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Dutchess_III's avatar

Can black pepper go bad?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42452points) September 25th, 2016

We’re camping this weekend in the RV. I’m frying some potatoes and onions in butter. The first batch just smelled awful and tasted bad so I tossed it.
However I attributed it to the fact that I’d cut the potatoes up on Friday (today is Sunday.) I’d tossed them in a zip lock bag with some olive oil. On Friday I only used half of what I cut up, and the other half has been sitting in the bag. They were a bit brown so as I started cooking, and smelling, them I figured it was the storage the messed them up so I tossed them and started over.
This new batch was fine….until I put pepper on them and now they smell off too.
I’m guessing the pepper is about a year old. It’s been stored in a glass pepper shaker in a cabinet in the RV.
So is pepper bad? Or am I just hung over maybe?!

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17 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

You are hung over. Is the olive oil fairly fresh or is it old? Oil can go rancid.

Pepper is a dried spice, peppercorns last ages. They would only be damaged if they got wet/damp and mildewed a bit.

Don’T store food in the RV.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes mother!
Thanks. Yeah I only keep the pepper and salt in here but I won’t any more. This morning I needed some cinnamon but didn’t have any. I need to get a tin and put all my spices in it so I can just haul it in and out of the house when we do trips.
Yeah I think it’s ok now. Thanks.

janbb's avatar

Pepper won’t go bad. it will just become weaker and less potent over time (kinda like men.. :-))

elbanditoroso's avatar

@janbb – nasty nasty nasty

BellaB's avatar

Black pepper can get stale – but that usually just means less and less flavour .

Did you smell the pepper before you used it? it seems like that would be a good habit to get into.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

I lift a glass to toast both you and your hangover!

Coloma's avatar

This is so funny as just the other day I discovered a tin of black pepper that was, supposedly,
” best used by” Aug. of 2014. I used some last night because I was out of my preferred white pepper. I am still alive. haha
@janbb Hilarious!

Cruiser's avatar

Pepper generally will be usable IF stored properly. The fact that said pepper was stored in an RV that I have to assume was not maintained at a cool constant temp and that this pepper could have seen elevated temps that could cause a change in chemistry of the pepper. I wish I could post a link but I have read many Google pages that hint at pepper being very susceptible to elevated storage temps and humidity that I would associate with the off flavors you experienced.

ibstubro's avatar

Black pepper won’t go “bad”.
Unless stored in a humid environment. Then it can mold.

kritiper's avatar

I second what @ibstubro said. Keep pepper in cool, DRY place, WELL sealed. And not a very spacious container, either. (More air in the container, more condensation.)

JLeslie's avatar

I have pepper that is probably 3 years old in my cupboard. It is whole kernel though, maybe that makes a difference.

ibstubro's avatar

Ur hanged overs.
by a gryndor fer da RC.
Hare of the god.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thanks you guys. The pepper was still good, but I agree. I shouldn’t store it in the RV, and especially not in the shaker. I shall remedy that as soon as I shake off this hang over. Bleh.

ibstubro's avatar

I’d buy a pepper grinder. One of the disposable ones with a lid would be perfect. The corns stay fresher, longer, and the lid will keep bugs out.

jca's avatar

and with the grinder, you can make the pepper flakes big or small to your liking.

ibstubro's avatar

I have an extra, but I doubt it’s worth the 5.5 hour drive. :-)

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