradish into a freezer bag for maximum protection against freezer burn.
How to Store Horseradish Sauce?
Store-brought horseradish sauce can be stored in the pantry so long as it is unopened. Keep it away from heat and light and your condiment will keep well until you decide to open it.
Once opened, the horseradish sauce should be stored in the fridge, with the lid tightly sealed. If the lid of the original container doesn’t close tightly, transfer the sauce into any container that you will be able to keep well-sealed at all times.
Opened horseradish sauce gradually loses its potency. If you don’t seal the lid well, you will accelerate this process. Your condiment will soon lose the pungent flavor and aroma it had when you first opened the jar.
Some people prefer homemade horseradish sauce over the store-bought ones as its taste is much more concentrated.
Homemade horseradish sauce should be refrigerated at all times. Keep it in a tightly sealed glass jar or plastic container.
Can You Freeze Horseradish Sauce?
You can prolong the shelf life of horseradish sauce by freezing it. The most efficient way of freezing horseradish sauce is as follows. Scoop small amounts of horseradish sauce and put them on a baking tray lined with foil or parchment paper.
Put the baking tray in the freezer until the horseradish sauce bits become firm. Put the bits into a heavy-duty zip-top bag.
Every time you need horseradish sauce, take out a few bits and thaw in the fridge.
Do not make the mistake of freezing prepared horseradish in its original packaging or in one big batch. This way you will need to thaw all of the sauce to use just a small amount of it. Not only will this take you a lot of time but also you may not finish the sauce up and may need to discard it.
You can’t refreeze the horseradish sauce. Thus, take your time to freeze it in smaller portions for more convenient use.
How Long Does Horseradish Last?
Horseradish roots properly stored in the refrigerator will keep well for around 14 days. But a lot depends on the condition of the roots at the time of buying.
To make the horseradish roots last longer you need to pick the good ones initially. When choosing horseradish, don’t grab the ones that already have sprouted as they will go bad quickly once you bring them home.
Also, look for spotless and firm horseradish roots as they will last much longer.
Frozen horseradish has a shelf life of 6 months. It will most likely stay good for much longer. However, as it sits in the freezer, horseradish gradually loses the intensity of its aroma and flavor.
As for horseradish sauce, you can expect it to last around 3 months past its ‘Best by’ date if you still have not opened the jar.
Opened horseradish sauce stored in the pantry has a shelf life of 4 to 8 weeks. To maintain the best quality of the sauce, do not deep food into it and always use clean utensils to avoid adding particles of other food into the horseradish sauce.
Homemade horseradish sauce has a shelf life of 3 to 4 weeks if stored in the fridge.
Frozen horseradish sauce maintains its best flavor qualities for 3 to 4 months. It may keep well for longer. However, the flavor won’t be as intense and pungent.
Signs That Horseradish Has Gone Bad
Horseradish roots are prone to rotting if not properly stored or if you have had them for too long.
If the horseradish root has too many soft spots or has become too soft overall, discard it. Any signs of mold or discoloration are also indicators of bad horseradish. Rotten horseradish also has an unpleasant smell.
Horseradish preserved in vinegar will not ‘go bad’ as vinegar is an effective natural preservative.
When it comes to horseradish sauce, first inspect the condiment to see if there are any signs of bacterial growth. Bad horseradish sauce may also undergo color changes.
If you the sauce seems okay, give it a sniff. Any off-odor should be a sign for you to discard the horseradish sauce.
If the sauce looks and smells good, you can go ahead a try a small amount to see if it still does anything to your taste buds.
One thing to keep in mind is that even if your horseradish sauce is good after months of sitting in your fridge, it is not a good idea to eat it. Practice food safety and discard the sauce if you have had it open for too long.