Do You Need To Refrigerate Pecan Pie? The Debate Continues

pecan pie
Does Pecan Pie Need To Be Refrigerated?Ethan Calabrese

Thanksgiving is the ultimate pie holiday. Other than the classic pumpkin pie, there's no other pie that says Turkey Day like a rich and nutty pecan pie. From pecan pie bars and pound cake to salted caramel pecan pie and pecan pie cheesecake, the nut really shines over the holidays.

Whether yours is store-bought or homemade, you'll want to make sure you store it properly to keep you and your guests safe.

So, should you refrigerate your pumpkin pie? For the most part, yes.

You may not realize it, but pecan pie filling actually contains eggs. The USDA recommends all pies rich in eggs and custard to be refrigerated after they've cooled. This includes pumpkin pie, lemon meringue pie, banana cream pie, and, yes, pecan pie. If you bought your pie, it may contain preservatives, so be sure to check with the store or take a peak at the label for proper storage instructions.

There are, however, dissenting opinions on this. Chef and Certified Master Baker Genevieve Meli, lecturing instructor in baking and pastry at the Culinary Institute of America, said that she wouldn't refrigerate pecan pie. According to Meli, pecan pie will be able to be safely consumed for two days left out of the fridge.

Pies with egg in the filling such as pumpkin and pecan are best consumed when they are left out at room temperature—the pastry filling doesn’t taste great when cold!" said Ron Silver, chef and owner of Bubby's, a restaurant and pie shop in New York City. "You can let them sit out for up to two days and then you’ll want to cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate them, where they usually last up to four days."

Silver said that double-crusted fruit pies can also be left out out at room temperature for two days and then stored loosely covered in the refrigerator for up to a week. They should, however, be reheated in an oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit before serving.

"All pies are great to eat and make, but taking care of them after they are baked is just as important as making the pies," said Meli. "Knowing how to store them properly is key!

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