Do Pumpkin Pies Need to Be Refrigerated?
It depends on the type of pumpkin pie as different types have different formulations. Some require refrigeration while others are safe to store at room temperature.
Generally, a traditional homemade pumpkin pie needs to be refrigerated because it is made with perishable stuff, e.g. milk, eggs, etc. Not to mention it has high moisture content as well. So, it must be refrigerated.
Storing it at room temperature will attract bacterial growth. Commercial, store-bought pumpkin pies, on the other hand, contain shelf-stable ingredients, including antimicrobials and preservatives that discourage bacterial growth. Because of this, they don’t require refrigeration and can be stored at room temperature.
How Long Can Pumpkin Pie Be Left Out of the Refrigerator?
According to FDA, homemade pumpkin pie can be left out of the refrigerator for up to 2 hours. Homemade pumpkin pie is made with eggs and milk and because of this, it cannot sit out at room temperature for very long.
Its perishable ingredients promote bacteria growth and temperatures within the range 40°F-140°F accelerate that growth. So, it is highly recommended that you always store homemade pumpkin pie in the fridge.
Why Are Store-Bought Pumpkin Pies Not Refrigerated?
The reason store-bought pumpkin pies don’t require refrigeration is that they are usually made of shelf-stable ingredients, e.g. preservatives that prevent them from going bad when the product is stored at room temperature. If the store-bought pumpkin pie contains such preservatives, they will be listed in the ingredient list on the box.
You can store the product on the counter for a few days. However, keep in mind that if the pumpkin pie was already refrigerated in the store, then it’s likely that it doesn’t contain preservatives. In that case, it must be stored in the fridge after purchase.
How Do You Store Store-Bought Pumpkin Pie?
To determine the proper storage method, you should pay attention to how the pumpkin pie was kept in the store when you purchased it.
- If the pumpkin pie was kept at room temperature in the store, then it means it contains preservatives to make it suitable for storage at room temperature. So, you can store it on the counter until its specified sell-by-date.
- However, if the pumpkin pie does not have a sell-by-date and it was kept in the refrigerator when you purchased it, then it means it doesn’t contain any preservatives. In that case, you should store it in the refrigerator after purchase.
Generally, it is recommended that you store the pumpkin pie in the refrigerator after purchase regardless of whether or not it contains any preservatives. Refrigerating the product will keep it safe no matter what.
Do Costco Pumpkin Pies Need to Be Refrigerated?
Yes. Costco pumpkin pies need to be refrigerated because they are preservative-free. Generally, pumpkin pies that don’t contain any preservatives should always be stored in the refrigerator.
You should also look to the sell-by-date on the package and pay attention to how it was stored in the store when you purchased it. If the product was kept at room temperature in the store, then it means it’s safe to be stored on the counter. For best results, however, it is recommended that you always refrigerate Costco pumpkin pies.
Can Pumpkin Pie Sit Out Overnight?
No. While there are many different types of pies that can be stored at room temperature, pumpkin pie isn’t one of them. The reason behind this is that it is a custard pie, which means one of its primary ingredients is eggs. Apart from this, it also contains milk, which can spoil very quickly at room temperature.
So, pumpkin pie cannot sit out overnight because if left at room temperature for more than 2 hours, the eggs will spoil and damage the entire pie.
The presence of perishable ingredients also promotes the growth of harmful bacteria if the pie is kept at room temperature. All these reasons make pumpkin pie a bad candidate to sit out overnight.
How Can You Tell if Pumpkin Pie is Bad?
The easiest way to tell if pumpkin pie has gone bad is to use your senses. Touch, smell, and sight are your tools when it comes to spotting a spoiled pumpkin pie.
- If the pie has gone bad, it may have discolorations.
- It will also give out an unpleasant smell which will be the opposite of its pleasant, delicious aroma.
- Apart from this, another key sign that the pumpkin pie has gone bad is its crust. When spoiled, the crust of the pumpkin pie starts to lose water and becomes soggy due to all the absorption.
- Perhaps the most obvious sign that the pumpkin pie has gone bad is the appearance of mold. If you notice any mold formations on it, then it means it’s time to throw it away.
In summary, after reading the information above, you should know whether or not pumpkin pie needs to be refrigerated.
In general, it is rarely recommended to eat commercial and homemade pumpkin pies that have been left out of the refrigerator for an extended period of time.
If you are able to seal pumpkin pie in an airtight container or plastic wrap then it should be fine out of the refrigerator for a short period of time.