Brussels sprouts are a deliciously healthy food that are full of nutrients for your body. They are delicious when roasted, grilled, boiled, and fried. But how long do Brussels sprouts last? The answer depends on how they’re stored as well as whether they’re prepared or fresh from the supermarket or your garden. Let’s take a look at the variables.
What To Look For When Buying Brussels Sprouts?
Part of the factor that allows your Brussels sprouts to have the longest shelf life possible is selecting good ones at the grocery store. But, how can you know good Brussels sprouts when shopping?
Bright Green. Choose Brussels sprouts that are a bright or deep green color. Avoid sprouts that are yellow green. A nice green color indicates freshness and will help to prolong their shelf life.
No Wrinkles. Avoid sprouts that are wrinkly or ones that have shriveled leaves. These could indicate that they’ve been around for a while already and will spoil more rapidly.
Blemish Free. Choose Brussels sprouts that look good and healthy overall. You’ll want to stay away from ones that have pest or worm holes in the leaves, as well as brown or black spots.
Firm. When purchasing Brussels sprouts, good ones should be nice and firm to the touch. Stay away from ones that are mushy or soft when gently pressed.
Once you’ve selected Brussels sprouts that are nice and fresh you’re off to a good start to maximizing their shelf life.
The next important factor is how they’re stored. Let’s look at how to store Brussels sprouts to keep them fresh and flavorsome.
How to Store Brussels Sprouts
Knowing the importance of storing your Brussel sprouts correctly is one of the most important factors for maximizing the length of shelf life for any kind of fresh produce.
Knowing how to store Brussels sprouts to extend their shelf life will allow you to keep them fresh until you want to prepare them. The best way to store Brussels sprouts is in the refrigerator or freezer.
How to Store Brussels Sprouts on the Stalk
If you’re able to obtain Brussels sprouts on the stalk, then do. It’s the best way to keep them fresh for a longer length of time. Whether you’re growing them on a stalk in your garden or buying them that way at the supermarket, it’s the way to go when that option is available.
To know how to store Brussels sprouts on the stalk, place the end of the stalk in water and store them in the refrigerator. If your refrigerator doesn’t have enough space to store them standing up in a pitcher of water, then another good option is to wrap the end of the stem in a damp paper towel. This will allow you to lay it down in the refrigerator for storage.
When using Brussels sprouts from a stalk, only cut off the ones that you have plans to use immediately, leaving the other intact for later use, which will optimize freshness and length of shelf life. Wash the sprouts thoroughly only after they’re removed from the stalk and then prepare them as desired.
Storing Whole Brussels Sprouts
The next best thing for storing uncooked Brussels sprouts if they’re not obtained on the stalk, is to keep them whole until you’re ready to use them. Just keep them wrapped in their original packaging for fresh sprouts and place them in the refrigerator.
Or if you buy them unwrapped, do not wash them first, but rather leave them unwashed and place them in an airtight container or zipped food storage bag in the refrigerator. They should be used within 3-5 days. Wash them immediately before they’re prepared.
Storing Chopped Brussels Sprouts
Once Brussels sprouts are chopped, they will need to be used rather quickly because they’ll begin to dry out and turn brown. You have a couple of options for chopped sprouts. If you desire to use them today, go ahead and wash and prepare them. This is the best option.
If you plan to save them until tomorrow, you’ll want to place them in an airtight container or zipped storage bag and keep them in the refrigerator. Add a little water to the container or baggie so that they don’t turn brown or dry out so quickly.
If you don’t plan to use them today or tomorrow, you’ll want to read and follow our instructions below for how to freeze Brussels sprouts.
Can You Refrigerate or Freeze Brussels Sprouts?
Yes, either is fine. Whether they’re cooked or uncooked, you can refrigerate them for up to 3-5 days, or you can freeze them for up to 12 months.
Brussels Sprouts Shelf Life: How Long Do Brussels Sprouts Last?
Whether your sprouts are cooked or uncooked, they should last for 3-5 days in the refrigerator and up to 12 months in the freezer.
|Refrigerator||3-5 days||3-5 days|
|Freezer||12 months||12 months|
Do Brussels Sprouts Need to be Refrigerated?
The best way to keep Brussels sprouts if you’re not using them today is to store them in the refrigerator for use within 5 days, or for longer term storage, you can place them in the freezer for up to 12 months.
Can You Store Them at Room Temperature? Yes, but not for long. Uncooked and unwashed Brussels sprouts can be stored at room temperature, but we only recommend that for Brussels sprouts that you plan to use today.
Otherwise keeping them in the refrigerator will provide better results for freshness and length of shelf life. For ones to be enjoyed today it’s okay to store at room temp then prepare.
How Long are Brussels Sprouts good for when prepared in a dish?
As noted in our table above, after your sprouts have been cooked, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days and they can be frozen for up to 12 months.
Storing Brussels Sprouts Long Term
The best way to store Brussels sprouts long term is to freeze them. Follow our step-by-step instructions below for the best results for how to freeze Brussels sprouts. Freezing them will allow them to keep for up to 12 months.
Avoid Washing Too Early
When working with Brussels sprouts, you’ll want to avoid washing them too early. The best time to wash them is right before you prepare them.
Washing them when you bring them home from the store and then storing them in the refrigerator can shorten their shelf life. Washing them adds moisture which can speed up the molding process. Save washing them to right before using them.
Can You Freeze Brussels Sprouts?
Yes, Brussels sprouts can be frozen. In fact, it lengthens their shelf life from 3-5 days in the refrigerator to up to 12 months in the freezer. If you’re growing Brussels sprouts in your garden in a quantity and want to store them for a length of time, consider freezing them.
Why Should You Freeze Brussel Sprouts?
Brussels sprouts should be frozen anytime you can’t use them right away or want to store them for later. Freezing them helps keep them fresh for when you want to use them. It’s a great solution instead of allowing them to spoil by other storage methods.
How to Freeze Brussels Sprouts
Freezing Brussels sprouts is quite straightforward. We include step by step instructions as follows for freezing them.
The best way to freeze Brussels sprouts is by preparing them and blanching them before placing them in the freezer. Here are the steps.
Step 1. Separating from the stalk
If you were able to obtain Brussels sprouts that are still on the stalk, the first step toward freezing them is to remove them from the stalk. Carefully use a sharp knife to cut them from the stalk but being careful to not cut up into the ball of your sprout.
Step 2. Washing and draining
Place your sprouts in a colander and wash them under cool water, rolling them around with your fingers to remove any dust or debris. Remove any bad outer leaves.
Step 3. Blanching
The next step is to fill a soup pot or the desired pan with water and bring it to a boil. Add the sprouts and boil the Brussels sprouts for about 3 minutes, until they’re bright green in color.
Step 4. Ice bath
After the sprouts have boiled, you’ll want to dump them in a pan of prepared ice water. Plunge in ice water for about 30 seconds. This is just long enough to stop them from cooking any further.
Step 5. Dry
Spread the Brussels sprouts on a clean surface covered with a clean towel. Allow them to sit for a few minutes until most of the water has dried off. Pat them with another clean towel to speed up the process.
Step 6. Flash freeze
The best way to freeze them so they don’t stick together in one big blob is to flash freeze them. This means that you’ll want to spread them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer for about an hour until they start to freeze.
Step 7. Storing
Once the sprouts have started to freeze, remove them from the cookie sheet and place them inside a zipped freezer bag that’s labeled with the contents and today’s date. Store the Brussels Sprouts in the freezer for up to 12 months.
Can You Freeze Brussels Sprouts Without Blanching?
Yes, you can freeze Brussels sprouts without blanching them first, but we don’t recommend it. When they’re frozen without blanching them first, they come out mushy instead of nice and firm like they are when they’re fresh.
Benefits of Blanching Brussels Sprouts
One of the main benefits of blanching Brussels sprouts before freezing them is that blanching helps to maintain the nutrients in the vegetable. It also helps to achieve a good quality, for a nice firm and fresh like outcome.
If you’re thinking twice about whether to blanch them before freezing, we strongly encourage you to take the extra few minutes of time it takes as it provides a significant difference in outcome.
Now that they’re frozen, you might be wondering how can I thaw Brussels sprouts?
How To Thaw Frozen Brussel Sprouts?
There are two main ways to thaw frozen Brussels sprouts. The first is just to take them directly from the freezer and place them on a baking sheet to roast in the oven or however you intend to cook them. We refer to this method as the bake directly method.
The other option is to remove them from the freezer and place them on the kitchen counter and allow them to sit at room temperature for a few minutes before preparing them. Either way works fine and is a matter of personal preference or convenience.
How To Handle Brussels Sprouts
Before cooking Brussels sprouts, you’ll want to wash them in cool water to remove any dust or unwanted debris, and then trim off any bad leaves. This should be done right before they’re used, otherwise length of shelf life will be altered.
How to Cook Brussels Sprouts
There are a variety of ways that Brussels sprouts can be cooked. Some of our favorite ways include roasting them in the oven, frying them on the stovetop, or grilling them on the grill.
To make oven-roasted Brussels sprouts, place prepared sprouts on a cooking sheet. Drizzle them with oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 400F degrees for 10 minutes or until desired doneness is achieved.
To make stove-top fried Brussels sprouts, place prepared sprouts in a frying pan, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until desired doneness is achieved.
To make grilled Brussels sprouts, place prepared sprouts in a cast iron skillet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until desired doneness is achieved.
Can Brussels Sprouts Go Bad?
Yes, just like any produce, Brussels sprouts can go bad. That’s why selecting the freshest ones possible is the first important step and then knowing how to properly store them is the next important step to lengthening shelf-life and preparing a delicious dish.
How to Tell If Brussels Sprouts Are Bad
To know how to tell if Brussels sprouts are bad, rotten, or spoiled, you can generally use your 5 senses and come to an accurate conclusion.
If they look bad and have developed mold, they have likely gone bad. If they smell strange and have an undesirable odor, then they’re probably bad. If they seem slimy to the touch or are soft, it’s likely they’ve gone bad. Or if they just plain taste off, then they’re bad.
If you suspect that your Brussels sprouts have gone bad, do not take a risk, but rather throw them away instead.
How Long Do Fresh Brussels Sprouts Last?
So, how long do Brussels sprouts last? Here’s the answer.
1 day chopped, refrigerated
3-5 days whole, refrigerated
12 months frozen
We trust you’ve found the information we’ve provided about Brussels sprouts storage and shelf-life summary helpful. If you have a question that’s not answered here, just drop it in the comments box below and we’ll be happy to answer it.