Do Uncrustables Need To Be Refrigerated?
Uncrustables are a great sandwich snack found in the frozen section of the supermarket.
They come in several different flavors, but mostly the classic peanut butter and grape/strawberry jelly, and must be thawed before eating.
When it comes to storing them, there are a few questions about whether or not they need to be refrigerated.
So, do Uncrustables need to be refrigerated? Yes, if you are not eating them right after thawing, Uncrustables need to be refrigerated (or frozen). They are not meant to sit out at room temperature for an extended period. It’s also best to thaw them in the fridge or in a lunchbox with an ice pack.
These treats are too good to waste – whether you’re an adult or a kid! So you need to be sure you’re taking good care of your Uncrustables.
Read on to find out more about refrigerating Uncrustables, how long they last in the fridge, how long they can be out of the fridge before they go bad, and much more!
What Are Uncrustables?
Mostly, Uncrustables are little peanut butter and jelly (grape or strawberry) sandwiches with crimped edges and no crust!
But the brand has a few other flavors like peanut butter and honey, plain peanut butter, and hazelnut and chocolate (think Nutella!).
Made by the popular brand Smuckers, Uncrustables are readymade and available in the supermarket. But you can also make your own version of Uncrustables at home with a sandwich sealer.
They are a great snack to have on hand and are usually made with peanut butter and jelly but can be made with other fillings as well.
They are a common food item for homes with children to feed as not only are they convenient but also super delicious.
Do Uncrustables Need To Be Refrigerated?
Yes, Uncrustables need to be refrigerated (or frozen) when you’re not thawing them to eat.
According to the Smucker’s website, the best way to eat Uncrustables is by thawing them for 30 to 60 minutes at room temperature and eating them within 6 to 8 hours for the best flavor.
But ideally, you will use an ice pack (in your kid’s lunchbox) or keep them in the fridge if you aren’t eating them within 1-2 hours.
You may even thaw them in the refrigerator, which may take longer, but will be much safer than thawing at room temperature.
Don’t put Uncrustables in the toaster, air fryer, or microwave, especially with the plastic on.
How Long Do Uncrustables Last In The Refrigerator?
The freezer is the ideal place to store Uncrustables for a long time, up until their expiration date.
If you do not plan on eating your Uncrustables right away, you must store them in the refrigerator where they should last for a few days. It’s best not to leave them longer than 1 day in the fridge, though. They taste better when fresher.
Uncrustables are not meant to be left at room temperature for a long time as they will likely go bad. For this reason, it is best to store them in the freezer or fridge if you do not plan on eating them right away.
A thawed uncrustable can be stored in the fridge for almost the same time as a regular peanut butter and jelly sandwich would.
It’s a little moist from the jelly, so it won’t last as long as peanut butter or bread in the fridge, but since the edges are sealed, it won’t go bad too quickly. It also tends to dry out rather than get too soggy.
Make sure to keep it in an airtight container if you take it out of the bag. It will lose its texture and flavor relatively fast, though, and won’t last as long outside of its packaging.
How Long Do Uncrustables Last Out Of The Refrigerator?
Uncrustables are frozen items made using processed flour, vegetable oil, sugar, and delicious fillings like peanut butter with grape jelly or strawberry jam, peanut butter and honey, chocolate-flavored hazelnut, and more.
Their quality will start to deteriorate if they are kept out of the fridge or freezer in a warm environment for too long. The warmer the temperature, the quicker they will spoil.
According to the Smucker’s website, unrefrigerated Uncrustables should be eaten within a few hours of thawing.
Their shelf-life decreases dramatically once they are thawed. If not kept in the right conditions, they will become a breeding ground for bacteria to grow and make you sick.
When buying Uncrustables at the supermarket, they should be the last thing you pick off the shelf. They are a frozen item with a short shelf-life, so this lets them remain frozen for longer.
Make sure to not leave Uncrustables in the car for more than 1-2 hours, depending on the outside temperature. Warm temperatures will cause them to defrost sooner and go bad.
How Long Do Uncrustables Last In Lunchboxes?
The same is the case for packing Uncrustables in your kids’ lunchboxes.
Uncrustables make a great addition to school lunches and should be thawed for 2 hours and consumed immediately.
Do not defrost them prior to packing. The frozen sandwich will defrost in time for your kid to enjoy during lunchtime.
If you wish for your on-the-go Uncrustable lunch to last longer, you may include ice packs, in which case, it is recommended to eat them within 6 hours.
It’s best to use an icepack if your kid has a later lunch or if they will be on a field trip outdoors.
Can You Refreeze Uncrustables?
If you deliberately or accidentally thaw your Uncrustables (such as in the car) and do not wish to use them right away, can you refreeze them?
It is not recommended to refreeze Uncrustables because it ruins the texture. However, it is not a safety issue to do so.
One round of thawing causes the bread to become soft. It is already in a delicate state and refreezing will affect its texture and quality. It will also result in the formation of ice crystals, resulting in a loss of flavor.
For this reason, it is important to eat your Uncrustables soon after thawing them.
Avoid putting them in the freezer for a second time. Though they will still be edible, the taste and texture may be adversely affected. But if they have been out too long and start to spoil, then refreezing could become a health issue.
If your Uncrustables start to thaw while you are driving back home from the supermarket, you must put them back in the freezer as soon as possible.
If you delay doing so and leave the packet outside for too long, the sandwiches may not freeze well and there may be a high risk of contamination.
How To Tell If Uncrustables Have Gone Bad?
One of the main reasons for Uncrustables going bad is improper storage. Not following the recommended storage instructions reduces their shelf-life and creates the perfect environment for them to spoil.
If uncrustables have been left out of the freezer and refrigerator for too long, they may begin to show signs of spoilage that include:
- Presence of mold and any form of discoloration
- Stale or slimy texture
- Soggy or wet bread
- Loss of flavor
- Sour smell
How To Make And Store Homemade Uncrustables
Although they are super convenient and delicious, store-bought Uncrustables are not the healthiest. They contain processed flour, vegetable oil, and at least 5 grams of added sugar per sandwich.
It would be a much healthier option to make your own version of Uncrustables at home. That gives you more freedom to choose better ingredients.
You can use whole wheat bread, organic peanut butter, or home-made jam or jelly made with real fruit. You could even make a gluten-free variation!
Luckily, Uncrustables are super easy to make and take hardly a few minutes and a handful of ingredients to prepare.
To make homemade Uncrustables, you will need these ingredients:
- Whole grain bread
- Fillings of your choice (peanut butter & jelly, peanut butter & honey, Nutella, etc.)
- Sandwich sealer
- OR cookie cutter & fork (to recreate what a sandwich sealer does)
Here are step-by-step instructions for making Uncrustables at home:
- Briefly warm the bread in the microwave for 5 seconds.
- Place it on a cutting board.
- Add the fillings, making sure to leave some space around the edges so that the filling doesn’t come out when you cut/seal the sandwiches.
- Assemble the sandwiches and seal the crust.
You can also cut the bread with a cookie cutter first, fill the sandwiches, and then crimp the edges of the bread together using a fork.
You can serve them right away or store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Put them in a freezer-safe bag and remove as much air as possible to prevent ice crystals from forming.
You may even wrap each individual uncrustable in plastic wrap to ensure maximum freshness and then put them in a freezer-safe bag.
Storing Uncrustables To Make Them Last
The best place to store Uncrustables is in the freezer where they should retain their flavor and quality for a long time. You may also keep them in the refrigerator for a day or so, after which they may start to spoil.
Here are a few tips to make your Uncrustables last longer in the freezer, fridge, or kitchen counter:
- Check the expiration date on the package to make sure it’s fresh.
- Use clean and dry materials for storage if the packaging tears.
- Make sure your kitchen counter or pantry used for thawing is clean and dry.
- Thaw Uncrustables in the package or in whatever storage container you used for homemade sandwiches.
- Do not keep them near high heat or in humid areas.
Now that you know all about storing uncrustables and whether or not they need to be refrigerated, here are a few additional questions you might have:
Can You Eat Frozen Uncrustables?
Uncrustables are meant to be thawed for 30 to 60 minutes at room temperature before being eaten.
Some people, however, prefer to eat them frozen or partially frozen as it gives a crunchy and thick texture to the peanut butter.
What Temperature Is Safe For Uncrustables?
0°F, which is the ideal temperature of a freezer, is the safest temperature for storing Uncrustables for a long time.
They will also remain safe in the refrigerator for 24 hours at 34°F, although it is not suitable for long-term storage.