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 walnuts smell stale or like used cooking oil, they are stale. The same 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.
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.
Another sign that pecans are bad, even if they look and feel fresh, is that walnuts develop a strong bitter or sour taste. When the oil in a nut goes rancid, it turns bitter and seeps into the rest of the nut, which causes it to taste horrible, which means that any nut with a bitter taste has gone bad. Things are different with shelled pecans. You never know if they're good or not until you open them.
All you can do is shake them to see if they sound or not. If pecans feel light and empty, discard them, as they are most likely dry or spoiled. Pecans won't last long outdoors or when exposed to heat and moisture, so make sure your container is tightly sealed and that your environment is dark and cool. Once the pecans are boiled and cooled, use a nutcracker or other tool to open the nuts safely.
Pecans can be expensive, so it's natural to want to know how much time you have before they stop being edible. The key to treating pecan pink mold is to address the preliminary problem; pecans with pink mold can generally be avoided if the nut scab fungus is properly controlled. Store pecans in an airtight container or in a well-sealed freezer bag in a cold, dark place. If those periods aren't long enough for your needs, you can freeze the in-shell and in-shell pecans.
That said, eating them isn't healthy either, so devouring a whole bag of stale pecans isn't a good idea. If you have opened the package, transfer pecans to freezer bags or airtight containers before storing them in the refrigerator or freezer. Keep in mind that stale pecans aren't necessarily unsafe to eat, but their nutritional value may decrease slightly. Because shelled pecans don't have built-in protection from the outside environment, they are much more delicate than shelled pecans.
With their high amount of plant-based oil, pecans also last longer at lower temperatures, preventing fats from spoiling. 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. However, both shelled and shelled pecans can be easily stored for a convenient and healthy ingredient or snack. Fresh pecans will look thick and full with a shiny coating and similar color across all walnuts, so any nut lacking these characteristics is less fresh.
The good news is that you can store shelled pecans in your pantry and enjoy the best quality pecans for almost 6 months. Candied pecans have a shelf life of 14 to 21 if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place. .