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Can Horseradish Go Bad? (Yes & How To Store)

Quick Answer

The simple answer is that yes, horseradish can go bad. In fact, if left in an open container, it will begin to lose its pungency within about two weeks. However, there are ways to extend the shelf life of your horseradish so that it doesn’t become too bitter or overpowering.

Horseradish has long been considered a staple condiment for American cuisine. And now, thanks to its popularity, you can find it at grocery stores across the country.

But do you know how long it takes for horseradish to go bad, and the steps you can take to prevent this from happening?

Can Horseradish Go Bad

We took a closer look at all you need to know to answer the question: can horseradish go bad?

What Is Horseradish?

Horseradish root is a perennial plant with a taproot that grows up to three feet deep into the ground. It produces white flowers in spring and then leaves in summer.

The roots grow back every year, but they don’t produce new leaves until the following spring.

Horseradish root is harvested when the tops die down in the fall. This means that the root should be stored in a cool, dark place where it won’t freeze.

If you live in a cold climate, you may want to store your horseradish root in the refrigerator instead of the freezer.

Once you have picked your horseradish, you can either peel off the skin yourself or leave it on. Peeling the skin off before storing will help keep the flavor fresh longer.

You can also cut the horseradish into small pieces and put them in a jar with some oil. This will help preserve the horseradish’s flavor.

What Is Horseradish Sauce?

Horseradish sauce is made by mixing grated horseradish with vinegar and sugar.

Some people like to add mustard as well. You can use the sauce to make sandwiches, potato salad, coleslaw, pasta dishes, and other foods.

How Long Can I Keep Horseradish?

Horseradish Go Bad

So, just how long will horseradish last?

The answer depends on several factors, including the type of horseradish you buy, whether or not you remove the skin, and how well you store it.

If you purchase freshly peeled horseradish, you should expect to use it within one week, while choosing to leave the skin on can extend the lifespan to up to four weeks.

You can also add a little bit of salt to your horseradish to help preserve its flavor.

Just make sure to rinse out any excess salt before using.

When it comes to horseradish sauce, you can usually expect your stash to last for about 1 to 2 months when stored properly – and we will explore the best options for this below.

How To Store Horseradish

There are a number of methods to store horseradish and keep it at its best for longer, and these include:


This is probably the easiest way to store horseradish. Simply wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it.

Make sure to label the package so that you know what’s inside, and leave a few holes in the packaging to allow the air to circulate, reducing the risk of rot and mold.


Freezing is another option for keeping horseradish fresh. Wrap the horseradish in foil and place it in a freezer bag. Then, seal the bag and freeze it for up to six months.


You can also dry your horseradish by adding it to a dehydrator for a couple of hours. Once dried, transfer the horseradish to a sealed container and store it away from moisture.

Keep It Out Of Sunlight

The sun can cause horseradish to spoil quickly, so try to avoid exposing it to direct sunlight. Instead, store it in a cool, dark area.

When storing horseradish sauce, you should always keep it in an airtight container.

This will prevent the sauce from going bad too quickly. For best results, keep the sealed jar in the fridge.

How To Tell That Your Horseradish Is Bad


Being able to tell that your horseradish is long past its best is an important skill; eating horseradish that has gone bad can lead to stomach problems.

If you notice that your horseradish smells funny, tastes bitter, or looks discolored, then it may be time to throw it out.

Some of the main methods to tell whether your horseradish has gone bad include:

It Smells Sour

A strong odor of sulfur is often associated with spoiled horseradish. This means that there is a high chance that your horseradish has become rotten.

It Turns Brown or Black

If your horseradish turns brown or black, it could mean that it has started to go bad.

It Feels Soft

Softness is a sign that your horseradish is no longer good for consumption; simply squeeze the root between your fingers to test the firmness.

If the texture is squishy and easy to squeeze, this could be a sign to throw out your horseradish.

It Has Visible Mold

Moldy horseradish is extremely dangerous because it contains bacteria that can cause serious health issues.

How To Use Horseradish

Horseradish is most commonly used as a condiment, but it can also be used as a salad dressing ingredient.

Here are some ways to enjoy horseradish:

  • Add it to sandwiches and burgers
  • Mix it into potato salads
  • Serve it on top of fish dishes
  • Sprinkle it over roasted vegetables
  • Create horseradish sauce

How To Prepare Horseradish Sauce

Making horseradish sauce is very simple. All you need is horseradish, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and water.

The amount of each ingredient depends on how much sauce you want to make.

To begin, combine all ingredients except the water in a food processor. Pulse until smooth.

Add the water slowly while pulsing until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for later use.

You can add other spices such as mustard seeds, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, and more to give your sauce extra flavor.

You can also serve your horseradish sauce on top of eggs, chicken, beef, or pork.

Final Thoughts

Horseradish is a versatile root vegetable that adds zest to many different foods.

Whether you’re making horseradish sauce, using it as a garnish, or just enjoying it plain, it’s certain to bring a smile to your face – as long as you know how to tell when it is long past its best.

Jess Smith