How Long Are English Muffins Good For?
A toasted English muffin, with all its nooks and crannies, is a versatile food that is great for breakfast, lunch, and a variety of snacks.
You can smear some butter and jam on it, make the ever-popular Eggs Benedict for breakfast, prepare a delicious lunch sandwich, use it as a base for a main dish, or simply substitute it for bread.
Made using a few basic ingredients such as milk, butter, salt, sugar, yeast, eggs, bread flour, and cornmeal, the dough for English muffins is cooked on a griddle.
You can also find pre-packaged English muffins in the supermarket, usually available in packs of 6.
If you live alone or have a small family, eating all 6 of them in a day or two may not be possible, which is why you must know how to store them properly and how long they can last without going bad!
So, how long are English muffins good for? When properly stored, English muffins can last for around 2 weeks at room temperature. You may also freeze them, where they will maintain their best quality for around 3 months.
Read on to find out how long English muffins last when stored on the counter, in the fridge, and the freezer, along with the best ways to store them!
How Long Do English Muffins Last?
The precise answer to this depends on how well they have been stored, with English muffins stored in their original packaging lasting about 2 weeks at room temperature.
English muffins, like any other type of bread, taste best when fresh and must be consumed within a couple of days after being purchased. If not, they must be refrigerated within 24 hours so that they can stay fresher for a bit longer.
If left out on the kitchen counter too long after their expiration date, you will notice that mold may start to appear and the muffins may develop an unpleasant smell and flavor.
If any of these signs appear, you must discard the entire package of the English muffins immediately.
To store them for longer without compromising their texture and quality, it is best to freeze them within 24 hours of being baked.
Frozen English muffins will maintain their best quality for 3 months in the freezer and will keep their shape when thawed.
How To Store English Muffins
When stored in a plastic bag or airtight container on the kitchen counter, English muffins can last for a few days before they begin to grow mold and go bad.
When you think of extending the life of any food item, your mind instantly goes to the refrigerator. You can add a few extra days to the food’s shelf life by tossing it into the fridge.
However, when it comes to English muffins, while you can put them in the refrigerator to keep them good for longer, you risk drying them out and making them less flavorful.
That being said, while it is recommended to ditch the refrigerator for plain English muffins, those with toppings must be refrigerated.
You absolutely cannot risk keeping them at room temperature since they are sure to go bad at a much faster rate.
If you want to keep your English muffins good for much longer, you may consider freezing them. If frozen while they’re fresh, prepared properly, and wrapped properly, English muffins can last months in your freezer.
How Long Do English Muffins Last In The Freezer?
As opposed to being refrigerated, English muffins maintain both their taste and quality in the freezer for a good 3 months if stored properly.
After 3 months, while they remain edible, they start to lose their quality. After 6 months, they may start to dehydrate and experience freezer burn, even if you have stored them properly.
This, of course, holds true only for plain English muffins. Those with toppings, such as cheeses and deli meats, should only be frozen for around 1 month.
Their exact lifespan could be determined by the type of ingredient, with some staying good for a few weeks only.
How To Freeze English Muffins
While it is possible to throw an unopened package of English muffins straight in the freezer, it is not the best way to go about it. Here are step-by-step instructions for freezing English muffins, the proper way:
- If the English muffins are not pre-sliced, slice them using a fork instead of a knife.
- Pull them apart using a fork to retain their internal structure and make air bubbles that are good for spreads and fillings.
- Next, wrap each set of halves using aluminum foil or plastic wrap to minimize the airflow to prevent freezer burn.
- Put them in a freezer bag, squeezing out as much air as possible before sealing the bag.
- Alternatively, put the wrapped English muffins in a large plastic container.
- Place the freezer bag or plastic container in the coldest part of the freezer, which would be somewhere in the back.
- Keep them away from foods with a strong odor as the English muffins might adopt the smells as part of their flavor profile.
Note: for English muffins with toppings, pack them like individual sandwiches and keep them in a freezer bag or plastic container with the same placement.
How To Tell If English Muffins Have Gone Bad
Store-bought English muffins can stay fresh for a long time due to the preservatives added to them during the manufacturing process.
Sodium benzoate and calcium propionate are two such preservatives that interfere with the growth and reproduction of bacteria and prevent the English muffins from going bad before their expiration date.
Regardless, they shouldn’t be left out for too long because, if you are careless with their storage, they will go bad sooner than you would expect.
A few signs to look for include checking the expiration date, which usually lasts 1 to 2 weeks after purchasing.
Another way to determine their quality would be to check their texture, appearance, smell, and taste. If the English muffins are hard and dry and have gone stale, they have most likely gone bad and are not safe to eat.
Alternatively, if they seem soft, smell funny, or have unusual growths on them, it is best to chuck them in the trash. If you taste them and they have an unusual flavor, do not risk eating them because they might make you sick.
Now that you know how long English muffins are good for and some of the best ways to store them, here are a few additional questions we thought you might have!
How do you thaw frozen English muffins?
English muffins thaw considerably better than some other types of food without affecting their taste and texture. You may use a toaster, an oven, or even thaw them at room temperature if you have the time.
For the quickest method, you can put them in a microwave for around 20-30 seconds, depending on the power of your microwave.
You may also wrap a paper towel around the muffins in order to help them retain moisture and prevent them from drying out too much.
Once the muffins have partially thawed, you may put them in the toaster or oven to finish heating them up.
If you wish to add toppings to your English muffins, you can add them after microwaving them and before putting them in the toaster or oven.
Keep the density of your toppings in mind since if you pile them on too much, the heat won’t get all the way inside the muffin and parts of it will remain cold.
What does a “fork split” muffin mean?
“Fork split” is a method used to cut English muffins in order to increase their surface area for better buttering and toasting.
Instead of splitting the muffin horizontally using a knife, you insert a fork on the side of the muffin and twist it to pull open the muffin.
What is the difference between an English muffin and a crumpet?
While English muffins and crumpets are both popular types of bread that can be enjoyed with jam, fruit, and eggs, there are a few key differences between the two.
While English muffins have a firm dough that is rolled into balls before being cooked on the stove, crumpets have a loose batter that is usually cooked inside a special crumpet ring mold.
When it comes to the texture, English muffins are more bread-like and are toasted to make them crispy, while crumpets have a spongy texture and tend to be chewy.
English muffins are usually thicker and are sliced in half before being cooked on both sides, whereas crumpets are a type of flatter bread and are cooked on just one side.
What do English muffins taste like?
English muffins taste buttery and have a slight tang. They have very little sugar as compared to other types of bread and are supposed to be toasted before eating.
When toasted, the doughy texture turns brown and crispy on the outside while the interior stays soft and moist.
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