If you are a big fan of tomato or any other products made from tomato, we bet the indispensable thing in your kitchen cabinet is a can of tomato paste. Tomato paste basically consists of cooked tomatoes that are strained so the percentage of nutrients in this paste is even higher in the fresh one.
Therefore, tomato paste is really helpful in preventing certain cancers or promoting our skin health and many other health benefits. The can you buy from the supermarket might have a bit of salt to extend the shelf life of this paste but it doesn’t a big deal at all, however, we have to admit that the homemade tomato paste will be safer, of course.
The only problem is this paste can be used in many recipes but each only requires a small amount of tomato paste, therefore, the leftover paste is an unavoidable thing, especially when you have tomato paste sold in cans.
The question is how to store this remainder and when it will turn bad or spoiled that we need to toss it. Don’t worry, the answers about anything related to canned tomato paste will be unveiled in this article.
How long does canned tomato paste last?
Canned tomato paste if properly stored can be safe up to 2 years at room temperature. A can of tomato paste typically has the best-by date on its label and don’t worry if yours has passed that date, you can safely consume the paste for an additional 6 months without any illness as long as you see no spoilage signs of the paste.
Once opened, tomato paste will only last 1-2 days in your pantry and up to a week if being refrigerated. If it is stored in the freezer, you can continue to use the taste for 3 to 4 next months with peak quality.
However, there is a noting thing that tomato paste which is contained in a glass jar or in a tube tends to have a longer shelf life than the canned one.
How to tell if canned tomato paste goes bad?
Normally, tomato paste potentially becomes bad when it is stored improperly. The most obvious spoilage sigh is the presence of mold. Mold on the surface, inside the paste or anywhere in the container is all the warning to tell you that it’s time to discard your tomato paste.
Another trait of a bad tomato paste is the change in its texture from firm to soggy. This not only makes the paste look unattractive but also the flavor is affected too.
At that time, if your tomato paste doesn’t have an unpleasant smell at all, you might just need to fix the consistency and make it thicker.
However, if it goes with an off odor, you should throw the paste away.
If you suspect the canned tomato paste is not good enough to eat although there are no severe spoilage identifications, better give it a taste before deciding to keep or toss it.
How to store canned tomato paste?
Tomato paste doesn’t last that long but if you put some care on it, you can prolong the shelf life of this paste. Like other canned goods, canned tomato paste is suitable to be stored in your pantry at normal room temperature if the can is unopened.
If you have a dry and cool pantry that is away from sources of heat or light, feel free to leave your unopened unrefrigerated.
Once the can of tomato pastes is opened, you better pop it into a fridge or freezer to extend the paste lifetime, provided it sealed. One major issue is tomato is considered as acidic food while tin and iron can leak into the food, which makes it taste unpleasant and can have health effects. Therefore, never store your opened tomato paste in its can in the fridge or freezer.
There is an alter choice for many housewives who are having difficulty with storing canned tomato paste. As tomato paste that is sold in a glass jar or tube will have a longer shelf life so instead of buying it in a can, you can choose buying a tube or jar of tomato paste.
Can you freeze canned tomato paste?
Yes, you can freeze canned tomato paste in the freezer, especially after the can is opened. This is absolutely a good option when you have to find a way to store your leftover tomato paste for long term. Freezing will allow the past to last to 4 months instead of only a few days at room temperature or in the fridge.
How to freeze canned tomato paste?
Now you are going to learn how to freeze canned tomato paste properly in just some simple steps.
Tips to freeze canned tomato paste
- The paste might expand a little bit while freezing so it’s not recommended to fill the tomato paste in the whole container, leave about ½ inch headspace
- As already mentioned, never freeze canned tomato paste in its original tin can
- If you don’t intend to use much paste per time, it’s recommended to freeze tomato sauce in an ice cube tray for an easier thawing process
Things you’ll need to freeze canned tomato paste
- An airtight container or a freezer-safe bag
- An ice cube tray
- Cling wrap
How to freeze canned tomato paste in a container
- Transfer the leftover tomato paste from the original can to an airtight container
- Cover the container with cling wrap then cover with an airtight lid
- Label the container with name and storage date then stick to the freezer
How to freeze canned tomato paste in an ice cube tray
- Place the tomato paste in an ice cube tray and put in the freezer to let it frozen
- Transfer the solid paste cubes into a ziplock bag
- Label the bag then put in the freezer
How to defrost/ thaw canned tomato paste?
If you use tomato paste in a cooking recipe as a condiment, no need to defrost. Just simply transfer the frozen paste from the freezer to the hot dish that you are cooking so the heat will do its job of melting the paste.
If you want to make a tomato sauce from the frozen paste to use it separately, better give it a good thawing to break the solid texture before start cooking. Defrosting in a fridge overnight or in a hot pan is the way to go. Just wait until the paste is completed thawed and don’t forget to stir it occasionally then it’s ready to be used.