How to Tell if Walnuts are Bad?

If you are wondering How to Tell if Walnuts are Bad? You can check their quality. They should last six months in the fridge or at least a year if kept in the freezer when they are still shelled. Before consuming them, you should always look at their condition. An excellent way to determine if walnuts are rancid is to inspect their appearance. If they are dry, moldy, or shriveled, they should be discarded.


Walnuts Nutrition Facts

walnuts nutrition facts


The nut of any tree in the genus Juglans (family Juglandaceae), especially the Persian or English walnut, Juglans regia, is known as a walnut. The edible seed of a drupe, the walnut, is not a proper botanical nut. It’s most typically eaten like a nut, and it is used as a garnish or snack after it has fully ripened for its edible seed and the shell has been discarded. The nuts of the eastern black walnut (Juglans nigra) and butternuts (Juglans cinerea) are less typically consumed.

Walnuts are rounded, single-seeded stone fruits of the walnut tree that are typically used for the meat after fully ripening between September and November, when the husk is removed, revealing a browning, wrinkly walnut shell, which is usually available in two segments commercially (three or four-segment shells can also form). The husk will become brittle, and the shell will grow rigid as the fruit ripens.

How to Tell if Walnuts are Bad?

Walnuts can go wrong. We can quickly determine whether walnuts are excellent or lousy by some easy signs:

  • The walnut shell should be intact and not dry out or shrink. If you notice that the shell is unhealthy, discard it. If you notice a rusty ring, you can check if the nut has gone wrong.
  • You should also check if the nut is discolored or has a foul odor. If it smells rancid or has any rust, throw it away.
  • You can also test the kernel’s quality by soaking a walnut in water if a walnut’s shell is dark brown.
  • It is likely to be stale if you see a fungus or mold on the surface. This means that the walnut is terrible. Once the oil has turned rancid, it will become bitter and inedible.
  • Some walnuts can pass through a variety of tests without being detected. This is unfortunate because these foods can ruin a meal if not thrown away.
  • If you’re unsure, try sniffing them. A rancid walnut will have a bitter smell and will not be edible, and you should always discard stale ones.
  • A good quality walnut will have a mild, nutty flavor and won’t taste rancid. However, if a walnut has a bitter odor, it’s probably not a good choice.
  • Some walnuts can go wrong. They have dark spots, which means that they have gone wrong. These walnuts taste bitter and will not be fresh. The best time to throw them away is when they’re too soft and shriveled.
  • The shell and oiliness indicate whether they’re safe to eat.
  • Check walnuts for defects. Check for mold, shrinkage, and wormholes. Smell them to determine rancidity.

How To Store Walnuts?

Walnut storage is similar to other nuts, such as pecans and pine nuts. As you may know, nuts are high in oil, which tends to go rancid. Prolonged exposure to warm temperatures, temperature shifts, moisture, or oxygen can produce rancidification. As a result, conserving them usually entails protecting them from these elements. Walnuts are usually sold with their shells on or shelled. Because the shell serves as an excellent protective barrier, unshelled walnuts survive longer and have fewer storage requirements.

Shelled walnuts get rancid significantly faster than unshelled walnuts. If you want to keep them for a long time, you should refrigerate or freeze them. You can toss the walnuts into the fridge as-is as long as the package is unopened; no further wrapping is necessary. If you want to freeze them right soon, you’ll need some protection. A sealed freezer bag or an airtight container would suffice.

Once the packaging has been opened, place the nuts in an airtight container or freezer bag. This will keep the moisture from the fridge at bay while also preventing the entry of any unpleasant aromas. The latter is crucial since walnuts that have been removed from their shells are prone to absorbing solid scents. The same containers can be used to store the nuts in the freezer.

How Long Do Walnuts Last?

Unshelled walnuts were kept for roughly a year in the pantry. Of all, it’s not as if all the nuts should be thrown away after that period. However, there’s a reasonable probability that at least a few of them will be dried out or stale and that some of them will be rotten. If you bought a package with a best-by date on the label, you could safely expect that the majority of the nuts will last for a few months longer. In other words, the longer you store unshelled walnuts, the more likely they will break and turn rancid. It’s reasonable to anticipate that walnuts out of the shell will keep their freshness for around six months in the fridge and at least a year in the freezer.
The longer you store them, the more they turn rancid, just like their unshelled cousins. Furthermore, rotten walnuts have a bitter flavor that is unsuitable for any dish.


When walnuts go wrong, they lose their freshness. The oxidation process causes them to go wrong, but the deterioration doesn’t harm you right away. But it can cause discomfort during digestion. And if you don’t keep them cool, they’ll turn rancid. Once walnuts have turned sour, they need to be tossed immediately. There are several ways to tell if walnuts are rancid.