Are you wondering how and where to store dried figs at home, for freshness? In this article, I will show you how to store them the right and safe way to ensure your dried figs last a long time. Depending on how much of the figs you dehydrated, you can choose a few options to store.
From my experience, the best option is to store dried figs is to mix them with bay leaves and wild fennel and store them in a large and clean cotton bag. If you have just a small amount of dehydrated figs you want to store after opening the original packaging then an air-tight container placed in a fridge or freezer is a safe option.
Here is how, where, and why:
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Important things to remember when storing dehydrated figs
The most important thing to check is obviously that figs are properly dried and ready for storing. I usually sundry my figs and it takes me about a week to ten days to dry them properly, depending on weather conditions, temperature, and humidity.
That is because I live in a climate with plenty of sunshine and therefore I choose the natural drying method. You can choose other drying methods, such as microwave, dehydrator, or oven which take less time (just hours) to complete the drying process. If you store them while still not dry enough, the moisture may cause a mold to develop and figs may get bad.
Dried figs will maintain the best quality if you keep them in a cool, dry, and preferably dark place such as a drafty corner of your pantry. They definitely have to be stored away from direct sunlight and away from any sources of heat or humidity.
Storing Dried Figs in Cotton Bag
From my experience, and I tried all storage options, the best, easiest, cheapest, and most efficient way to store dehydrated figs is in a cotton bag which you place in the cool, dry and drafty pantry. Make sure the pantry temperature doesn’t rise above 15 °C. I keep my figs all winter long in the pantry and they last me there until late spring.
If for any reason, like lack of space or your climate conditions, you can not keep figs in a cotton bag in a cool enough pantry, the next option is to put the cotton bag in two plastic bags (important!) and place it in the bottom shelf of your refrigerator/fridge. They can last for six and more months in the refrigerator if they are properly isolated from the humidity (hence two plastic bags).
If you prefer to freeze them, for a much longer life, that is fine too. Just make sure they are placed in airtight plastic containers or well-sealed freezer bags to prevent moisture or further dehydration. It is a good idea to vacuum seal them and put them in the freezer.
I store most of my dehydrated figs in the cotton bag in the outdoor pantry as the temperature there is fine (up to 15 °C max). As soon as the outside temperature rises above this level, which is usually in the spring, I move them into the fridge. By that time, I am usually left with just a small(er) amount of figs as we already have eaten most of them. Very rarely I freeze them as frankly, we consume them by early summer. And by then, in about 4 weeks, new and fresh figs are already ripe on our trees.
Photos of the storing process
Put your dried figs in a large enough cotton bag (I often use tote bags), mix them with fresh bay leaves and wild fennel (if you can get them). The alternative to wild fennel is anise seeds. Wild fennel, bay leaves, and/or anise seeds act as insect repellents.
Close the bag and slide it into two plastic bags.
Note: The bottom shelf of the refrigerator is cool enough but not too cold so that is the best place to choose in the refrigerator.
Hanging dried figs as a wreath or garland
If you prefer to let them hang on the string as a wreath or garland (look very decorative), choose somewhere cool and drafty such as a corridor or garage. They can be left hanging on the string for a very long time as long as humidity and temperature are low enough. So, hanging them in the kitchen or your living room is not a good idea as the temperature and humidity there are too high for figs not to get bad. Below is how it looks and here is how to do it
Can Dried Fig Go Bad?
Yes, dried figs can go bad easily if stored in an inappropriate way or if not dried well. Store them only when you are sure they are properly dried. Check your storage containers are tightly closed and moisture-free.
How long does dried fig last?
It depends on the storage conditions – dried figs will last from 6 to 12 months in the cool, drafty, and dry pantry. It is important to keep them in a cooler area away from humidity. In the fridge, they can last a similar time, up to 12 months. In the freezer, they can last indefinitely.
Storing dried figs is much easier than storing fresh ones.
If you are interested in getting some of my dried figs, get in touch – I may be able to post you a small bag.