Skip to Content

Why Do Carrots Turn Rubbery?

Why Do Carrots Turn Rubbery

Carrots that are found in stores are generally rigid and will snap if you bend them.

In stores, you may find some carrots that are bendy, or they might go rubbery and bendy after you’ve kept them in the pantry or the fridge.

In this article, I will explain why this happens and how to make them rigid again.

Carrots turn rubbery because they’re dehydrated.

They can be rehydrated which will make them crisp again and not rubbery by placing them in water in the refrigerator overnight.

If harvesting your own carrots remove the tops as these contribute to them going rubbery.

Ideally, carrots are crisp and are what you expect when you buy or harvest carrots.

Although they can still have the same flavor when they’re rubbery, below I will explain if it’s OK to eat rubbery carrots, why frozen carrots go rubbery when you defrost them, and the best way to defrost rubbery carrots.

Are Rubbery Carrots Safe to Eat?

Are Rubbery Carrots Safe to Eat

Rubbery carrots will generally be the same color as crisp carrots.

Provided they don’t have visible mold, and the skin hasn’t started to turn black and wrinkly they will taste the same.

However, you may be wondering if rubbery carrots indicate that they aren’t safe to eat, so here’s whether you can still eat them or not.

Rubbery carrots are safe to eat.

Rubbery carrots are caused by the carrots becoming dehydrated.

They can be made crispy and rigid again by soaking them in water in the fridge overnight. Rather than bending, they will snap when you bend them.

The exceptions are if the carrots have started to go black on the exterior or have mold growing on them.

As carrots begin to go back and naturally break down they develop black areas on the surface.

They also shrink, and the skin wrinkles and they become soft and can bend.

These aspects of how carrots naturally break down are different from carrots that have gone rubbery because they’re dehydrated.

Carrots that have gone rubbery by being dehydrated for the most part keep their bright color, and the skin remains the same as fresh carrots.

Making rubbery carrots crisp again – surprisingly easy

For carrots that haven’t started to turn black or have mold on them, it’s a good idea to rehydrate them.

This is because it’s very easy to do.

This is done by soaking them in water.

They don’t need to be fully submerged in water, but most of the carrots should be in contact with the water.

Therefore, a good way to do it is to get a Tupperware container or similar and place the carrots into it.

Then fill it with enough water that it’s covering the carrots.

After that, it’s a good idea to put it in the fridge so that the water doesn’t get bugs landing in it, and so the water doesn’t get too warm.

Here’s a really good video that shows the process and a before and after so you can see that it works really well.

Carrots come in a range of colors including dark purple.

The most common carrots in English-speaking countries and a few other countries are orange.

Purple carrots can be going bad and have black areas.

This makes it more difficult to see if they’re beginning to go rotten.

Therefore, you need to carefully inspect them to see if they’re going rubbery because they’re beginning to rot, or they’re dehydrated.

Interestingly, carrots used to only be yellow, purple, red, and white.

Orange carrots were selectively bred from yellow carrots and started to be around in the years after the year 1500.

I explained this in more detail in this article about whether carrots used to be black.

Carrots with mold – best to cut out these areas or throw them away

As carrots begin to naturally break down they turn soft and flexible.

But, can also begin to grow mold. Mold can be potentially toxic and be very bad for you.

Because carrots are very hard the moldy areas can be removed and the rest of the carrot eaten.

Unlike soft foods like bread.

The reason is that as mold grows it sends microscopic roots out around the moldy areas into the food that it’s growing on.

However, as you remove moldy areas of a carrot you need to remove about an inch (2.5 cm) from around the moldy area according to the US Food Safety and Inspection Service.

These roots can also be toxic.

With soft foods like bread, the roots of the mold can grow throughout the entire piece of bread.

However, because carrots are very hard the roots don’t grow as deep.

Why Are My Frozen Carrots Rubbery?

Why Are My Frozen Carrots Rubbery

Freezing carrots is a great way to keep them fresh for much longer, and they will last 3 months to a few years depending on how they’re prepared prior to freeze them.

But, after frozen carrots are defrosted they have a rubbery texture, here’s why.

Generally, this is caused by the change in the water content of the carrots when they freeze and after being defrosted.

There is no way to stop frozen carrots from going rubbery after defrosting.

If you want shredded/grated carrots it’s best to do this before freezing them.

There’s no way around carrots turning rubbery when you defrost them.

For this reason, frozen carrots are best suited to stews and soups, where the soft texture isn’t noticeable.

Carrots can also be grated or shredded prior to freezing them.

This way they can be used in baked foods like muffins, bread, and cakes.

Defrosting them and then trying to grade or shred them is more difficult because of the rubbery texture.

I looked into the best ways to freeze carrots and summarized it in this article about if you can freeze carrots for later use.

Carrots have about 90% water.

As you may know, when water freezes it expands, it also draws water from the surrounding areas into it.

This changes wherein the carrot the water is located.

And changes the structure of the carrot on a microscopic level.

All of these changes make the carrot less rigid and turn them rubbery once the ice melts.

How Do You Unfreeze Carrots?

How Do You Unfreeze Carrots

Frozen carrots retain most of their flavor, and last much longer than the 1 or 2 weeks that carrots last in the fridge or pantry.

Defrosting food can take some time depending on what method you use. So, here’s the best and fastest way to unfreeze carrots.

Unfreezing carrots is done by putting them into a bowl and pouring over some warm to slightly hot water.

Don’t use boiling water as it will partially cook the carrots, and don’t use cold water as it will take too long for them to defrost.

Another option is to put them on the counter or in the fridge.

In the fridge, they will take about a day to defrost and on the counter, they will take under 6 hours.

They will take less time in warm climates, and longer in cool climates.

You can also put them into cold water and then bring the water to a boil.

However, this will also partially cook the carrots.

This isn’t the best way to do it if you want to eat the carrot raw such as carrot sticks.