Sun-dried tomatoes are a delicious snack or ingredient for recipes. They have a distinct juiciness that is both salty and sweet, making them an absolute favorite in salads, pasta dishes, and more.
They are made by reducing most of the moisture when left to dry in the sun. Sun-drying is an excellent way to preserve tomatoes that has been used for generations. They are then preserved with oil or salt, occasionally including added herbs like basil and rosemary.
Generally, these popular and nutritious tomatoes are found in most stores year-round, so here’s what you should know about them when it comes to storage.
How Long Do Sun-dried Tomatoes Last Unopened?
Sun-dried tomatoes preserved in oil can last for around a year when kept in the best conditions. Store them in a cool dark place in your pantry to ensure they stay fresh and maintain quality for as long as possible.
Tomatoes stored in glass jars will last longer than the ones stored in cans or plastic while also maintaining the flavor and freshness much better.
Avoid light and places where the temperature fluctuates, such as windows, cooking areas, and so on.
In most cases, sun-dried tomatoes will last for an average of around 9 months when unopened and stored in average-fair conditions.
How Long Do Sun-Dried Tomatoes Last Once Open?
Once opened, the spoiling process begins immediately as air and moisture are introduced to the storage environment. How long they will last after this point depends on several additional factors.
If the oil level still covers the tomatoes, this will help keep them edible for longer as it helps keep them fresh by keeping out moisture. Oil is used for helping store them in the first place, so you can always add additional oil if needed. Sun-dried tomatoes submerged in oil with something to keep the air out should last anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months when refrigerated.
Open containers of sun-dried tomatoes should be refrigerated and covered as soon as possible after use; otherwise, they will only last a few days at most.
Non-refrigerated sun-dried tomatoes will only last a few days at most once opened at room temperature. In warmer temperatures, you can expect them to lose freshness much faster.
Where Should I Store My Sun-dried Tomatoes?
You should store your sun-dried tomatoes in two places, depending on whether they are opened or unopened.
When opened, you should store your sun-dried tomatoes in the fridge with a nice covering of oil and a tight lid or something else that’ll help keep the air out.
When unopened, you should store them in a dark area that’s nice and cool with a steady temperature throughout the day and the year.
Can I Freeze Sun-Dried Tomatoes?
You can freeze your sun-dried tomatoes in appropriate storage containers for a few months. In addition, it can help to mark your new use-by date on your storage containers.
The storage time after defrosting sun-dried tomatoes will be heavily reduced, so you should make sure to eat them within 24-48 hours after defrosting.
Can I Eat Sun-dried Tomatoes Past The Expiration Date?
You can eat most foods beyond the expiration date, especially when advertised with a ‘best by’ or ‘best before’ label. As with all expired foods, be aware that the longer that goes by, the more risk there is. So you should always watch for the signs of when they might have gone bad.
Do Sun-Dried Tomatoes Go Bad And What Are The Signs When They Have?
All foods will eventually go bad, including sun-dried tomatoes. So if you see any of the following signs, then it is time to throw them out.
1. If the oil goes rancid or smells unusual
2. If mold is growing on the surface of the oil or the tomatoes
3. If the tomatoes have been left out of the oil and have oxidized, becoming discolored
If all of these things seem fine and you start eating the tomatoes, and they’ve become brittle, very chewy, or taste odd, then it’s time to spit them out and throw them out. A lack of moisture in sun-dried tomatoes is another sign that it’s time to say goodbye, as that usually means they are past their best.
The key to storing sun-dried tomatoes is all about knowing how to extend their shelf-life. In all cases, this means a room temperature to cool and dark space in the kitchen or pantry. Then, once you’ve opened them, you should store them in the fridge.