Do Pickles Need to be Refrigerated?

There are several types of pickles, including pickled vegetables, beets, onions, eggs, and cucumbers. Each type must be carefully stored to preserve its delicacy and freshness. This necessitates knowing whether or not they may be refrigerated.

How to Preserve Pickles?

You should initially keep your pickles in a transparent jar. Unopened pickle jars should be kept cold and dry, while opened jars should be kept in the refrigerator to avoid the growth of bacteria. The container should also continue to be sealed even after being opened.

Every time you wish to take a pickle out of the jar, you are supposed to use tongs or a spoon to prevent contamination.

On the shelves of supermarkets, pickles manufactured for sale are frequently offered next to sauces. Because they haven’t been pasteurized, some are sold chilly. Pasteurization: What is it? You may inquire.

It is a heat treatment that prevents bacteria and other microbes from growing on solid food. The fermentation process is slowed down by the heat, extending the shelf life of the pickles.

Unpasteurized pickles’ pathogens and germs are destroyed during fermentation by vinegar, salt, and water brine. On the other side, brine does not remove probiotics. So, to stop the fermentation process from continuing, the pickles need to be chilled.

Pickles should always be preserved in brine, whether or not they have been pasteurized, to make sure that no part is exposed to air, which would otherwise cause the pickles to dry out, change color, and acquire an odd flavor. Don’t forget to check that the pickle jar is sealed as well.

Related: Top 5 Recommended Airtight Containers

While chilled pickles are sweeter and crunchier, both pasteurized and unpasteurized pickles are nutritious and delicious.

When it Comes to Pickles, How Long Does a Jar Last?

If stored properly, unopened pasteurized pickles can last up to 3 months past the “best by” date. Pasteurized open pickles should be chilled immediately after opening, after which they can last slightly more than 3 months. It is not advisable to eat them past their “best by” date.

If kept in the fridge, unpasteurized, unopened pickles can last for 3 months, past the “best by” date. Open, unpasteurized pickles can last for more than 3 months. Avoid eating them past their best-by date.

Are Pickles Safe After Being Frozen?

You might be curious if pickles can be frozen and if they are still good to eat after being frozen. The answer to both questions is yes. Pickles can be frozen for up to 6 months.

When you want to use them, you should take them out of the freezer and thaw them in the fridge the day before. After you’ve thawed them, make sure to eat them within two weeks; otherwise, they may become unhealthy to eat. Also, be aware that after freezing, the quality and freshness of the product will deteriorate.

How to Tell if Pickles Have Gone Bad?

Maybe you’ve had your pickles in the fridge for a long time and have no idea when you bought them. Perhaps the best before date has passed you by. You’re probably debating whether or not the pickles are edible.

When you’re not convinced whether your pickles are still fresh, look out for these signs:

  1. Change of smell. If the pickles no longer smell the same or have an unpleasant odor, then there is a 90% chance they are spoiled. Consider throwing them away.
  2. The metal screw top is bulging. If the pickling jar bulges out, something terrible must be going on with the pickles, and they might have expired, hence the need to dispose of them.
  3. Presence of mold. If you see a pickle with a sign of mold – the color could be something like dark green – discard it.
  4. Change in taste: If you’ve tried all of the above ways and are still unsure about the pickle’s freshness, you should give it a taste. The lack of crunchiness means the pickle isn’t entirely fresh. As a result, consider getting rid of it. However, the crunchiness of the pickle does not always signify its freshness.

Related: Canned Food Expiration Dates Chart: How Long Does Canned Food Realy Last?


After reading this article, you should be able to tell when pickles should be refrigerated and when they shouldn’t. As a result, you’ll be able to make smarter pickle storage decisions and enjoy them while they’re still fresh.

Further Reading: How Long Do Pickled Eggs Last?

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