Carrots have become a staple of our diet, and no wonder either. They are highly nutritious and provide us with what we need to stay healthy – so long as we keep on eating them.
Not only that, but they are tasty too. They have a sweetness to them that other veggies do not have. They can also be cooked and added to dishes in various ways.
However, it can be difficult to know how long carrots last. Often we buy them fresh, and that means knowing how to store them properly in order to preserve them for as long as we can.
Also, it often depends on whether the carrots are cut or whole, as well as cooked or uncooked. These differences can change how long the carrots last, and how long you can store them until they should be thrown in the trash.
In this article, you will learn the different ways of telling if a carrot has gone bad, how to store carrots properly depending on various things, and whether the carrot should be eaten or thrown out.
How Long Do Carrots Last For?
When it comes to how long carrots last, it all depends on what state the carrot is in. For example, is the carrot whole and fresh? Are they carrots that have been sliced? Or are they baby carrots?
Each type of carrot has its own length of time when it is suitable to eat before going bad. They also have various methods of storage to ensure that they last longer.
However, times are generally only estimates, and you will want to take a look at the carrot to make sure it is okay to eat. Even so, here is a table to give you a rough idea of how long carrots last:
Type of Carrot | Fridge | Pantry
Whole carrot | 2 to 4 weeks | 3 to 5 days
Sliced carrot | 1 to 2 weeks
Shredded carrot | 3 to 4 days
Cooked carrot (leftovers) | 3 to 4 days
Baby carrot | 1 to 2 weeks
What Can Help Fresh Carrots To Last Longer?
When you have some fresh carrots to hand, the best thing you can do is put them in the refrigerator. This will ensure that they last longer. If you plan to use them within a few days, then a pantry is fine to leave them in.
When you put the carrots in the fridge, whole carrots can last from two all the way up to four weeks. When they are put in a pantry, it could be as little as three to five days. This depends on the overall temperature, with a cooler temp meaning they last longer.
However, the only reason the carrots will last for a long time in the refrigerator is also because of how they are stored. Carrots generally need to have water in order to last a lot longer. This also applies to sliced and cut carrots too.
We shall cover this section in more detail later in the article.
Do Baby Carrots Go Bad Quicker Than Full-Sized Carrots?
Baby carrots do not last as long as full-sized whole carrots. If stored correctly, a whole large carrot can last up to four weeks while a baby carrot will last up to two weeks at best.
This is because baby carrots are picked before the carrot has reached maturity. Due to the carrot not being fully developed, it means it will go bad quickly. However, just like with any other carrot, the storage matters.
You may find that if the baby carrots are stored well that they last for an extra week.
What Is The Best Way To Store Carrots?
There are two ways you can store whole and baby carrots, and that is in the fridge or the pantry. You will want to make sure that no matter what, the temperature is cool rather than warm.
Keeping the carrots in a warm environment will only speed up the process of them turning bad and unsuitable to eat.
If you buy your carrots fresh, ensure that they are cleaned and the green is removed. If you plan to use this elsewhere, wrap the greens in a paper towel that is moist rather than wet.
When it comes to cooked and cut carrots, the refrigerator is the best option to ensure you can still eat them. They also need a cooler environment.
Putting Carrots Into The Fridge
The best way to preserve carrots is by placing them in the refrigerator. Rather than placing them anywhere, keep them in the drawer, away from fruits and vegetables that release ethylene. These are apples, pears, bananas, and so on.
If you do place it next to these types of foods, then it will only cause the carrots to go bad quicker – hence these types of fruits and veggies are used to quickly ripen avocados.
The carrots will do fine within their plastic bag and placed in the drawer of the fridge. Make sure the top is left open so there is ventilation.
If you want the carrots to last even longer, then you can create a wetter environment for them. You can do this by wrapping the carrots in a moist paper towel within their bag.
Or, you can place carrots in water inside a container. Just remember to change the water once a week, or if the water looks murky. It is the exact same for whole baby carrots too!
Putting Carrots Into The Pantry
Another option is to put carrots in the pantry. This is best for full-sized and whole carrots when you are going to use them within a few days. You just need to make sure that the area is cold, rather than warm.
For this reason, a cellar would work as well. If you only have a kitchen cabinet to use, then this is a great short-term solution too – especially if the sun does not hit this area to make it warm.
While carrots will not last for weeks in this situation, you will find that carrots do not tend to turn to mush very fast. However, they will if the area is warm and humid. So, keep the area cool and dry to ensure the carrots last longer.
What Is The Best Way To Store Cooked Carrots?
If you have leftover cooked carrots, then you should put them in the cold environment of a fridge, rather than in a pantry.
Once the carrots have cooled down, then place them in a Ziploc bag or an airtight container and put them into the refrigerator. They will then last for up to a week at most.
Just make sure that they have not been at room temperature for more than two hours. If they have, then you risk mold growth on the carrots which will make them unsafe to eat.
What Is The Best Way To Store Cut Carrots?
Just like with leftover carrots, you will want to place cut (but uncooked) carrots in the refrigerator. They will not last a day left out of a cold environment. They also risk mold growth which would make them unsafe to consume.
Place cut carrots in a Ziploc bag or an airtight container and put them into the refrigerator. They then have the chance to last for a week or two.
To attempt to make them last even longer, place them in water the same way you can whole, uncooked carrots.
Do Carrots Generally Need To Be Put In The Fridge?
Carrots actually do not need to be put into the fridge. They can survive for a few days in a colder environment such as a cellar or a pantry.
However, if you want carrots to last longer, then your best bet is to store them properly in a refrigerator.
How Can You Tell Carrots Have Gone Bad?
There are a few ways to tell if carrots have gone bad. These are:
- Signs of mold – one of the biggest telltale signs of a carrot being bad is noticeable mold. It is an obvious way of knowing whether a carrot is okay to eat or not. Once you see the mold, throw the carrot out. They should not be eaten.
- Slimy or soft – carrots tend to go soft, slimy, and mushy. If the carrot mushes in your hand or is slimy, then throw it out. If it is slightly bendy, then it can be eaten.
- Bad odor – carrots can take on a terrible odor, though it is not very common. If the carrots do smell, however, throw them out. It means they have gone rotten.
Carrots are delicious and can be eaten in a variety of ways. Because of this, you may need to know how to store them properly and how long they last.
Fortunately, so long as you store whole, cut, uncooked, and baby carrots properly, they can be preserved for a number of weeks until they start to go bad.