Broccoli is one of the few notoriously difficult vegetables to store in the fridge. This is why we have a complete guide on how long broccoli would last in the fridge and how to keep it fresh.
A lot of us used to dread getting broccoli in our lunch when we were young and honestly we can’t be blamed for that.
The bitter taste was too much for our taste buds to handle. However, it is a scientific mystery why some people enjoy vegetables like broccoli while others can’t stand the bitter taste. On average, 70% of people can taste the bitterness in broccoli. In comparison, around 20% have a strong bitter sensitivity gene which makes them detest broccoli.
No matter how much we like or dislike broccoli for its bitter taste, it needs to be a staple in our diet for its remarkably healthy and nutritional properties. Broccoli is anti-inflammatory, protects against cancer, and controls blood sugar. It also improves the functionality of the brain, heart, and eyes and aids in digestion.
Love it or hate it, broccoli can’t be just kept around the house without proper care to prevent it from going bad.
Does broccoli need to be refrigerated?
Well, we do find broccoli in the non-refrigerated section of the grocery store. So to answer the question, it is not necessary to store broccoli in a customized way, such as in a freezer. It can be stored at room temperature; however, it will not last long. This is why this method is not recommended.
Like all perishable and edible items, broccoli has a lifetime. Keeping broccoli at room temperature would cause it to rot and stink faster. Trust me, anything worse than bitter broccoli is stinking, rotten broccoli.
How long does broccoli last in the fridge?
The best way to prevent broccoli from rotting is to keep it in a refrigerator, or better yet, a freezer. As soon as you get back from your grocery spree, put that broccoli in the fridge. A pro tip from us would be to avoid washing broccoli before storing it. You must wash it only when you will use it. Or else, the extra moisture will promote mold growth.
If you store fresh broccoli in the refrigerator, it will last up to three to five days. If this is not enough, then you might want to consider freezing the broccoli. In a well-maintained freezer, broccoli can last up to twelve to eighteen months. That’s like one and a half years! Most homemakers do not need broccoli to last that long, but if you do, you must know a few steps.
- Cut it into smaller florets
- Blanch: Boil for three minutes and transfer to ice-cold water immediately. Let it sit for three minutes.
- Dry the florets properly using a paper towel to soak in the extra moisture.
- Store it in an airtight container in the freezer.
Let me clear this out: cooked broccoli has a lower lifetime than uncooked broccoli. While you may believe that cooked broccoli can be kept at room temperature without rotting, this is entirely false.
You must not keep cooked broccoli at room temperature for more than two hours because the bacteria growth is faster. After the broccoli is cooked, let it cool down for 15-20 minutes. Once it is not hot anymore, you can transfer it into the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Fresh, uncooked broccoli can be stored in the refrigerator and will not turn yellow soon.
When it comes to storing cut broccoli, it needs to be refrigerated too.
Cut the broccoli in the morning or night before you want to use them. This is because cut broccoli would age and rot faster than the whole head.
This is why we do not advise preparing and cutting broccoli days before you want to cook it.
You may be looking forward to storing broccoli in an airtight container, but please do not do it. Broccoli needs air to breathe and stay fresh for an extended period.
There are two methods to store broccoli in the fridge:
- You can wrap the broccoli in a damp paper towel before storing it in a refrigerator. Once again, I would like to remind you that you must not wash broccoli, or else the extra moisture would stimulate mold growth.
- You can also store them like a fresh flower bouquet. Yes, that’s right! Fill a jar or glass with water and add in the broccoli. The water must be enough to make the ends submerge. Store it in the fridge, and it will last for three to five days. Remember to change the water daily.
How long does fresh broccoli last at room temperature?
Without any refrigeration, broccoli can last up to two days on the counter.
However, storing raw broccoli at room temperature would mean that it would turn yellow fast and go bad (so eat up quick!). Our suggestion is to skip this method since storing it at room temperature decreases the quality and nutritional value of the vegetable.
When it comes to cooked broccoli, storing it at room temperature is not even an option. Cooked broccoli is much more prone to go bad at room temperature if kept for longer than two hours.
How do I know if the broccoli is spoiled?
Well, I do hope it never comes to this. Even after all the special care, if worse comes to worst and your broccoli is spoiled, there are few signs to identify that the uncooked raw veggie has gone bad:
- If the fresh green florets of the broccoli have turned limp, you must know that the prime time of the veggie is over. It is up to you if you want to cook it immediately or throw it away.
- Same thing to do when you notice the florets turning yellow
- If small black/brown spots are appearing on them, you can simply cut those areas off. The broccoli may have lost its fresh taste, but it is still edible.
- There will be a distinct foul smell that would immediately tell you it’s time to discard the stinking vegetable.
- Another clear indicator will be large dark patches or mold appearing on the veggie, which indicates that the broccoli has rotten altogether.
When it comes to noticing signs for cooked broccoli being rotten, they are quite obvious.
- If you take out the container from the fridge and find white mold on top, it is clear that the broccoli has gone bad.
- If there is any discoloration or foul smell, then the broccoli is unfit for consumption.
Pro tip: It is better to throw out cooked broccoli that has been stored for longer than a week. Better safe than sorry.
The best way to store broccoli
If you ask us, the best way to keep the broccoli fresh with high nutritional value for a longer period is to store it uncooked.
When you come back home after grocery shopping, store the broccoli in a refrigerator. You must remember to keep it unwashed, or else the mold would attack.
You can either use the paper towel method or the bouquet method to keep it fresh for an extended period. Cut the florets only when you intend to use them within a few hours.
Also, you must refrigerate the cooked broccoli without any delay. If you keep all our tips in mind, I believe you are informed enough to store broccoli.
So, do you already know how long does broccoli last in the fridge and at room temperature? If you still have any questions, feel free to leave your comments below!