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How long will jarred pickled beets last?

Pickled beets are a delicious and versatile ingredient that can last a long time when properly stored. Jarred pickled beets that are unopened and remain sealed can stay fresh 1 to 2 years beyond the “best by” date on the jar. Once opened, an unrefrigerated jar of pickled beets will last 4 to 6 months. Refrigerating an opened jar extends the shelf life for another 6 to 9 months. There are also some factors that determine how long pickled beets last. With proper storage and handling, jarred pickled beets can stay good for up to 2 years after purchase.

How Long Do Unopened Jarred Pickled Beets Last?

An unopened jar of pickled beets will maintain quality and freshness for a very long time, thanks to the canning process which removes oxygen and seals in the jar sterilized food. Here are the timelines for unopened jarred pickled beets:

Storage Method Timeline
Pantry/cupboard 1 to 2 years past “best by” date
Refrigerator 2 to 3 years past “best by” date

As long as the seal on the jar lid remains intact with no bulging, rust, or leakage, unopened jarred pickled beets remain safe indefinitely. The contents may start to lose quality after the times noted above, but will still be consumable. Discard any jars with broken seals or rust stains.

How Long Do Opened Jarred Pickled Beets Last?

Once opened, the shelf life of jarred pickled beets is shortened due to exposure to oxygen. Here is how long opened pickled beets last:

Storage Method Timeline
Pantry 4 to 6 months
Refrigerator 6 to 9 months

For optimal freshness and quality, store any unused pickled beets in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Pickled beets may start to taste more acidic the longer they are stored after opening.

How to Tell if Pickled Beets are Bad

It’s easy to tell when pickled beets have gone bad through sight, smell and texture:


Look for any mold, sliminess, or cloudiness in the liquid. Discard if any of those are present. The beets themselves may also appear dull, faded or mushy.


Pickled beets that have spoiled will have an unpleasant, rotten odor. Fresh pickled beets should smell vinegary.


Press on the beets – they should feel firm. Soft or mushy beets indicate spoilage. The liquid should not be viscous or sticky.

How to Store Pickled Beets for Maximum Freshness

Pickled beets last longer when stored properly. Here are some storage tips:

– Store unopened jars in a cool, dark place like the pantry or cupboard. Avoid warm areas.

– Refrigerate opened jars in an airtight container. Cold temperatures slow bacteria growth.

– Keep the lid tight on the jar and wipe any drips to prevent stickiness. Sticky lids can compromise the seal.

– Inspect jars periodically and use within suggested timelines.

– Make sure jars are sterilized before reuse.

– Don’t store beets in metal containers – the vinegar can react and corrode the metal. Use glass or plastic containers.

Tips for Serving Leftover Pickled Beets

To maximize the shelf life of leftover pickled beets, follow these suggestions:

– Use within 3 to 5 days for peak quality and taste.

– Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

– Handle with clean utensils to prevent contamination.

– Add other ingredients like oil and vinegar to brighten up older pickled beets.

– Puree into a dip or spread if beets have softened.

– Use in cooked dishes like roasted vegetables or pot roast for added flavor.

– Mix into potato salad, coleslaw, or sandwiches to liven them up.

– Garnish salads, grains or cheese boards with pickled beets. The acidity enhances other foods.


With proper storage and handling, jarred pickled beets can stay fresh and flavorful for up to 2 years after the purchase date. Unopened jars last 1-2 years at room temperature and even longer if refrigerated. Once opened, enjoy pickled beets within 4-6 months if kept in the pantry, or 6-9 months if refrigerated. Check for spoiled beets by looking for mold, sliminess, foul odors or mushy texture. Leftover pickled beets can be used to brighten up many dishes when consumed within 3-5 days. Follow the storage methods here to get the longest shelf life out of your jarred pickled beets.