Can you freeze pancakes?
In this brief guide, we will be answering the following question, “can you freeze pancakes?”. We will discuss the proper way to freeze pancakes along with the benefits of freezing pancakes and the drawbacks of freezing them. We will also discuss how to safely reheat pancakes and what are the spoilage signs of pancakes.
Can you freeze pancakes?
Yes, you can freeze the pancakes. Freezing pancakes increases their shelf life but it also makes them soggy when you reheat them. Freezing your pancakes saves your preparation time and each time you can just heat them up and enjoy your breakfast.
Freezing pancakes increases their shelf life for up to 2 months. It is more than the pancake batter because pancakes are cooked and cooking decreases the chances of contamination which leads to spoilage (1).
How to freeze pancakes?
To freeze pancakes, first allow them to cool to room temperature because it’s not recommended to freeze hot food, since it can lead to moisture and develop ice crystals (1,2).
When the pancakes are cool, arrange them on a baking sheet or tray in a single layer without touching and when the pancakes feel solid to the touch, place the tray in the freezer for about an hour (1,2).
Then, transfer the frozen pancakes to airtight freezer bags or containers, taking care to remove as much air as you can before securing. For future reference and to know how long the pancakes have been frozen, you can mark the bags with the date and contents (2).
What are the benefits of freezing pancakes?
The benefits of freezing pancakes are the following (1,2):
- Freezing pancakes increases their shelf life by up to 2 months. It will go bad in a few hours if it is kept at room temperature.
- Pancakes contain highly perishable food items like eggs and milk and they will go bad easily. So, storing pancakes in the freezer will preserve them and slow down the spoilage process.
- Freezing pancakes is time-saving. You can enjoy delicious pancakes daily in no time.
What are the drawbacks of freezing pancakes?
The drawbacks of freezing pancakes are the following (2,3):
- Frozen pancakes may become slightly soggy when thawed and reheated due to the moisture in pancakes which can form ice crystals.
- The moisture content and chemical composition of the pancakes influence their thermal properties.
- Pancakes’ texture may also be impacted by freezing, they may become less airy and more thick.
How to safely reheat pancakes?
According to the USDA, reheated food must reach a safe interior temperature of at least 165 ºF (74 ºC) in order to eradicate any potential pathogens (4,5). Knowing that you can reheat pancakes following the next options:
In microwave: The pancakes can be reheated in a microwave by placing them in a bowl that is microwave-safe, and then you can reheat 3 or 4 pancakes for about 20 to 30 seconds.
In oven: Set the oven to 350 ºF if you want to reheat them there. The pancakes should be placed on a baking sheet and warmed in the oven.
No recommended: The USDA does not recommend reheating leftovers in slow cookers, steam tables, or chafing dishes because food may remain in the “Danger Zone,” which is between 40 °F and 140 °F for an extended period of time, since bacteria can grow quickly at these temperatures.
How to know that your pancake has gone bad?
To know if your pancakes have gone bad, look for the following (6):
- Your pancakes are spoiled if their scent changes and they may no longer taste good.
- You should toss your pancakes if they have a gritty texture, which indicates that they have gone bad.
- It has also gone bad if you detect a change in the flavor of your pancakes.
- Finally, if there are any black spots on the pancakes, this is a sign of fungus growth and they are no longer safe to eat.
In this brief guide, we answered the following question, “can you freeze pancakes?”. We discussed the proper way to freeze pancakes along with the benefits of freezing pancakes and the drawbacks of freezing them. We also discussed how to safely reheat pancakes and what are the spoilage signs of pancakes.
1. Food labeling and product dating. USDA
2. Freezing and Food Safety. USDA, 2013
3.Kumar, P.K. et al. Development of high-fiber and sugar-free frozen pancakes: Influence of state and phase transitions on the instrumental textural quality of pancakes during storage. Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft und-Technologie, 2021, 146(3).
4. Food Safety Charts – Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart. USDA, 2020.
5. What methods of reheating food are safe?. USDA, 2023.
6. What are the signs of food spoilage?. USDA, 2023.