How Long Do Macadamia Nuts Last?

Are you a first-time buyer who would like to know how long do macadamia nuts last? Or learn if they require refrigeration. If so, you’re in the right place.

In the next couple hundred words, I talk about shelf life, storage options, and signs that your macadamias have gone bad. If that’s the info you’re looking for, read on.

Pile of macadamia nuts
Pile of macadamia nuts

How Long Are Macadamia Nuts Good For?

Like for other nuts, the shelf life of macadamia nuts depends heavily on how you store them.

While you can find various estimates online, I think it’s best to go with a combination of what you can find in reputable sources, and on labels of packed macs.

For starters, the University of California (UOC) says macadamias last for five months at about 68 degrees F (or 20 degrees C), 12 months in the fridge, and two years in the freezer. Crackadamia (CDM) informs that the kernels keep for about six months if properly packaged.

If you look at pre-packaged macadamia nuts, the labels often have dates that are between 6 months and a year of packaging date. And many of them don’t even mention refrigeration.

Macadamia nuts in a bag closeup
Macadamia nuts in a bag closeup

To sum up these estimates, here’s what I go with:

  • Up to six months at room temperature. If you live in a hot climate, cut that in half, or go with the fridge.
  • A year in the refrigerator.
  • Two or more years in the freezer. The macs won’t go bad in the freezer, but the longer they sit in there, the worse their quality after thawing.

If you buy macadamia nuts packaged, the date on the label is a good starting point. If you do a good of storing the nuts, they should retain quality at least up to that date, possibly longer. If you need even more time, refrigeration or freezing is in order.

Macadamia nuts in a measuring spoon
Macadamia nuts in a measuring spoon

How To Store Macadamia Nuts

I don’t know about you, but my fridge is already overflowing with products that actually require refrigeration. That means meat, dairy, and veggies. There’s not much space in there for an extra package of nuts. Because of that, I assume that storage at room temperature is the go-to option for most of us. And I’ll start with that.

Crackadamia (CDM) recommends an airtight and moisture-proof container for storing macs. That means a plastic or glass container, or a resealable bag. If your macadamias come in one, you’re all set.

Now it’s time to put those nuts somewhere. A dry and dark place, away from sources of heat is the best option. That usually means the back of a shelf in the pantry or a cabinet in the kitchen.

Macadamia nuts closeup
Macadamia nuts closeup

If you tend to forget about macadamias when they’re out of sight (like I do), keep a small container of macs on the counter. Place a handful of nuts in there (enough for maybe a week), and each time you empty it, pour in another batch. This way, the nuts keep quality, and they’re readily available for snacking.

If you need to store macadamias for a prolonged period, go with the fridge or freezer. Either of the mentioned containers works for cold storage, so there’s no extra work included. Transfer the nuts from one place to the other, and you’re done.

Last but not least, if your macadamias tend to go stale quickly (e.g., you live in the tropics), consider refrigerating them from the get-go. That should solve the issue.

Macadamia nuts in a textile bag
Macadamia nuts in a textile bag

How Do You Know If Macadamia Nuts Have Gone Bad?

When it comes to spoiled macadamias, you’re looking for the usual suspects:

  • insects (throw out all)
  • moldy nutmeat (discard all)
  • dried out, or discolored kernels (get rid of only the bad-looking ones)
  • rancidity (is one or two nuts from the package is rancid, all of them most likely are)

How to tell if your macs are rancid, you ask? Check the smell and taste of the nuts. If they smell paint-like or like chemicals, they’re done. Same if the flavor is harsh and bitter instead of nutty and buttery. And no, you cannot fix rancid nuts. What’s done is done, and you cannot undo it.

What if your macadamia nuts taste stale? Can you freshen them? Fortunately, the answer is yes. You can roast them with some spices, and that should do the trick. Use the instructions I outlined in the article about hazelnuts.


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