How to Store Arepas (Precooked or Cooked)

You can eat them at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and as you may know, you need cornflour to prepare them. So that is a critical factor to consider when we want to learn how to preserve arepas.

It is possible to keep arepas for two days at room temperature in an airtight container and five days if refrigerated. Freezing arepas is an intelligent way to keep them for three months for further storage.

Store Arepas

To know how to preserve the arepas correctly, you must continue reading. 

Store arepas at room temperature

If you cooked all the arepas you made, you could store them at room temperature, following the guidelines below:

  • Step 1: Wait for the arepas to cool.

Before storing the arepas, it is best to wait until they are cold, otherwise the steam would generate moisture inside the container. 

  • Step 2: Place the arepas inside an airtight container. 

You can stack the arepas to make them fit better. 

  • Step 3: Store in a dry, dark place.

In this way, you can preserve the arepas for two days at room temperature. If the arepas are stuffed, they should be refrigerated using the recommendations below.

Store arepas in the fridge

Now, if you want the arepas to last a little longer, or if you filled the arepas, then it is advisable to preserve them inside the fridge. To do this, follow these instructions:

  • Step 1: Wait for the arepas to be cold.

You must wait for the arepas to be cold before storing them, especially if you added any kind of filling.

  • Step 2: Wrap the arepas.

Wrap each arepa with aluminum foil. 

  • Step 3: Put the arepas inside an airtight container.

Put the arepas inside an airtight container and cover well. If the arepas are stuffed, it is best not to stack them, but there is no problem stacking unfilled arepas. 

  • Step 4: Store inside the refrigerator.

The arepas without filling can be refrigerated for about five daysHowever, if they have a type of filling, they can only be in the fridge for 1 or 2 days. 

How to freeze arepas

Can you freeze arepas? It is possible to freeze arepas, although it is not the best form of storage since they can change the texture, developing a gummy sensation. 

As a general rule, if you added a filling inside the arepas, they should not be stored in the freezer because the filling might not freeze well. 

To freeze the arepas, you must follow the instructions below:

  • Step 1: Wait for the arepas to cool. 

It is of utmost importance to wait for the arepas to be cold before putting them in the freezer to avoid the shock of temperatures affecting them negatively.

  • Step 2: Wrap the arepas.

Wrap each arepa twice to prevent frostbite burns. First with plastic film, then with aluminum foil.

  • Step 3: Put the arepas in an airtight bag.

This will add an extra layer of protection, and you will have all the arepas in one place. The bags must be suitable for freezing.

  • Step 4: Label the container.

On the bag, stick a label with the storage date, or you can also write it directly on it.

  • Step 5: Save to the freezer.

The arepas will freeze for about three months if you follow our guidelines.

Store arepas with partial cooking

Another way to preserve the arepas, especially if you want to maintain them for a while and practically as freshly made when heated, is to curdle the arepas without cooking them thoroughly.

To do this, you must do the following:

  • Step 1: Heat the iron. 

While making the arepas, heat the iron over medium heat. 

  • Step 2: Cook the arepas for a few minutes.

Cook the arepas for between 3 and 4 minutes on both sides so the arepa does not lose its shape, being careful not to cook completely. 

  • Step 3: Let stand.

When the arepas are curdled, let them sit for an hour until they cool. 

  • Step 4: Wrap the arepas.

If you are going to refrigerate them, wrap the arepas with plastic film or aluminum foil. If you are going to freeze them, cover them first with plastic wrap, then with aluminum foil. 

  • Step 5: Place them in an airtight bag or container.

Put the arepas wrapped inside an airtight container or bag. In case of freezing, these must be suitable to be in the freezer.

  • Step 6: Write down the storage date.

Stick a label with the storage date or write it directly on the bag or container.

  • Step 7: Store the arepas. 

If you keep them in the fridge, the curdled arepas will last for a week. While if you store them in the freezer, they can last for 3 and 4 months.

How to store fried arepas

The arepas are not only grilled or baked, but you can also fry them, and they are delicious. However, as they absorb a lot of oil do not usually last too long.

To store fried arepas, you should follow these tips:

  • Step 1: Wait for them to cool down.

When you take the arepas out of the oil, put them on paper towels to remove the excess, and wait for them to cool.

  • Step 2: Wrap the arepas.

Wrap each arepa with aluminum foil. 

  • Step 3: Place the wrapped arepas in an airtight bag or container.

In this way, you protect them against the presence of external agents that can contaminate them. 

  • Step 4: Store in the fridge. 

The fried arepas can be refrigerated for 3 or 4 days if they do not have a filling; otherwise, they will only last one day. For its part, avoid freezing fried arepas, as they lose consistency.

How to reheat arepas?

The best way to reheat cooked, curdled, or fried arepas is using the oven. You only must leave it for a few minutes at 200°C (390°F) until they heat up thoroughly. 

You can also finish the curdle arepas on the grill, but it is better with an oven or toaster oven.

In the case of frozen arepas, you can put them directly into the oven or thaw them first. To thaw, you can set the arepas the night before in the fridge or leave it for a while at room temperature.

We recommend you soak the curdled arepas frozen for a few seconds in warm water before baking. 

You can also fry curdled or cooked arepas, although in this case, it is advisable to chop them into thinner pieces. 

How to preserve the dough to make arepas?

In case you have a lot of dough and you want to store it, check this specific post where you will learn how to store corn dough.

If you want to refrigerate it, you can store the whole dough in an airtight container for up to 3 days

If you want to freeze it, cut the dough into pieces with the arepa shape, freeze them on a tray for a few hours until they harden, and put them inside an airtight bag. So, you can freeze the dough for 3 to 6 months.

How to preserve cornflour to make arepas?

You can preserve cornflour, the main ingredient to prepare arepas, which is an excellent idea as the flour lasts much longer. Consider storing it instead of the prepared arepas if you require extended shelf life.

You can keep the flour in its original packaging or store it in an airtight container at room temperature for 6-8 months, 1 year in the fridge, and 2 years if you freeze it.

Although you don’t freeze cornmeal, it creates a favorable environment that slows down growth and microbial activity, causing it to last much longer.

How do you know if the arepas got bad?

It’s easy to determine when the arepas got terrible. 

If you have any of the following characteristics, discard the arepas immediately.

  • If they have a weird smell, such as rancid.
  • If arepas have mold (green or black dots).
  • If slugs are on them.
  • If they taste bad.

How long do arepas last?

The arepas have an average life span. Below, I leave you a table summarizing the shelf life of the arepa.

Cooked arepa at room temperature (unfilled)2 days
Cooked arepa in the fridge (unfilled)5 days
Cooked arepa in the fridge (filled)1 – 2 days
Cooked arepa in the freezer3 months
Fried arepa in the fridge (unfilled)3 – 4 days
Fried arepa in the fridge (filled)1 day
Arepa dough in the fridge3 days
Frozen arepa dough3 – 6 months
Corn flour at room temperature6 – 8 months
Refrigerated corn flour1 year
Frozen corn flour2 years

What is the best way to preserve arepas?

The best way to preserve the arepas is to curdle them and refrigerate or freeze them because then they can be baked and are almost freshly made.

Cooked arepas have the advantage of storing them at room temperature for a couple of days. However, the consistency is not as similar as freshly made when heated.

You can also store the dough to make the arepas, and freezing it is a better option for when you want to stock up on arepas for a long season.

Another storage method is to preserve cornflour (the main ingredient) since it can last a long time.

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