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How Long Does Pepper Last?

29th Apr 2024

Given that pepper is the second most popular spice in the world (behind its common companion, salt) it makes sense that most of us like to stock up on it. Whether it’s in the form of whole peppercorns, cracked, coarse or ground pepper; this pungent and earthy spice finds its way into many of our day-to-day meals.

So rather than buying more pepper every time you do a small grocery shop, you might be wondering how long pepper lasts. The answer varies depending on whether it’s cracked or ground, still whole and so on.

Here’s a guide to how long different kinds of black pepper last:

  • Whole peppercorns can be kept in a sealed container in a cool, dry place for up to three years (the flavour may lose some of its sharpness after about a year, but this just means you might have to use a bit more to get the same effect).
  • Cracked pepper also has a shelf life of around three to four years, so long as it’s stored correctly – again, sealed container in a cool and dry place.
  • Ground pepper starts to lose its flavour around the four-month mark, so unless you’re consuming copious amounts, it’s usually a good idea to avoid those gigantic cans you see in the supermarket. The same goes for coarse ground pepper.

There are some general rules of thumb that apply to all black pepper, and that is to keep it away from heat (i.e. don’t have your spice rack right next to the oven, stove, kettle or anywhere that gets exposed to direct sunlight for long periods throughout the day) and keep it away from moisture as well.

If any moisture manages to find its way into your bag or jar of black pepper, throw all of it out. The pepper may be mouldy, and eating it will make you sick. If you find that the whole peppercorns or ground pepper looks different, like a change in colour or texture, then this is also a sign that it’s been contaminated in some way – throw it out to be on the safe side.

The Salt Box supplies 100% natural pepper for all your culinary delights

Time to replenish your spice rack? The Salt Box supplies a wide range of black pepper varieties, from Australian Black Pepper and Australian Cracked Black Pepper to Kampot Black Pepper, Szechuan Pepper, Mountain Pepperleaf and more.

Shop with us online and enjoy 100% natural ingredients with efficient dispatch to your door at affordable prices Australia-wide.