How Long You Can Store A Jar Of Olives After Opening

A jar of olives is a great way to add a briny touch to your pizzas, salads, Martinis, and more. A spiced olive mix is a great appetizer, and who doesn't love sneaking an olive out of the jar each time you open the fridge? This pantry staple has a long shelf life when unopened, but how long do olives last after you've broken that seal? A common myth about items stored in salty, briny liquids (like olives) is that they last forever. 

While this liquid packing does keep the olives fresh longer, it does not make them immortal. The good news is that olives stored in liquid can stay good anywhere from 12 to 18 months after opening when stored in the fridge. This only applies to olives that come from the jar, though. Those olives you get at a salad bar or fresh only last a few days before you need to toss them. 

If your jar has been around for longer than the 12-month mark, you'll want to look your olives over before enjoying them to check for any signs of spoilage. You can tell if olives have gone bad if they have any of the following: an off-putting smell, discoloration, wrinkled texture, or visible mold. If you notice any of these signs, it is best to discard the jar. And after 18 months, it's recommended to discard the jar even if there are still no signs of spoilage, just as a precaution.

How to store jarred olives after opening

You don't need to transfer your olives to a new container once you've opened the jar; this jar is designed to live in your fridge. But each time you use the olives, make sure you tightly screw the lid back on. If needed, you can transfer the olives to an alternative air-tight container if the original jar has been ruined in some way. You must keep a good ratio of brine to olives in this jar, though. Your olives should be fully submerged in that brine each time you store them. You can always make a wet brine using salt and water to replenish the solution as needed.

If you lose the brine and still wish to keep your olives, you can opt to store them in the freezer. To store them in the freezer, discard any excess brine, pat the olives dry, and seal them in an airtight container. Olives stored this way will remain fresh for up to six months. If you wish to use frozen olives, either let them thaw out overnight or add them directly to a sauce, soup, or hot pan. These storage rules apply to all the different kinds of olives you might find jarred, from Kalamata olives to Castelvetranos.