How Long Does Black Pepper Last? [Does it Expire] 

Black pepper is considered one of the essential spices in the kitchen, next to salt because it has many benefits. It is common for people to buy black pepper in bulk and store it for years in their cupboards.

How Long Does Black Pepper Last?

The black pepper, if appropriately stored, has a shelf life of 2-3 years at the most. Some ground black pepper has a lifespan as short as 2-3 months, and some might have as long as 3-4 years. Depending on the product’s quality, some black pepper may still be safe to consume even after it expires. The life span of each type of black pepper varies depending on different factors.

If you are worried about your black pepper going bad and want to know how to store the ground black pepper properly, then you landed on the right page. Continue reading to learn more.

How Long Does Black Pepper Last

If you are interested in some really best brands for black pepper, you can find them on Amazon here.

Does Black Pepper Expire or Go Bad?

In my opinion and experience, black pepper never expires, but it would not keep that strong aroma and taste forever. The date mentioned on the labels indicates how long the quality of the product would retain. 

Spices, including black pepper, have a short shelf life due to constant exposure to light, moisture, and air. When stored properly, spices can remain potent for many years.

Most black peppers last even after their expiration date and work the same depending on storage. With no ambiguity, you can use the black pepper for years after its expiration date. When the expiration date passes, the taste of the black pepper starts fading away slowly, so you need to check on it.

Otherwise, you can keep using black pepper forever if the taste is good. If there is no label or expiration date mentioned, most probably the ground black pepper would last for 3-4 months without deterioration in quality.

Read Also: Does the Size of a Pepper Mill Matter?

How Can You Tell If Black Pepper Has Expired? 

Black pepper does not usually expire if stored properly, but if you feel the taste of the black pepper has gone completely, and there is no more strong aroma of black pepper, you should stop using it.

In general, black pepper does not expire if adequately stored; the only thing that changes with long-term storage is its taste. The improper storage of the black pepper might cause the water to enter the jar and result in mold growth and expiration. So to check whether the black pepper is still usable or not, you can use the following ways to examine it.

  • Black pepper has a very distinctive and strong aroma so check its smell and then observe any foul smell, stink coming from the container, or the smell is gone completely.
  • Another way to test the black pepper is to taste it if it does not sound like usual or taste strange and weird, or if the taste is gone. 
  • Observe the black pepper; if there is any moisture in the jar or any sign of mold growing inside, then it’s time to toss it away.

All these signs and indications tell whether the black pepper is expired or gone bad; give it a careful inspection to prevent any health issues. 

Read Also: Can You Vacuum Seal Green Bell Peppers

What Is the Shelf Life of Black Pepper? 

If stored properly, the black pepper will last on the shelf for about 3-4 years with the same taste and quality. Generally, black pepper has a short shelf-life, but most black peppers last for more than a year due to additive preservatives and type of storage. 

The expiration date might be flexible in the case of some brands as it might last for 2-3 years past the expiry date. So you should examine the spice to check if it is usable or not. 

If you wish to purchase this McCormick Table Grind Black Pepper, you can do so on Amazon here.

Can Black Pepper Be Frozen? 

You can freeze black pepper, and by doing this, its shelf life can be extended, as a cool environment is an idle place for spices. Keep the black pepper in an air-tight container or a freezer bag and keep it in the freezer for about an hour until frozen perfectly. Freezing black pepper is the best way to retain the quality and taste of pepper for a long time.

How Long Does Black Pepper Last in the Fridge?

The black pepper lasts for about a year if it’s kept in the fridge, as a cool environment retards mold growth and keeps the black pepper fresh. If you choose to keep your black pepper in the fridge, keep it in an air-tight container and place it in the refrigerator for an extended lifespan.

If kept in the refrigerator after opening, Brine peppercorn should be consumed within a month. Also, make sure to check the black pepper occasionally to confirm it has not gone bad. 

If you wish to buy this Soeos Table Ground Black Pepper, you may find it on Amazon here.

How to Store Black Pepper Long-Term?

Black pepper should be stored in an air-tight container in a dry, dark, and cool place for proper and prolonged-term usage. The best place to store the black pepper is your pantry or cupboard. It would be best to keep black pepper in a glass or ceramic jars rather than plastic since the odor can enter plastic.

This way, you can retain the quality and taste of the black pepper for the longest. This storing method is also helpful for the bulk of black pepper. Some brands of ground black pepper add preservatives to extend the lifespan of the black pepper and its quality.

Using black pepper for a long time requires extra care, and you should store it properly for long-term use. Most of you place your spice jars aside on your stove or near the oven, which gives the spices a warm environment and would probably become moldy. 


Black pepper does not expire if appropriately stored; the average lifespan of black pepper is about 3-4 years depending upon its storage. You can freeze black pepper to increase its shelf-life, but keep examining to check if it is expired or not. The improper storage of black pepper could cause water to enter the jar and lead to mold growth and its expiration.

If you are interested in buying the best cooking utensils for the kitchen, be sure to visit my Recommended Products Page (click to see my page), which includes all of my top picks by category.

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