Bagels should be kept in a plastic covering and stored at room temperature. Although many believe you should keep them in the fridge, this can actually make them go bad more quickly. There are a number of ways to store bagels properly so keep reading to find out how.
There is nothing quite like the taste of a beautiful fresh bagel from your local bakery. We’ve all made the mistake of buying a little too many than everyone can eat. So how do you keep them fresh? This guide will give you all the tips and tricks you need to keep your bagels fresher for longer.
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How to Store Bagels Properly
Freeze Them if You’re Keeping Them for a While
If you have a lot of extra bagels, one of the best ways to keep them fresh is by freezing them. Invest in some freezer bags and a vacuum sealer. Frozen bagels that are heated up in the oven straight away still taste fresh, almost as if you just got them from the bakery.
Before freezing the bagels, slice them into two and put them into the freezer bags. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, just make sure you get as much air out of the bag as possible before putting them in the freezer.
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If you’re a fan of toasted bagels, you can actually take the bagels straight from the freezer and put them straight into the toaster. They will taste exactly like fresh, toasted bagels.
Put Them in a Brown Paper Bag
For bagels that you’ll likely eat over the next few days, you should put them in a brown paper bag then in a plastic bag. This will help them stay fresher for longer. Storing bagels this way will allow you to keep bagels at room temperature for up to 3 – 7 days.
The paper bag will help the bagel remain moist for longer and the plastic bag will stop the crust from becoming hard and stale. Even if they do go a bit tough, they’ll be fine to eat toasted with loads of butter (as they should be).
How Long Can Bagels be Stored For?
Bagels stored correctly at room temperature can be kept for up to 3 – 7 days. They may go a bit hard, but you’ll be able to enjoy them by using a couple of useful tricks we’ve spoken about later.
When you store bagels in the freezer, you can still eat them even if you’ve kept them frozen for 3 months. Freezing the bagels essentially locks in their freshness and pauses the degrading process.
How Can You Tell if Your Bagels Have Gone Bad?
Bagels that are inedible will have mold growing on them. Mould will always start growing on the outside of the bagel. It is not safe to eat moldy bread as it could make you quite sick.
You’ll also be able to tell that a bagel has gone bad when there is a bad smell coming from them. This may be the first sign that mold could be present. If you do notice a bad smell, do not eat them.
Stale bagels will have a solid crust. Always check for mold and bad smells before you throw hard bagels away. There are ways you can save hard bagels and just because they feel a bit solid, does not mean they’re inedible.
What to Avoid When Storing Bagels?
If you don’t store fresh bagels in the proper way, they can go hard and stale within 48 hours. There are ways to freshen them up but the fresher a bagel is the better they taste. Chewy bagels are an unpleasant experience at the best of times. No one likes a mouthful of dryness.
If you are keeping the bagels at room temperature, do not slice them in two. As soon as you slice them open, they will become stale in a shorter period of time. Keep them whole up until the time that you want to eat them. This will help keep the inside of them soft.
When you’re freezing the bagels, try not to pack too many together in the same freezer bag. Having too many bagels together will result in them getting freezer burn. Freezer burn causes parts of the bagel to go solid beyond repair.
When defrosting your bagels, refrain from speeding up the process by sticking them in the microwave.
One of the most common misconceptions is that keeping bagels in the fridge keeps them fresh. This can actually cause bagels to go bad quicker because it accelerates the rate at which they dry out. Either freeze them or keep them at room temperature for the ultimate freshness.
Some Great Tips and Tricks for Storing Bagels
Saving Stale Bagels
If there is a bagel that you’ve accidentally let go bad, do not stress! There are ways that you can freshen them up for you to enjoy that delicious bagel you’re probably craving.
Start by slicing the bagel in half. On the crust and the inside, sprinkle a little bit of water, but be careful not to completely drench them. Once they are slightly damp, pop them in the oven for about 5 – 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them while they’re cooking to make sure they get to the right texture.
We’ve linked some suggestions for equipment you can use to keep your bagels fresher for longer. Take a look at some of our suggestions for the best gadgets for bagel storage.
- A vacuum sealer for freshness in the freezer
- This bagel container is a great alternative to disposable packaging
- If you don’t want to leave bagels in packets lying around, you should take a look at some of these great bread bins
Winning Combos for Bagel Fillings
Bagels are the best snack because they’re so versatile when you spice them up with some delicious fillings. Remember to use butter on your bagels before you fill them, and as liberally as possible. Our favorite fillings include:
- Salmon, cream cheese, and dill
- Tomato, onions, cream cheese, and avocado
- Avocado and bacon
- Classic cheese and ham
You can check out more recipe ideas here.
No More Stale Bagels!
So paper bags and freezer bags are officially your best friends when it comes to storing bagels. There are some great gadgets on the market for helping you keep bagels fresh for longer periods of time.
Always be careful to check for the signs of a bagel that’s gone bad. Eating off bread can make you sick so make sure bagels are still edible.