Shelled walnuts can last up to 12 months, maintaining their freshness and quality. However, once the housing is removed, the life of the nut decreases significantly. Shelled walnuts are kept for at least half a year at room temperature and more than a year in the refrigerator. On the other hand, shelled walnuts last at least 3 months in the pantry and more than 12 months in the refrigerator.
Walnuts have a fair shelf life, which lasts up to 3 months with the shells set at room temperature. When the shells are removed, the nuts oxidize much faster and only stay fresh for a couple of weeks. Expect shelled walnuts to last a year in the pantry and about 1 to 2 months past their expiration date. As a rule, it is best to wait until you are ready to use the nuts before removing the shell, as this significantly improves their quality.
Because of this, it is much better to transfer the nuts to a sealed container as soon as they have been opened. However, biting a nut that has passed its prime will leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth, and it will be an experience you don't want to repeat. For shelled walnuts, refrigeration is what I recommend, especially if you need them to last longer than a couple of months. As a result, as soon as the seal on the package breaks, it is best to reseal them and put them in the refrigerator or freezer if you want to store them for extended periods of time and ideally use a vacuum food bag.
After the expiration date on the package, most nuts spoil, but some still retain their freshness if stored properly. And that's why most people prefer to put shelled walnuts in an airtight box after opening the store-bought package. However, one important thing to know about walnuts is that sometimes, when the kernels and the appearance of the nuts appear to be OK, they can still be inedible. Now, if you can't put the walnuts in the fridge, let's talk about storing them at room temperature.
While shelled walnuts require a lot more effort to prepare when it comes time to prepare your recipe, the positives outweigh the negatives. So, if you don't plan to consume your shelled walnuts quickly, it's best to store them in the fridge. Of course, after those 12 months, you'll find stale nuts here and there, but most of the kernels will be fine. However, when a nut goes stale, it will feel light when you shake it and you can hear the grain moving around the shell.
Although shelled walnuts may be more practical, shelled walnuts include their protective barrier, which means you don't have to worry as much about your storage methods.