Does Pecan Pie Need to Be Refrigerated?

Should you store pecan pie on the counter—or in the refrigerator?

Now that you’ve baked our Best Pecan Pie, you’re probably wondering: does pecan pie need to be refrigerated? Here’s what you need to know to keep your pecan pie fresh and safe to eat.

For those who haven’t yet made one from scratch, pecan pie consists of a sweet, sticky filling made with eggs, butter, sugar and corn syrup. There are dozens of variations that add in more flavor with ingredients like maple syrup, bourbon, honey, or chocolate. You stir chopped pecans into this filling, pour it into a pie crust and decorate the top with even more pecans—chopped or whole. The pie is baked to cook and set the egg-rich filling.

Here’s what we thought of the traditional pecan pie from The Pioneer Woman.

Does Pecan Pie Need to Be Refrigerated?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the answer is yes—pecan pie needs refrigeration, along with other pie fillings made with eggs like pumpkin, cream, and lemon meringue. You may be wondering, since the pie is already baked, why not keep it on the counter? The reason is that bacteria can grow rapidly in homemade, egg-based pie fillings when they’re left at room temperature, even after they’re baked. To be safe, don’t allow your pecan pie to sit out for more than two hours. Wrap your pecan pie and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. Pecan pie holds beautifully for 3-4 days.

“I always keep my pies refrigerated,” says James Schend, deputy editor at Taste of Home. “I prefer my pecan pie cold!”

Can You Freeze Pecan Pie?

Fortunately, pecan pie can be frozen, which means you will have one less dessert to prepare on Thanksgiving Day itself.  Because pecan pie fillings are relatively low in moisture, the filling holds up well to being frozen, and won’t be soggy when you thaw it out. Let your baked pecan pie cool completely, then wrap it well in plastic wrap before placing it in the freezer.

To serve, let the pie defrost in the fridge overnight, then place it in a 350°F oven until it’s heated through.

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Nancy Mock
Discovering restaurants, tasting bakery treats, finding inspiration in new flavors and regional specialties—no wonder Nancy loves being a food and travel writer. She and her family live in Vermont and enjoy all things food, as well as the beautiful outdoors, game nights, Avengers movies and plenty of maple syrup. Find Nancy’s writing and recipes at her website: Hungry Enough To Eat Six.