Do Brussels Sprouts Go Bad? – Full Analysis

by Charlie
Do Brussels Sprouts Go Bad

Brussel sprouts are hearty, full of vitamins and minerals, and packs plenty of fiber. They are a vegetable that certainly has risen in popularity. 

Do brussels sprouts go bad? Yes, Brussels sprouts do go bad. Refrigerated brussels sprouts purchased from the grocery store will only last a week. But if they are still on their stalk, they can last 7-10 days. A bag of frozen brussels sprouts lasts 12 months in the freezer, but freezer burn can destroy them. 

When you cook brussels sprouts, you will smell a strong smell in the air, but that is natural. Their strong smell comes from their sulfuric compound.

How Long Do Brussels Sprouts Last?

But how much time do you have to eat both fresh and frozen brussels sprouts?

Fresh: When you purchase brussels sprouts from the grocery store, they last only a week. Even if you put them in the fridge, their shelf life remains the same. So the clock is ticking, and it is a good idea to cook these little vegetables as soon as you can so they do not go to waste. If you buy the sprouts that are still on the stalk, they will last for a few more days, but not much more (7-10 days). 

Fresh, from your garden: Perhaps you have brussels sprouts growing in your garden. The brussels sprouts growing in your garden can last up to 2 weeks from the moment you pick them off the stem. 

Any vegetable grown in your private garden will have a longer shelf life in your fridge than vegetables shipped to the grocery store. The reason for the longer shelf life is the absence of shipping time and product display time. 

Frozen: Frozen food always lasts longer than fresh food, so frozen brussels sprouts are a good choice if you are unsure that you will be able to make fresh brussels sprouts in the 7 day timeframe. The shelf life for a frozen bag of Brussels sprouts is 12 months, as long as the sprouts are not affected by excessive moisture in the bag or freezer burn.

How Long Do Brussels Sprouts Last? Shelf Life [Chart]

ItemShelf Life
Brussels sprouts, frozen12 months
Brussels sprouts, on the stalk7-10 days
Brussels sprouts, in the fridgeOne week

How to Tell if Brussels Sprouts Go Bad

Because of the high amount of sulfur compounds in brussels sprouts, the smell is very noticeable. But the only thing that is more noticeable than their natural sulfur smell is the smell of a rotting brussels sprout.

Rancid Smell: The moment you smell the odor of a rotting brussels sprout, you’ll never forget what it smells like. Because of the decomposing sulfur compounds in the sprout, the smell is strong and can stink up the rest of your refrigerator or cause your kitchen to smell if they’re sitting with other foods. 

The moment you notice the smell, immediately remove the brussels sprouts from the area that they’re in. If you don’t you could be stuck scrubbing the refrigerator and needing an air freshener. 

Dark Color: Between the leaves turning mushy and the sprouts releasing any water in themselves, the brussels sprout itself will begin to form darker color spots. First, the spots of color will form, and then the spell will begin to lose its moisture. If a package of brussels sprouts only has a few dark spots, then it is still edible. But if more than half the sprout is a darker color, it is too old to eat.

Mushy: Brussels sprouts are a bulb surrounded by layers of leaves, and the sprouts are dry and hard. But that does not mean the sprouts don’t have any water inside of them. When brussels sprouts start to rot, their moisture begins to seep out. Their leaves lose their crunch and rigidity.

If you strip off one of the leaves from the brussels sprout, it will flop over because of its wilt. The leaves become soft, and the soft leaves mixed with the seeping moisture will cause the brussels sprout to feel mushy and squishy. 

Why Do Brussels Sprouts Have Such a Strong Smell?

Like broccoli and cauliflower, brussels sprouts have an extremely strong smell that unleashes itself during the cooking process. 

The reason for their intensely strong smell is the sulfur compounds in their chemical makeup. Sulfur is also a major chemical in both cauliflower and broccoli, so that is why they have such a strong smell. 

If you notice a smell from the brussels sprouts as you are cooking them, it does not mean the sprouts are bad. However, you should pay attention to the smell. If the brussels sprouts smell like they are rotting, don’t eat it.

But you can watch for several signs in case you suspect the brussels sprouts in your fridge have gone bad.

How to Store Brussels Sprouts

Fridge: Brussels sprouts from the grocery store’s refrigerated section have to sit in the refrigerator when you bring them home. Changing the outside temperature of a vegetable used to sitting in the fridge will cause it to rot faster. 

But sprouts that come from the middle of the vegetable and fruit section can sit in the fridge or stay out with the other vegetables, like onions and potatoes. If the brussels sprouts are wet, rub them with a paper towel to remove their moisture. Removing any extra small moisture on their exterior will prevent them from turning old at a faster rate.

Frozen: The only type of brussels sprouts that belong in the freezer are the ones that have come from the grocery store freezer section. Do not try to place a refrigerated bag of Brussels sprouts or room temperature brussels sprouts in the freezer. 

Brussels sprouts made for the freezer section in the grocery store have a special chemical in the bag that keeps them safe from freezer damage for a certain length of time. When you place the bag in your freezer, make sure to keep them clear of any heavy items that can fall on them and break the bag.

Conclusion

  • Brussels sprouts don’t last long in the refrigerator, so plan ahead and pick a day to cook them.
  • Brussels sprouts last a week in the refrigerator.
  • If the brussels sprouts are on their stalk, they will last 10 days in the refrigerator.
  • A package of frozen brussels sprouts will survive in the freezer for 12 months.
  • If the brussels sprouts in the freezer still look good, they may last 15 months.
  • Brussels sprouts have an extremely strong smell because of the sulfur compounds and their chemical makeup, and the sulfur is a reason why broccoli and cauliflower smell so strong as well.
  • When brussels sprouts go bad, they release the moisture in their leaves, and the leaves become wilted and dark.
  • If brussels sprouts stay at room temperature, they will not last very long.
  • To freeze brussels sprouts, place the freezer bag of brussels sprouts in the freezer, and don’t allow any heavy items to fall on top of their bag.

You may also like