How Long Does Caviar Last?
Caviar is highly perishable and delicate, not to mention pricey, so this is a delicacy that should be handled with the utmost care and respect. Read all labels carefully once you get your product to make sure you store it properly, but also follow these tips and tricks for maximum enjoyment!
The shelf life of caviar is 2 to 3 days in a cold fridge. Unopened and stored in the fridge, it can be kept for up to a month. Here are the details:
Keep caviar refrigerated at about 26 to 39 degrees Fahrenheit (-1°C - +4°C).
If you’re keeping it out to serve, and it’s not going to be consumed immediately (i.e., it’s going to be sitting out on a buffet), keep it in the original jar or tin, over a bowl full of crushed ice.
Fresh caviar (not pasteurized) can be kept unopened in the refrigerator for four weeks.
Once opened, eat caviar within 2-3 days.
The best place for premium caviar is refrigerated; even inside the fridge, the coldest part is the best place. Temperatures should range between 26 to 39 F, which is the average temps for a household fridge. However, if you think yours is running on the warmer side, try adjusting the temperature or adding ice packs. The coldest part of the fridge is typically the bottom shelf, so you might want to stash your caviar there.
Don’t leave caviar out at room temperature! Caviar will go bad within 2 hours at room temperature, within one if it's very hot out. This is not a food that you want to serve carelessly. This applies to all types of fresh, unpasteurized caviar, including salmon caviar and any other.
Once you take your caviar out for serving, you’ll want to keep it as cold as you can, so it doesn’t come down to room temperature. So how do you do that, while serving this delicious treat to your guests? The answer is a bowl of ice. Take your prettiest bowl, pile up with crushed ice, and then place the tin or jar of caviar directly on top. While you want to obviously keep it open and displayed while your guests are serving themselves, try to minimize the contact with air by keeping it covered with its lid as much as possible (until guests arrive for example).
While you CAN freeze caviar, it’s not something that we recommend. Freezing alters the delicate membrane of the caviar, so once you thaw it out, not only will it lose a lot of its flavor, but it will also be mushy and oily. Do NOT freeze expensive sturgeon caviar!
Some people think that less expensive types of caviar like salmon roe or red caviar can be frozen without sacrificing the integrity of the product. While it stands up to freezing and thawing better than sturgeon, the taste of salmon caviar will be affected, so proceed with caution. Treat this delicious pink roe with care. If you choose to freeze, thaw very slowly in the refrigerator.
How to Store Caviar to Maintain Freshness?
The clock starts ticking once caviar is opened from its vacuum-sealed container — be it a tin or jar, so you’ll want to plan accordingly. Caviar is priced by weight, so one strategy is to order several smaller jars rather than a large container. The reason? At the end of the night, instead of having a half-full caviar jar that will only last a couple of days, you’ll have smaller unopened jars that will keep longer.
Keep the lid on. Caviar is very perishable, and one of the reasons is that it’s minimally processed to maintain that delicious, fresh flavor. Malossol caviar is only washed and cured with salt, then vacuum sealed. Once that seal is broken and it comes in contact with air, you’ll want to ensure it stays properly cold and close it tightly as much as possible.
You’ll also want to make sure your caviar arrives cold — that should always be the case since we use overnight shipping and proper packaging to ensure. Once you’ve made sure, transfer to the fridge immediately. Don’t let the package sit around the counter, but quickly store it in the fridge. Ideally, your fridge will be properly cool, but if in doubt, add ice packs.
When serving caviar, use a bowl of ice to keep it chilled. Is cocktail hour over? Place the original cover or lid, then back to the fridge it goes. This ensures you can finish any leftovers the next day, and that it will taste just as delicious.
Following these tips and tricks on caviar storage will guarantee you a delicious and safe caviar experience! Make the most of this delicacy and serve it in style.