How Long You Can Actually Store Dried Corn Kernels In Your Pantry

Dried corn kernels are a great staple to keep stored in your kitchen. Not only is dried corn convenient and nutritious — with plenty of fiber and vitamins — but it is also one of the pantry items with the longest shelf life. As with many long-lived grocery items, however, you may lose track of when you first added that stock of dried corn kernels to your pantry and begin wondering just how long you can let it sit. Read on to learn the best time frame for storing corn kernels and how to keep them fresh for as long as possible.

Different types of corn can last for different lengths of time. In most cases, the dried corn you will want in your kitchen will be dried sweet corn. This is the type of corn used for recipes like corn on the cob, corn chowder, and so on, and it can last for two to three years on average. There may also be a chance you are storing a variety known as dent corn, which is used for making corn flour — in which case you will have it on hand for a while. Dent corn is incredibly hardy and can last for up to 20 years. Of course, all of these time frames are dependent upon proper storage. In order to maintain your corn's quality, be sure to store it in an airtight container away from heat, light, and moisture.

How to tell if dried corn kernels have spoiled

Of course, even long-lasting foods do eventually go bad. As such, you should still be keeping an eye on your dried corn to see if it is showing any signs of expiration. Check for visible evidence, like a sudden change in color or mold growth, as well as any unpleasant smells or the presence of pests. If any of these traits are present, it is best to throw out the corn rather than eat it in order to prevent yourself from consuming a meal that is unpleasant — or worse, harmful to your health.

If you think your dried corn kernels are beginning to decline in quality, the easiest way to mitigate the problem is simply by using them up faster. Dried corn kernels can be treated exactly like their fresh counterparts once they have been rehydrated. This means you can use them for everything from appetizers, like these savory corn fritters, to main courses and desserts, like this moist corn casserole and these cornbread ice cream sandwiches.