How to Keep Tortilla Chips Fresh (storage guide)

Tortilla chips are simply fried or baked tortilla trimmings. You can use them as snacks or in some recipes, but that’s not the matter today. What you must learn today is how to store tortilla chips

Storing the tortilla chips in an airtight container or bag can last between 1 and 2 weeks at room temperature. Although it is not advisable to keep tortilla chips cold, it is possible to freeze them for 2 or 3 months.

If you want to know the right way to preserve the chips, you must continue reading.

Keep Tortilla chips

How to keep tortilla chips?

Tortilla chips are an excellent example of how to take advantage of corn tortillas, turning them into an appetizer for parties, family dinners, or spending an afternoon watching movies.

Commonly people prepare them in large quantities, but you can also get bags of tortilla chips in several stores or supermarkets. So how to store leftover chips?

Below will be detailed the different ways to preserve homemade chips and those for commercial sale.

Preserve homemade tortilla chips

It would be best to keep homemade tortilla chips at room temperature to preserve their crunchy texture.

Following the next tips, they can last a long time:

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

If you fried the chips, it is advisable to place them on absorbent paper to remove all the excess oil since they must be stored completely dry. On the other hand, leave them in the same tray if you baked the chips until they cool.

  • Step 2: Place the chips in an airtight bag or container.

After they are cold and dry, the chips are stored in an airtight container or bag. Make sure that both the bag and the container are completely dry and can be closed tightly to prevent the passage of air.

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

Please place them in the pantry or cupboard, where there is no trace of humidity. In this way, the chips can last one or two weeks at room temperature.

Another way to store homemade tortilla chips would be to preserve the tortillas themselves before frying or smoking.

How to freeze tortilla chips?

As we mentioned before, avoid storing the tortilla chips at low temperatures because they lose their crunchy texture. In addition, the shelf life in the case of refrigeration is practically the same as at room temperature.

But can the chips be frozen? Yes, tortilla chips can be frozen, although there is a risk that it will change their texture. The best way to mitigate these changes is to follow the preservation guidelines for freezing tortilla chips.

You can follow those guidelines here:

  • Step 1: Wait for them to cool.

The chips should be cold and dry before storing. Place them on paper towels to remove the moisture if you fried them.

  • Step 2: Place the chips inside an airtight bag.

In this case, it is convenient to use a good bag with hermetic closure suitable for freezing. This way, you could try to remove as much air as possible inside the bag, preventing the formation of an ice layer covering the tortilla chips.

If you have a vacuum sealing machine, use it to get better results. 

  • Step 3: Label it.

On the bag, put a label with the storage date. This way, you will know how long the frozen chips have been.

  • Step 4: Save to the freezer.

If you follow all these tips, you may freeze the tortilla chips for 2 or 3 months. However, it is recommended to consume before two months because, after this time, their consistency will change no matter how well stored they are.

To defrost, take out the bag with frozen chips and leave them on the countertop at room temperature for an hour or two. You can also transfer them to the fridge. Although thawing would take 12 hours or more, that’s why you should leave it there overnight.

Storing commercial tortilla chips

Commercial tortilla chips or totopos come in sealed bags, contributing to their preservation. Unopened, you can store them in the cupboard until the expiration date.

As soon as you open it, we recommend transferring the content into airtight containers, such as Ziplock bags. After opening the bag, the tortilla chips may last about 2 or 3 weeks at room temperature

How do you know if tortilla chips are bad?

Tortilla chips are bad if they have a rancid taste or if they lose the flavor, which usually happens after you store them for an extended period. 

If there is moisture where you store the container with tortilla chips, they can develop mold. If that’s the case, you will see black, green, or white spots, and you will need to discard them.

Mold contains bacteria harmful to the body, so it is not advisable to eat food if they develop mold. 

Also, there is no point in eating the totopos if they are gummy and nothing crunchy at all. Although this does not necessarily indicate that the chips are bad, it shows that they were stored incorrectly.

How long do chips last?

Tortilla chips have a regular lifespan, not too long, but not too short. Here I leave you a table summarizing the conservation time:

Homemade tortilla chips at room temperature1 – 2 weeks
Refrigerated homemade tortilla chips1 week
Frozen homemade tortilla chips2 – 3 months
Commercial tortilla chips bag at room temperature (sealed)Until the expiration date
Commercial tortilla chips bag at room temperature (opened)2 – 3 weeks

What is the best way to preserve tortilla chips?

The best way to store tortilla chips is to preserve them at room temperature, whether homemade or commercial chips.

So, you can prepare a large number of chips or open several bags and store the leftover scraps in an airtight container or bag in the cupboard. 

Storing the chips in the fridge is not recommended since it does not extend the shelf life of the chips, and they run a greater risk of losing their consistency.

It is also not good to freeze the chips, but it is a better option than the fridge if you make sure you seal them well.

If you are interested in this type of content, this site has a long list of topics related to food preservation.

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