Love bagels but wondering how long they last in the fridge? This guide breaks down everything you need to know.
Storing your bagels in the fridge is a great way to extend shelf life. It's generally the best option for storing various different types of bagels.
Fresh warm bagels are a popular favorite breakfast food and knowing how to properly store your bagels is key to enjoying them for days to come.
If you've wondered how long bagels last in the fridge, it's a common question! The good news is, we're sharing everything you need to know.
How Long Do Bagels Last?
Generally speaking, the shelf life of a bagel largely depends on the type of bagel and your specific storage conditions.
For best results, the first thing to know is that the length of time that your bagel is fresh largely depends on how, when, and where it was made.
Bakery bagels and homemade bagels are good for up to 2 days at room temperature, 5 days in the fridge, and up to 3 months in the freezer.
Bagels from the bakery are rarely pre-packaged. Typically they are placed into a paper bag at the time of purchase, or are packaged for bulk sale.
Bagels, such as fan favorite Panera bagels, can be stored in a brown paper bag overnight at room temperature or in the fridge for 3 days.
Homemade bagels, including artisan bagels from bakeries, also do not contain preservatives, which means they expire more quickly.
However, they are likely most people’s choice for favorite bagel and are known for being fresh, pillowy soft, and the perfect chewy texture.
Store-bought bagels are good for 3 to 5 days at room temperature, 5 to 7 days in the fridge, and up to 3 months in the freezer.
These bagels typically come in a sealed plastic bag in grocery stores and usually contain preservatives making them ideal for shipping and storing.
Store bagels may become dried out and seem stale when stored in the fridge, but they easily will last another day or two.
The bonus to these bagels is that they will come in a resealable plastic bag with an expiration date marked on the bag or on a tag that seals the bag.
Frozen bagels purchased at the store likely come in a resealable bag like most bread products as well.
When it comes to frozen bagels from the store, the shelf life of your bagels will typically allow you to enjoy a nicely toasted bagel on a whim for about 3 months.
How Long Do Bagels Last in the Fridge?
With proper storage, such as in an airtight bag, fresh bagels can last for a longer period of time than you might imagine when stored in the fridge.
Refrigerated bagels can last from 5 to 7 days in the fridge, much longer than when left at normal room temperature.
Freezing bagels allows them to last even longer, typically up to 3 months or even longer depending on the type of bagel and how they are stored.
How Do You Know if a Bagel Has Gone Bad?
Bagels purchased commercially will have a sell by date. This is a good indicator of whether or not the bagel is still fresh, but there are also other clues.
The date is not always accurate, and certain factors can make a bagel spoil more quickly.
Here are some signs to look for in order to know if your bagel is safe to eat or if you have a bad bagel on your hands:
- Smell - If the bagel smells bad or has an off smell or unpleasant odor of any kind, it is safe to assume that it is bad. An unusual scent to the bagel would be sour or stale.
- Touch - Touch the bagel and see if it seems slimy. A bagel should be moist but not to the extent that you feel a residue. Additionally, a bagel should not be stiff and hard. An overly hard bagel is a good sign that it is no longer a good idea to eat that bagel.
- Mold - Visible mold growth on a bagel means that bagel, and any bagel in the same bag, have gone bad and should be discarded.
- Color - Color changes in a bagel or in the seeds indicates a bagel that has gone by.
Expired or moldy bagels can cause illness. Often you can expect gastrointestinal discomfort and nausea or even diarrhea and vomiting.
How To Extend the Shelf Life of Bagels
- Store bagels in an airtight container or bag - This will keep bagels fresh longer and help prevent dryness.
- Refrigerate bagels - Storing bagels in the fridge keeps them fresh longer and help preserve optimal freshness.
- Freeze bagels - If you can’t eat all of your bagels within a short period of time, consider freezing them to save them for later.
- Cut bagels in half - Bagels that are cut in half have an extended shelf life, but may dry out faster due to moisture loss. You can run dried out bagels quickly under a small stream of running water to revive them and then toast them in the toaster oven.
- Use a bread keeper - Using a bread keeper or bread box can help keep bagels fresh longer.
- Toast your bagels - Toasting bagels that are a bit dried out is a great way to extend the life of your bagels. Toast until golden brown, add your favorite cream cheese and enjoy.
- Reuse bagels - Stale bagels that show no signs of mold nor signs of spoilage can be used to make delicious bagel bites, homemade croutons or even bagel chips for snacking along with our smoked salmon dip or smoked gouda pimento cheese dip.
Can Bagels Last Two Weeks?
When it comes to extending shelf life, the only way to make a bagel last two weeks is to freeze it as that's the best bet for avoiding spoilage.
Bagel lovers will find that bagels last around a week if refrigerated, and closer to 2-3 days if not refrigerated or frozen depending on storage method.
Tips for Storing Bagels
- Keep bagels in a cold, dry area without direct sunlight or heat. Bread keepers are a great option.
- Keep bagels away from dampness and moisture to help ensure the best quality.
- Store in a paper bag, then place the paper bag in a plastic bag. The paper bag will absorb the moisture, and the plastic bag will prevent drying out.
- Place bagels in an airtight container. This will maintain the proper level of humidity, so bagels don’t become too dry or too soggy.
How To Defrost Frozen Bagels
The best way to freeze and defrost bagels is to cut them in half prior to freezing, and place them in a toaster while frozen to defrost.
Before freezing bagels, cut them in half then wrap each individual half in plastic wrap to provide an extra layer of protection against freezer burn.
Plastic wrap is recommended as aluminum foil is difficult to remove once frozen and is not recommended for storing frozen bagels.
The plastic wrapped bagels can then be placed in a freezer-safe bag and stored for up to 3 months. You can now remove as desired to serve.
You typically don't have to defrost frozen bagels before using them if you opt to toast or bake them.
If you choose, you can microwave the frozen bagels at 50% heat until thawed before toasting, but this step is not necessary.
How Long Can You Keep Leftovers?
As a general rule of thumb across the board, most leftovers will be good for 2 to 3 days in the fridge when stored properly.
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Nicole is a self-published author of fiction novels, and a lover of food and spending time in the kitchen with her six children. She lives in coastal Maine where she loves exploring new recipes especially those that can save time, money and wow a crowd.Tags: Bagels, Breakfasts, Brunches