How To Store Fresh Chives At Home: Shelf Life, Temperature, etc.


Chives are herbs related to onions and garlic with long green stems. It has a mild, not too-pungent flavor. They are usually used fresh, and most often as a garnish, which can add bright color and flavor to soups, dips, and dressings.These herbs are easy to grow, easy to find, and use. Due to their wide variety of use, you just want them always available in your kitchen.

Generally, chives last 10 to 14 days if kept in the refrigerator. If storing in a fridge, put chives in a cup with water. When stored in a freezer, chives can last from 4 to 6 months. However, chives in the freezer may remain safe beyond that time.

Best Temperature Store Chives

Here is the estimated shelf-life of chives in different settings. Keep in mind that it will vary depending on how you store them.

ChivesConditionShelf Life  
Fresh ChivesHome Temperature4 to 6 days
Fresh ChivesRefrigerator10 to 14 days
Fresh ChivesFreezer4 to 6 months
Cut ChivesRefrigerator3 to 5 days
Dried ChivesHome Temperature2 to 3 years

How to Know if Chives Gone Bad?

Did you find a bunch of chives in your refrigerator and freezer, wondering if they have gone bad?

Just like other veggies, chives go bad and don’t have a long shelf-life, unless you store them properly. To know if your chives have gone bad, here are the telltale signs:

Chives have gone bad if there’s the presence of mold or any form of discoloration, like brown or yellow color. Aside from the appearance, check the smell as well. If it smells quite unusual, making it difficult to perceive the aroma, toss them right away.

Keep in mind that quick spoiling kicks in due to chives aging, careless handling, and improper storage of chives. Physical appearance is the easiest way to check for signs of spoilage.

Discoloration and Molds

Check the appearance of the chives.

When you check the appearance of the mold on the chives and see some forms of discoloration, then it’s a sign that you need to discard it. When the chives are about to decay, there’s an open flower bud and wilting leaves. If that’s the case, toss them and get a fresh one from the farmer’s market or any grocery store.

Off smell

Smell your veggies. If the chives have an off odor, such as it smells bad or it has a quite unusual or strong flavor, making it difficult to perceive the aroma, then it’s time to say goodbye to your chives.

Too soft and wet

Touch, hold and feel your chives, if you think the texture feels wet, mushy, slimy, and soft, then your chives have gone bad. Toss any veggie that is too damp or soggy to handle.

How To Store Cut Chives

chives
Image credit: Canva

Though cut thieves are best used fresh, you can still keep them for later use. If you don’t end up using the cut chives right away, you can place the ends in water and store them in the refrigerator for a couple of days. You can also freeze these cut chives by placing them in freezer bags.

How To Dry And Store Dried Chives

Drying chives is a great way to keep their fresh flavor and use them in various recipes all year long. They are often used as an herb and are the smallest species of edible onions, which add a mellow onion and grassy flavor to food.

When drying chives, you can choose to dry them more traditionally by hanging them, by using an oven, or with the help of a food dehydrator.

 Method 1: Hanging Them

  1. Rinse the chive under cold running water and remove any dead or withered parts. Pat them dry using a clean towel or kitchen towel until all moisture is removed.
  2. Group the chives into loose bundles that you can easily hold in one hand. You can secure the stems with kitchen twine or a rubber band. It ensures that they will stay together without even worrying about crushing them. To do this:
  3. Cut the excess bottom and top portions of the stems that stick out if you want the bundles to look even.
  4. If you are getting the chives from your garden, trim them early in the morning after the dew has dried. This is the time when they are the healthiest and full of flavor.
  1. Cut small holes or slits in the sides of the small paper bags to penetrate the air. Seal the top of the bag with string and hang the chives inside the bag from the top. Using a bag prevents dust from gathering on the chives and keeps sunlight from bleaching out their green color.
  2. Leave them for approximately two weeks until they are brittle to the touch. Check the chives from time to time to ensure that no mold has developed on them.
  3. Once they are completely dried, remove the chives from the bags and bundles and put them on parchment paper or a cutting board. Gently crumble the chives with your hands or chop them with a knife to make them into tiny pieces.
  4. Place the chives in an airtight container such as a glass mason jar. Keep them away from direct sunlight.

Method 2: In the Oven

  1. Rinse the chives under cold running water and remove any dead or withered chives. Pat them dry with a clean towel or kitchen towel until almost dry.
  2. Preheat the oven to the lowest temperature, ideally to 185˚ F (85˚ C) or lower.
  3. Cut the chives into ¼” inches using a knife or kitchen scissors.
  4. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper before spreading out the chives. It helps in keeping them from scorching on the metal.
  5. Check the chives from time to time to make sure they do not burn. Remove them from the oven when they crumble easily between your fingers.
  6. Seal the jar and store the chives in a cool location away from sunlight.

Method 3: In the Sun

Although sun drying is not ideal when drying herbs, since they tend to get completely dehydrated too fast. Moreover, it also ruins their texture. You might consider drying chives in the sun if your goal is to dry them quickly. Herbs are generally dried during winter. Following are the simple steps:

  1. Start with cutting the chives into small pieces.
  2. Next, keep the chopped stalks on parchment paper.
  3. Leave this setup in the sun. Then, occasionally toss them.
  4. Keep for a maximum of 1.5 hours. Check the condition in between.
  5. Once they are thoroughly dried use the parchment paper to funnel them into a dry container with a tight-fitting lid.
  6. You can store them in a cool place away from direct sunlight easily for 2-3 weeks.

Method 4: In the Food Dehydrator

  1. Rinse the chives under cold running water and remove any dead or withered chives. Pat them dry with a clean towel or kitchen towel until all moisture is removed.
  2. Cut the chives into ¼” inches with a knife or kitchen scissors.
  3. Cover the chives with a screen included with the dehydrator to prevent them from blowing around.
  4. Check the chives periodically and remove them when they crumble easily between your fingers.
  5. Seal the jar and store the chives in a cool location away from sunlight.

Now that you know all the best ways to dry chives, think about how to keep dried herbs for long-term storage. You can use plastic bags like Ziplocks, or small plastic containers like these.

The most common storage is mason jars. These jars are reusable and easy to store in the pantry. They also look at the display of the kitchen counter.

Make sure to store your dried chives with your other herbs and spices. Most preferably not right beside the oven or stove as this spot may be too warm. Instead, put them into a shallow dark cupboard so they are handy but protected from light and heat.

Best Mason Jars To Store Chives

KAMOTA Mason Jars 16 oz with regular lids and bands

These mason jars are made from high-quality glass jars with silver lids. They are constructed with premium materials for maximum durability and convenience. These jars are 100% BPA Free, food-safe, and dishwasher safe. The silver lids are lab-certified corrosion-resistant material.

They come with an elegant design and transparent glass to help you see what is inside. Each lid is designed carefully for easy use and storage.

Moreover, they are leak-proof to preserve food while still being easy to open and close. Aside from being food storage, you can use these mason jars to make unique creations and gifts. You can paint and decorate them and use the jars to create party lights.


FRUITEAM Mini Mason Jars with lids and bands

This set comes with 12 x 118 ml regular mouth mason jars and 12 silver split lids, 12 decorative peel n’ stick labels, and one DIY pen. They are BPA-free and 100% food-safe grade glass, which is ideal for baby foods, yogurt, jam, honey, candles, body butter, and many more. Aside from being food storage, they can also be used for crafting and gift-giving.

However, do not place them in an oven ozone disinfection cabinet, acute thermal since they cannot withstand such heat and pressure. Also, do not put the lid on the microwave.

Nonetheless, the jars are easy to clean and are 100% leak-proof so that its contents remain safe while it is being stored. The manufacturer offers a 1-year limited warranty to give the best value to your hard-earned money.


How To Use Dried Chives?

Even the smallest amount of moisture will quickly rehydrate them which allows you to sprinkle fresh garden herb flavor to your dishes and infuse a great aroma to complete your dishes. You can add them to your recipes of,

  1. Salads, Avocados,
  2. Sour cream and Cheese
  3. Dips
  4. Stir-fries
  5. Vegetable Soup
  6. Baked Potato Dishes
  7. Cottage Cheese
  8. Egg Recipes, Omelettes
  9. Chives work well in combination with basil, chervil, cilantro, fennel, paprika, parsley, and tarragon.

NOTE: If you need to convert your recipe from fresh chives to dried chives use 1 tablespoon fresh equals 1 teaspoon dried.

Chives in the Grocery Store

Where to find chives in grocery stores?

Fresh chives can be found in the produce area. They are usually placed near the lettuce, but you may also see them in plastic containers with other herbs.

You can also find dried chives in the spice aisle. If your grocery store has a bulk section, you might be able to get them in bulk too.

How to pick the best chives in store?

When buying chives in the grocery store, they should be uniformly green, crisp, and wispy with no shriveling or browning, or yellowing at the tip to ensure that they are fresh.

How to plant store-bought chives?

Chives don’t grow well from cuttings, but they can grow from a bulb, similar in appearance to green onions. You are most likely to find chives with bulbs attached in the organic produce section of the grocery store.

Instructions:

  1. Cut off the green part of the chives from the top to use in your recipe, leaving 2 to 3 inches of green sticking up from the bulb. Plant the bulbs in a pot with good quality soil.
  2. Place the pot near a window sill so that it will receive ample light, then water the plant every few days. Don’t worry, chives do not need a fixed water schedule, so you don’t have to water them every day. Trim the chives when they grow too tall; otherwise, the roots won’t take and the plant won’t flourish.

How To Store Chives Long Term?

If you want to store chives for the long term, store them in the fridge. For proper storage, wrap them with a damp paper towel and put them into a freezer bag. If you think you won’t use the bunch within two weeks, freeze them instead.

Chives thrive well in cold temperatures between 32°F (or 0°C) and 41°F (or 5°C) and very high humidity. They keep the longest when the temperature is cold or near the lower end of that spectrum. That’s why refrigerating this herb is necessary.

If you put them in the fridge, they will start to lose water after a couple of days, forming darkened water-soaked spots. After another day or two, the whole bunch will become wet, mushy, and gross. If this happens, you need to discard them right away.

To prevent this from happening, you can use paper towels. If you use a dry one, it’ll soak in the extra moisture, which can keep the bunch of chives humid for a longer period.

Alternatively, you can use moist, not-soaked paper towels; instead, put the wrapped bunch in a freezer bag. This way, the chive will maintain its humidity levels while retaining the quality for much longer.

You can also store chives upright in a jar filled with about an inch or two of water. You may also notice that they do that in supermarkets sometimes.

The issue here is that it requires a bit of extra space in the fridge, and you need to change the water every day or two. Too much of a hassle for me.

FAQs

Nutrition and Benefits

Chives contain vitamins A, C, and K, along with folate, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Although chives are often used in small quantities, just like a garnish, the promising health benefits of these alliums can help in maintaining blood pressure and increasing immunity.

Can fresh chives be frozen?

It is easy to freeze fresh chives, so you can preserve the harvest whenever you have a bunch of this flavourful herb.

Instructions:

  1. Line a baking tray with baking paper and leave aside.
  2. Gently wash and pat them dry to get rid of dirt or grit. Remove any withered, blackened, or dried-out sections and cut to the desired length.
  3. Lay the cut chives on the prepared baking tray in a single, even layer. Flash freeze by laying flat in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours or until it is completely frozen.
  4. Transfer the chives in sealed glass containers and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

REMINDERS:

  • Use frozen chives straight from the freezer, no need to thaw.
  • Sprinkle a little amount over soups or stews
  • Add 1 tbsp into scrambled eggs before or after cooking
  • You may add it to sandwiches and wraps for a flavor enhancer

How To Store Chives From The Garden?

Chives are easy to grow. To store them and keep them for winter use, you must not dry them. The taste fades rapidly. The best way to lock the chive’s flavor all year long is to freeze them. You can freeze them in long stems or you can snip them before freezing in a freezer-proof bag.

Chives also grow very well on a windowsill. If you like to grow herbs indoors and do not think you have enough light, try to grow chives at first. They will grow almost anywhere as long as the soil is not too dry.

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