What’s the Best Way to Store Walnuts?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Q: Shelled walnuts that were stored in the refrigerator turned black. This happened in hot, humid tropical weather. Does this mean the walnuts went bad? How can walnuts be stored in tropical weather to get the maximum shelf life out of them?

Sent by Asana

Editor: If your walnuts have turned black, they’re bad. Give them a whiff. Do they smell like paint thinner? That’s a sure sign it’s time to toss them. The high fat content in walnuts makes them particularly susceptible to spoilage, so keeping them very cold is the key to long-lasting freshness.

If you’re going to use the walnuts pretty quickly, the fridge should work, but for long-term storage, the best bet is to freeze them. Make sure they’re in an airtight container and away from odorous foods, like onions or cabbage — they pick up strong scents pretty quickly. If you buy whole, shelled walnuts, store them as is, only chopping or grinding as needed to preserve freshness.