Do This Before You Refrigerate Nuts

When you think of foods that need to be refrigerated in order to keep fresh and tasty, you think of shining fruits bursting with juice, brightly colored vegetables, and plump pink meats — all ready to be cleaned and prepped. All best when fresh. Surprisingly, nuts are the same way.

They do typically keep a little longer at room temperature than some other produce, but if you plan on keeping your nuts for a while, then you need to start refrigerating them. According to the Food Network, nuts contain high levels of unsaturated fat (a type of natural oil) that can go rancid if left for too long at room temperature. Oxygen, humidity, and heat can all accelerate the spoiling process; thankfully, these are all factors that can be carefully regulated in your refrigerator.

Some nuts, specifically chestnuts, may require special preparation before their trip to the fridge. As La Cucina Italiana explains, for example, chestnuts should be soaked for nine days prior, with the water changed out daily. Typically, though, most nuts don't require such attention and are safe to store in the fridge as they are. Per The Spruce Eats, refrigerated nuts can last up to six months. This said, before you store your nuts for the season in the fridge, you should do a few things first.

Prepping your nuts for the fridge

While your refrigerator may be a more optimal environment to store nuts, there are still some things to make sure of before just tossing them in there.

One crucial thing to note is that nuts and other foods with high concentrations of unsaturated fats are particularly good at absorbing odors that they happen to be around, so your nuts should be stored in airtight containers or sealed bags to ensure they don't end up tasting like your fridge smells, per Tropical Foods. It's also wise to keep nuts away from particularly smelly foods like onions as the smell can travel quickly and is very difficult to get out.

Another risk with refrigeration is that the nuts may begin to lose their flavor slightly, both the Food Network and The Spruce Eats recommend toasting or roasting your nuts before using them to try and revitalize the nuts and reconstitute some of their flavors.