Pumpkin is a very popular type of squash that includes a group of cultivars originating from the species Cucurbita pepo. Pumpkins are round or oblong in shape with thick, orange-colored skin and deep yellow to orange-yellow flesh. I like to eat pumpkin pie as well.
Also, the pumpkin is the state vegetable of New Hampshire and North Carolina, as it is common throughout the United States. Pumpkins are one of the most popular gourds grown for decorating around Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Day of the Dead.
But how long do pumpkins last? This article is a detailed guide for you to get information about how long pumpkins are good.
How Long Do Pumpkins Last?
Pumpkins can last for usually two to three months. However, it depends on the storing temperature and moisture in the air, so within this time, they will lose their flavor and start to rot quickly.
Moreover, Carved Jack-o-Lanterns can last for 4-7 days at room temperature. If we talk about canned pumpkin, it can last for 6 to 8 months.
To prevent your pumpkins from rotting too fast, you should store them in a dry, well-ventilated place – also avoid direct contact with sunlight – and never refrigerate the pumpkin without slicing it first. So if we do that, our pumpkins can last longer.
Shelf Life in Fridge
Pumpkins can stay good for up to five months when stored in a fridge. But make sure that you slice the pumpkin first; it will take more time to rot.
Shelf Life in Pantry
Pumpkins can stay good for up to two weeks when stored in a pantry at room temperature. Wrap them in plastic or aluminum bags to keep their shape and texture. Avoid placing pumpkins on top of each other as they are very heavy and tend to squash into one another.
Shelf Life in Freezer
Pumpkins can stay good for up to six months when stored in the freezer. Remove seeds, wash pumpkin flesh before cutting it. Cut it into slices or cubes, then seal tightly in freezer bags or containers before freezing.
How To Tell if a Pumpkin is Rotten?
Some signs will tell that pumpkin is not more edible. So let’s discover the signs.
Soft Spots & Mushy Texture
The first sign that will tell you that a pumpkin is about to spoil is its soft spots or mushy texture. You should avoid eating it if you find any of these signs on the skin of your pumpkins.
If you see some greenish-black dots on the skin of your pumpkin, don’t eat it anymore. This means that some mold is growing in the flesh, and they’re not safe to eat.
If your pumpkin starts to release a bad smell, it means that it is way past its expiration date and very mushy inside. Don’t chance eating it anymore, even if you can’t see any spoiling signs on the pumpkin’s rind.
Avoid eating any blemishes on the rind of your pumpkins, such as holes or dark spots. These are signs that some decaying process is happening, and your pumpkin is not so good to eat anymore.
If you discover rust spots on your pumpkins, avoid eating them because they can cause serious health problems if you decide to eat them.
There are some other signs on the rind of your pumpkins, so you should follow these rules if you want to keep it longer in your pantry or fridge.
Can Canned Pumpkins Go Bad?
Yes, the shelf life of an unopened canned pumpkin is 6 to 8 months, and after that, it can go bad.
Do Pumpkin Seeds Go Bad?
Yes, if you are storing seeds at room temperature, then they can last for three months. But if you want to keep them fresh for a longer time, then you should store them in the fridge where they will stay good for up to 1 year.
Can You Freeze a Pumpkin?
Yes, the shelf life of frozen pumpkins is 6 to 8 months. If you want to keep it fresh for more time, then you should keep it in the freezer, where it will remain good for up to 1 year.
How Long Does a Carved Pumpkin Last?
A Carved Jack-o-Lanterns can last for 4-7 days at room temperature, while it can last for 14 days when kept outside. If you want to keep it fresh for more time, then you should store them in the fridge where it will remain good for up to 2 weeks.
Can You Use Canned Pumpkins After Expiration Date?
No! Don’t use canned pumpkins after the expiration date printed on the container. The canned pumpkin should not be eaten if it is past its expiration date and should never be consumed if you find any leaks or holes in the can.
How to Store Pumpkins Properly?
There are some steps that you can take to enhance the shelf life of the pumpkin.
The humidity and the temperature should be the key factors to consider if you want your pumpkin to stay fresh.
A cooler temperature (50-55 degrees F) is ideal for storing pumpkins. If you are storing them in a pantry, keep them away from heat sources so their texture won’t turn mushy and soft spots won’t appear on the rind.
If you are storing your pumpkins in the kitchen, then try to use a moisture-proof container and avoid keeping them near damp places like your oven or dishwasher.
Avoid stacking pumpkins on top of each other as they tend to squash into one another and ruin their texture.
You should always check the expiration date before storing them at home. The canned pumpkin should not be eaten if it is past its expiration date and should never be consumed if you find any leaks or holes in the can.
Avoid freezing pumpkins as they will become mushy when defrosted. And don’t forget to cut the top off the pumpkin right away, or it may start to lose its moisture.
If you want to keep your pumpkin fresh for a longer period, then follow these steps: Store them in a dry and well-ventilated place, away from any heat sources.
- Store them in the fridge or freezer if possible.
- Cut away any mold, blemishes, or spoilt parts of the pumpkin.
- Don’t forget to check their expiration date before storing them at home.