How to Store Croutons to keep them crisp (homemade or not)

Croûtons or crotons are small portions of bread toasted, sautéed, or lightly fried in butter or oil. I use them for soups and veggie creams, so it gets crunchier, but that’s my case. Too much bla bla; let’s see how to store croutons.

Homemade croutons can be stored at room temperature for five days, in the fridge for one week, or in the freezer for 4 to 6 weeks. On the other hand, store bought croutons can last between 5 and 6 months at room temperature or in the fridge.

Store Croutons

To know in detail how to preserve croutons, you just have to continue reading.

How to store croutons at room temperature

Well, you can buy ready-made croutons in any food store or supermarket, and these will enjoy an extended life thanks to the preservatives.

You have to keep them in an airtight bag or container, stick a label with the date and store them in a place that is not wet or hot and stays dark.

In this way, you will keep store bought croutons for 5 or 6 months at room temperature. [1]

But if you prepared your croutons, you could store them as follows:

  • Step 1: Wait for the croutons to cool down.

When the croutons are ready, spread them on a tray, leaving space between them to cool well and quickly.

  • Step 2: Bag or pack the croutons.

Once the croutons are completely cold, you can move them into an airtight bag. Make sure to get as much air out as possible before sealing it. Or you can put them inside an airtight container.

  • Step 3: Store homemade croutons at room temperature.

Place the croutons in a dark area, free of moisture, and that is not hot. This way, the homemade croutons will remain for five days at room temperaturebut if they have cheese, they will only last 2 or 3 days

How to store croutons in the fridge

The truth is that it is not recommended to store croutons in the fridge since there is a chance that the humidity will ruin their consistency.

But if you do not have space in your pantry, you can keep the croutons inside the fridge if you keep them tightly closed. 

As in the previous section, store bought croutons will have a longer life than homemade croutons. I recommend leaving the croutons in their original packaging, but if it is broken or you cannot close it again, pass them into an airtight bag, then put them inside an airtight container to keep moisture away. Remember to put the storage date in the bag or container.

The commercial sales croutons can be kept refrigerated for 5 or 6 months; however, to store the homemade croutons in the refrigerator, you must proceed as follows.

  • Step 1: Wait for the homemade croutons to cool down.

Spread the freshly made croutons on a tray, leaving space between them to let the air circulates better and cools quickly.

  • Step 2: Pack homemade croutons.

When the croutons are cold, put them in an airtight bag and get as much air out as possible before sealing, or place the filled bag inside an airtight container.

Another option is to wrap the croutons in paper towels and then put them inside an airtight bag or container so that it absorbs the moisture.

  • Step 3: Store homemade croutons in the fridge.

Place them in a cool area of your refrigerator, and the homemade croutons can be refrigerated for a week, and if the croutons have cheese, they will last five days. 

How to freeze croutons

Can you freeze croutons? Freezing is a better option than refrigerating croutons. Just follow these instructions:

  • Step 1: Wait for the croutons to cool down.

If you have prepared croutons, wait for them to cool before freezing. If you bought them, skip this step.

  • Step 2: Freeze the croutons for 2 or 4 hours.

On a tray with waxed paper, spread the croutons, leaving space between them, so they do not stick. Then put the tray in the freezer and wait until they freeze, which may take 2 or 4 hours.

  • Step 3: Transfer frozen croutons to an airtight container or bag.

The container or bag where you will place the croutons must be resistant to the freezer. In addition, you should be aware that croutons cannot be re-frozen.

  • Step 4: Write the storage date of the croutons.

You can put the date directly on the bag or attach a label to the container. You can also set a good piece of duct tape on the container and write the date on it with a marker.

  • Step 5: Store the croutons in the freezer.

Homemade croutons can only be frozen for 4 to 6 weeks, while store bought croutons will last 10 to 12 months in the freezer. [2]

How to reheat the croutons

First, to thaw the croutons, you must put them on a tray with paper towels at room temperature for 30 minutes. After this time, you can reheat them, and they will recover a little crunchy texture, the same with the croutons that have been refrigerated.

When you want to reheat the croutons, you have two options:

  • Heat croutons in a pan: heat at a medium-low level for 5 or 8 minutes to dry out any trace of moisture.
  • Heat croutons in the oven: set at a temperature of 150°C (300°F), put the croutons on a tray with parchment paper, and reheat for 5 to 10 minutes. 

How do you know if the croutons got bad?

One of the signs that the croutons have spoiled is if they give off a robust rancid smell or a very unpleasant stench

Croutons that taste bad are also not in good condition, and you should discard them immediately.

If your croutons developed mold, that is, to get black, white, or green spots, it is because they were exposed to a humid environment and, therefore, are contaminated and no longer safe to eat. 

If the croutons are thoroughly watered, they will no longer have the crunchy texture, so it is best to get rid of them.

How long do croutons last?

Homemade croutons at room temperature5 days
Homemade croutons with cheese at room temperature2 – 3 days
Store bought croutons at room temperature5 – 6 months
 Homemade croutons in the fridge1 week
 Homemade croutons with cheese in the fridge5 days
 Store bought croutons in the fridge5 – 6 months
 Frozen homemade croutons4 – 6 weeks
 Frozen store bought croutons10 – 12 months

What is the best way to preserve the croutons?

The best way to preserve croutonswhether homemade or commercially sold, is to store them at room temperature, as their texture is not at risk of changing.

You can also store the croutons inside the refrigerator but make sure you isolate them well so that moisture does not leak.

But a better option than storing them in the fridge would be to preserve the croutons in the freezer, that way, they will stay longer, but you will have to reheat them to recover their crunchy texture.

If you want to know how to preserve some other food, on this website, you have an extensive list of topics that deal specifically with this point.



Leave a Comment