Pecans contain a high oil content and as such they are prone to spoilage or rancidity over time if not stored properly. Roasted and candied pecans are even more prone to rancidity as they have been subjected to very high temperatures in the process. In-shell pecans as a rule also last longer. At room temperature (70 F) pecans will usually last 20 days, if in a sealed, airtight, container, maybe 45 days. In a refrigerator at 34 F, in an airtight container, pecan storage life increases dramatically, easily achieving 9-10 months. In a freezer at 0 F, in an airtight container, 18 months to 2 years of freshness should be the norm.

Store pecans in the refrigerator or freezer for use throughout the year. Pecans can be thawed and frozen without loss of quality. Pecans can be thawed and re-frozen numerous times, if you remember to temper them, or thaw them in the refrigerator, and avoid warm temperatures. The high oil content in pecans also makes them prone to absorbing odors from other things stored with them. Always keep pecans in an airtight container.

Roasting Pecans

There are several techniques to roasting pecans and the results are delicious.

Oven Roasting:

Brush pecans lightly with oil until well covered, then spread out in a single layer in a jelly roll pan. For each cup of nut meats, use approximately 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and bake in a 200 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. They are done when they turn golden brown.

Pan Frying:

Pan fry by dropping the oiled nuts into a skillet, using 2 tablespoons of hot oil for 1 cup of nuts. Cook, stirring constantly for 2 to 3 minutes.

Deep Frying:

Using a frying basket, cover the pecans in hot oil. Cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the nuts are delicately browned. Drain on a paper towel and sprinkle lightly with salt.