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How Long Do Peppercorns Last – What Is the Shelf Life of Every Type?

Peppercorns are a flowering vine originating in India and other parts of Asia. You can add peppercorns to your dishes in powered or full form. The most popular type of peppercorns is black pepper. But white, green, and red peppercorns are also available in most markets today.

So if you’re planning on stocking up on peppercorns. It’s normal to want to know how long do peppercorns last. This article talks about how you can store peppercorns and their shelf life. This information should be helpful for all of you who want to store food better so that it lasts longer in your kitchen.

And you won’t believe how much money this can save you. Even if it’s such a tiny spice as peppercorns.

How Long Do Peppercorns Last?

When you store peppercorns in a nice, sealed container – it can last for 3 years. This is when you store peppercorns. And not in their powdered form.

Powdered peppercorns lose their aroma, intensity, and flavor after 3 to 4 months. Ground pepper, as it is popularly called, must be stored in a sealed container. Make sure it’s kept in a cool and dry environment.

But even so, ground pepper can easily lose its taste sooner than peppercorns.

There are different ways of adding peppercorns into your diet…

Whole Peppercorns

These have the longest shelf life. You store them in a container with a tight lid. Keep it in a dry and cool environment. And peppercorns can last for about 3 to 4 years. Making it easier for you to buy in bulk for a long period of time.

Ground Peppercorns

The second-longest shelf life, they are easy to purchase in any supermarket. You can even ground the peppercorns yourself at home after roasting them. Lots of cooks roast and ground peppercorns as per requirements.

If you want the best taste and aroma, it’s best to keep the peppercorns whole and grind them as needed in recipes or as a salad dressing.

Anywho, ground peppercorns have a shelf life of about 3 to 4 months. They will lose their aroma and taste after that period. Even if you store it well in a dry and cool place away from moisture and air exposure.

Brined Peppercorns

Brined peppercorns are preserved peppercorns. Just as how you can pickle cucumbers, beets, and carrots. Pickled peppercorns are stored in the refrigerator. Green peppercorns are commonly used for this food preservation technique.

And they need to be kept in the fridge. The shelf life of brined peppercorns is 30 days.

You can make brined peppercorns in a mixture of water, vinegar, and salt. Make sure you add the green peppercorns in a jar along with the mixture. You can use both the juice and the peppercorns in a variety of dishes.

Water-Soaked Peppercorns

The shortest shelf life is of water-packed peppercorns. They are simply soaked in water in jars. Like brined peppercorns, they need to be kept in the fridge. And their shelf is about 7 days.


Peppercorns are available in a variety of ways. Coarsely-ground, cracked, pickled, roasted, or water-soaked. Whole peppercorns, for long-term storage, are perfect. They last the longest, are easy to store, and you can use them in so many dishes.

Whole peppercorns stay fresh longer than ground peppercorns. But ground peppercorns offer the best flavor and aroma of pepper. So if you want to use ground pepper in your recipes, you can roast and grind them at home yourself.

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