If you’re curious about how to tell if coconut is bad, you’re not alone!
Fresh whole coconuts intimidate me but I also associate them with the beach and fun drinks and happiness.
Plus, coconut is versatile and I’ve always wanted to see if the whole coconut is better than flaked or dried.
When standing in the grocery store trying to decide if I’m brave enough to buy one, I’m also trying to pick a good coconut.
At that moment, a lot is going on in my brain. Mostly, it’s just a lot of questions. How long will this coconut last? Is it any good?
Will I really use this? How long can it sit on my countertop before I need it?
If you’re curious how to know if that coconut is in good shape, check out our tips listed below.
Yes, eventually coconut does go bad but it can last for up to months if stored properly. Whole coconuts don’t have a specific use-by date or expiration date because how long they last purely depends on the health of each coconut.
You can usually count on a whole coconut to last three to five months out on the counter at room temperature, but you have to check it before you use it.
Usually, the reason that fresh, whole coconuts go bad is that the shell has been cracked or mold has gotten inside.
Coconuts have three small dots on one end, these are the eyes of the coconut. Over time, mold will start to build up over the eyes.
Cut coconuts can last a few hours out at room temperature. They can last up to a week in the refrigerator.
Shredded dried coconut can last up to six months if stored properly in the pantry. It can last up to eight months if stored properly in the fridge.
Toasted coconut can last up to a month in the pantry if stored properly in an airtight container.
How long do coconuts last?
How long coconuts last depends greatly on the health of the coconut when you purchase and what kind of coconut you have.
A whole uncut coconut will last the longest. Cut coconut meat will last a few days. A young Thai coconut can last up to a couple of weeks.
Healthy whole coconuts can last up to four months at room temperature.
Young coconuts often referred to as Thai coconuts will last up to two weeks in your refrigerator.
Shredded coconut out of a bag can last up to six months if stored properly in the refrigerator.
Fresh coconut meat can last up to five days in the refrigerator if stored in an airtight container.
How to tell if coconuts are bad
When it comes to figuring out if whole coconuts are bad, the first thing that you want to do is a visual inspection. If you see visible cracks, it is bad. Next, you want to smell it. If it smells like alcohol or musty it is likely bad.
When it comes to figuring out if Thai coconuts are bad you’ll want to start with a visual inspection. If it isn’t bright white, you will want to avoid it. Next, look at the bottom of it, do you see any discoloration or mold? If you do, it’s likely bad.
How to tell if a whole coconut is bad
Picking out a whole coconut can be a bit challenging. You won’t know the condition of the coconut for sure until you open it up.
But there are a few ways to inspect a coconut before buying it.
Is it cracked or damaged? Check to make sure that the coconut isn’t cracked. If you see cracks or fissures, don’t buy it. Cracks are a good sign of a coconut you want to avoid.
Look at the bottom. Inspect the eyes at the bottom of the coconut. Do you see any buildup or mold starting to grow? If you see signs of mold, that is a good indicator that it is bad.
Is it dry? When inspecting the three eyes at the bottom of the coconut take note of whether they are dry or wet. If they are wet, avoid that coconut.
Is it heavy? Pick the coconut up and consider how it feels. It should feel heavy for its size. If it feels light, it is probably bad.
Shake it. Do you hear the water swishing around in it? If you don’t hear liquid, don’t buy it because it is probably a spoiled coconut.
Sniff the bottom of the coconut. If it smells off, foul, or like alcohol, it is bad and too old to eat.
How to tell if Thai coconuts (young coconuts) are bad
The primary way to see if a young coconut is bad is to do a quick visual inspection and then check to see if it is too soft. Thai coconuts should be bright white and firm. If it is off-white or squishy it is probably bad.
Inspecting young coconuts to see if they are bad is a lot like inspecting whole fresh coconuts.
Is it bright? Visually inspect the entire young coconut. It should be bright white. If it has dark spots or has a brownish tint, it is probably bad. It may not be perfectly white but it should appear fresh and bright.
Is it cracked? Do you see any cracks or fissures on the coconut shell? If you do, the coconut is bad.
Is it moldy? Inspect the entire young coconut. Do you see any mold or brown spots? If you do, it is probably bad.
Feel it. Feel the bottom of the coconut, around the eyes. Does it feel soft? If it is squishy it is bad. It is normal for the bottom to be a bit softer than the rest of it but it shouldn’t be wet and squishy.
The bottom line
It can be a bit confusing avoiding bad coconuts. It seems to take some practice. But doesn’t everything worthwhile take practice and time?
Whether you’re buying one to try out fresh coconut water or you just want to try freshly grated coconut meat, the above tips should be quite helpful when you’re shopping for a whole coconut.