When it comes to shelled pecans, in addition to visual cues such as mold or any other organic growth, you should use your nose and taste. If the nuts smell stale or like used cooking oil, they are stale. The same thing if they have developed a bitter or stale taste. The first sign of a spoiled nut is a soft or moldy appearance.
Its shell will crack or fade, and its interior will be empty. Also, it would help if you were watching for signs of mold and lint. If it's hard to peel, it's probably spoiled. If the inside is soft or lint-free, you should discard it.
Before the walnuts begin to fall, they look nothing like the finished product - light brown nuts with dark stripes. The nut forms into a green shell that gradually browns as it dries and the nut matures. As pecans mature, the shells begin to crack, indicating that they are ready to pick pecans. Sometimes growers find small green nuts that fall from trees earlier than they should fall.
Wind-pollinated pecans depend on good weather during the time when pecan catkins lose their pollen and pollen grains fall on female flowers. To find out if your shelled pecans are damaged, you'll need to open them. If they look dry or there is a network formation, they are gone. You know that walnuts are stale when they start to taste strong and bitter.
Sometimes, they also develop a strange smell that may remind you of old paint, nail polish remover, or something like that. Once pecans fall from the tree, as long as the soil is dry, they begin to dry out and heal, which improves their quality. Pecan shells should at least be opened, but yes, if you want to climb the tree and remove the ones that look ready, of course, do it. Roasting pecans can shorten their shelf life, but roasted pecans more than make up for it in convenience and flavor.
Depending on how well you store them and whether they still have their shells, pecans can last a long time. It's not an expiration date by any means, and just because your pecans have passed a couple of weeks (or months) doesn't mean they're going to be stale. Like many naturally grown foods, pecans are susceptible to pests, fungi, and damage from harvesting and handling. A tree may need a weekly 1-2 inch deep watering during nut formation, so it's important for a gardener to invest in watering equipment and pecan harvesting equipment.
Shelled pecans stay about two months in the pantry, nine months in the refrigerator, and up to two years frozen. This is because freezing pecans allows you to store them without loss of quality for more than two years. Picking pecans is, of course, incredibly simple if allowed to fall from the tree naturally. If you plan to eat pecans, you may be curious about their shelf life and best practices for storing them.
If properly stored, shelled pecans can last up to six months, while shelled or shelled pecans can last up to nine to 12 months. Most sources suggest refrigerating or freezing as the best storage options, but leaving pecans at room temperature is also an option. If pecans are allowed to stay in the ground, especially in moist soil, increases the chance that they will start to rot or that birds or other wildlife will take them away. Green to brown, shield-shaped stink bugs cause nuts to fall off when they feed on pecans that have unhardened shells.