Freezing crackers are not recommended. When crackers are frozen, ice crystals develop, leading to a soggy texture and potential loss of structure. It’s best to avoid freezing them to preserve their crispness and integrity.
Many methods claim to prevent crackers from going stale, but most aren’t effective, including freezing.
After extensive research, we’ve found that freezing isn’t the best way to preserve crackers.
In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why freezing crackers is not recommended, discuss alternative storage options, and examine factors that can affect the shelf life of crackers.
Can You Freeze Crackers? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t!
Crackers should be crispy and crunchy. Nobody enjoys a soft or soggy cracker. Softening can occur for two reasons: salt content and internal structure. Most crackers have some salt on their surface, which is hygroscopic, meaning it can hold and absorb a significant amount of water.
When frozen, ice crystals form within the cracker, and when thawed, the salt absorbs the water instead of allowing it to evaporate. This causes the cracker to become soft or watery.
The internal structure of crackers also plays a role. Most crackers are highly aerated, which means they can either become dry after prolonged exposure to air or wet due to excessive moisture absorption. When frozen, the ice crystals that form can turn into water when defrosted, as previously mentioned.
Fluctuating freezer temperatures can also contribute to the cracker’s loss of integrity. Additionally, crackers may suffer from freezer burn if not stored properly.
While we’re not saying there’s no way to freeze crackers, we haven’t found any conclusive evidence that freezing can preserve their original texture and structure. Perhaps a suitable freezing method has yet to be discovered.
If you’re determined to freeze crackers, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or freezer bags, then in aluminum foil. Write the cracker details and dates on the foil, including type, opening, freezing, and expiration. Place the wrapped crackers in an airtight, freezer-safe container to protect them from freezer burn, odors, or crushing. However, we don’t recommend freezing crackers.
The Best Ways to Store Crackers
Instead of freezing, consider these other methods for storing crackers long-term.
- Storing in original packaging: This is effective because the airtight plastic sleeve prevents moisture, air, or bacteria from reaching the crackers. A cardboard or plastic container protects the crackers from damage and is easy to store or stack.
- Storing in a Ziplock bag: Once opened, crackers can quickly lose their crispiness. Using a Ziplock bag for opened crackers can prolong their freshness.
- Storing in an airtight container: This is the best option to prevent pests from reaching crackers. Airtight plastic containers, metal tins, or glass jars work well.
Other Options Worth Trying
Consider placing bread slices in the container with the crackers to absorb excess moisture. Alternatively, place an open container of baking soda in the storage cabinet to absorb unwanted humidity. Silica gel packets can also be used to absorb moisture, but they are toxic, so don’t open or consume their contents.
What’s The Best Way To Store Crackers?
Store crackers in a cool, dry place away from sunlight, and the ideal storage temperature is between 45°F (8°C) and 77°F (25°C).
Avoid storing crackers near heat sources or in the refrigerator. The room’s humidity shouldn’t exceed 50%. High humidity can lead to mold and bacterial growth on crackers.
Shelf Life of Crackers
Unopened crackers can last between six and nine months when stored correctly. Opened crackers typically last around two to four weeks when stored properly and are not allowed to become stale.
Crackers that have gone soft can be re-crisped and consumed immediately. Be mindful of the FIFO (first in, first out) stock rotation technique, so you always consume the oldest crackers first.
How can I re-crisp crackers?
Depending on the type of cracker, you can try to revive soft crackers by placing them in an oven set at 225°F (110°C) for 15 to 25 minutes. This process helps remove excess moisture and restore their crunchiness.
Will crackers stay fresh in the refrigerator?
Refrigerators are not cracker-friendly due to their high moisture content, which can make crackers soggy. Instead, store them in a cool, dry place.
Are some crackers better for storage than others?
Yes, crackers with different moisture levels may have varying shelf lives. Homemade crackers usually have a shorter shelf life than commercially-produced ones because they lack the stabilizers and preservatives found in store-bought crackers.
Do these methods apply to biscuits and cookies?
These storage methods can also be applied to other snacks like chips, biscuits, and cookies. It’s essential to maintain freshness and prevent staleness in all types of snack foods.