How Long do English Muffins Last in the Fridge

In this article, we will be answering the question of how long do English muffins last in the fridge, how to properly store muffins at room temperature and in the fridge, and why freezing may be the best option to store muffins.

How Long Do English Muffins Last in the Fridge?

The US Department of Agriculture legislates on food definitions and ingredients and defines that the english muffins must consist of flour, water, salt, yeast, leavening agents, emulsifiers or other stabilizers, mold inhibitors, and other ingredients, depending on its specific flavor. Also, English muffins are bakery products  (1). 

The maximum storage duration of English muffins in the fridge is three to four days. Storing muffins in the freezer helps preserve much of their original flavor, and since the temperature and humidity are not extremely low, the cake core remains somewhat moist and sticky. 

Also, English muffins with toppings must be stored in the fridge to retain the freshness and quality of the toppings, whether sweet or savory.

However, English muffins kept in the fridge lose their soft texture and quality very quickly. Unless you enjoy the taste of dried-out English muffins, we recommend you avoid refrigerating them. Bakery goods suffer starch retrogradation during storage, which is the reassociation of the polysaccharides of gelatinised starch. This phenomenon, also referred to as gelation (not to be confused with gelatinisation), involves the reordering of the starch polysaccharides (amylose and amylopectin) (2).  

 

What is the shelf life of English muffins?

Bakery products are subject to physical, chemical and microbiological spoilage. While physical and chemical spoilage limits the shelf life of low and intermediate moisture bakery products, such as English muffins, microbiological spoilage by bacteria, yeast and molds is the concern in high moisture products, such as cakes. Therefore, shelf life depends on the product’s ingredients and on the storage conditions (4).

Properly stored English muffins can last for at least two weeks if kept in an airtight container (or preferably in their own packaging) in a cool and dry area at normal room temperature.

However, the exact answer to this question depends mainly on the storage conditions.  For instance, in hot and humid weather, the muffins will surely degrade faster. 

Another factor is the ingredients used to make the muffins; muffins topped with fresh fruit will stay good for only a few days, whereas savory muffins topped with mostly dry ingredients stay good for longer. The US Department of Agriculture recommends storing bread-type products for up to 5 days in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer (3).

How to Store Home-Made English Muffins in the Fridge?

Here are the steps for properly storing English muffins in the fridge:

  • Remove the muffins from the pan, along with any paper or silicone liners you might have used) at least five to 10 minutes after baking them.
  • Place the muffins in a single layer (preferably on a wire rack) to let any moisture escape. This allows the muffins to stay moist but not too wet or soggy.
  • After they have cooled, place the muffins into an airtight container lined with paper towels or a tea towel, and also topped with another towel to absorb any excess moisture from above. You can also place them in a freezer bag. 
  • Use clean tools to manipulate the product. Avoiding direct manual contact with the product can extend shelf life (4).

The packaging must provide a good moisture barrier, especially to protect frozen muffins from excessive drying out, which manifests itself as ‘freezer burn’ and adversely affects both texture and taste (3).

Can You Freeze English Muffins?

English muffins can be successfully frozen for as long as three to four months. It is the best way to extend their shelf-life and their original flavor. 

While properly stored muffins will not go bad after the three-month mark, they will begin to collapse or get freezer burn.

Why is Freezing a Better Option? And for How Long?

Proper freezing conditions reduce the surrounding temperature to almost below 0 degrees Celsius. This inhibits almost all dangerous microorganisms from reproducing and degrading the stored food. Also, you can manage the surrounding moisture so that the muffins remain edible for an extended duration. Reducing the temperature of a food product slows down both enzyme activity and the growth of microorganisms. Reducing to temperatures of 18 ºC and below virtually stops such activities and even kills some microorganisms (3).

However, chefs advise that you shouldn’t use the freezer for way too long,  since this causes English muffins to become excessively dry and makes their core brittle instead of cohesive.

What about Freezing English Muffins with Toppings?

Remember that the same guidelines for freezing DO NOT apply to English muffins with toppings. The latter can include cheeses, bacon, deli meats, and many other delicacies. And obviously, all these different edibles do not last three months in the freezer.

Because of this, English muffins with toppings have a reduced shelf life. If frozen for longer, the other ingredients will begin to lose their quality, texture, and flavor.

 

How to Tell if English Muffins Have Gone Bad?

The most accurate way to determine whether English muffins have gone bad is to:

  • check for foul or unpleasant odors
  • check for mold appears

What Are The Tips for Storing English Muffins Properly?

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when storing English muffins:

  • When selecting an airtight container for the muffins, glass and porcelain are considered safe for health. Moreover, these materials can also be used in the microwave because of their durability and heat resistance. Limiting the amount of free air space in the pack by using materials that conform as closely as possible to the product shape will limit the amount of moisture trapped inside at the point of packing and avoid the muffins from drying out (3).  
  • If you choose a plastic container, make sure it is a PP plastic box and is BPA Free. These symbols can be generally found on the body or bottom of these airtight freezer-friendly containers. 
  • The standard storage temperature (fridge) for muffins is 3 to 6 degrees Celsius or 374 to 428 degrees Celsius.
  • The standard humidity level should not fall below 50%.
  • Avoid temperature fluctuations and refreezing the muffins after they’re once tawned. That causes retrogradation of the starch and leads to texture damage (3).

Summary

While English muffins can last about a week in the fridge, make sure to check for temperature and humidity consistency during this period. Also, muffins with toppings are more sensitive and should be consumed earlier.

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question of how long do English muffins last in the fridge, how to properly store muffins at room temperature and in the fridge, and why freezing may be the best option to store muffins.

References:

  1. US Department of Agriculture. English muffins 2020.
  2. Kilcast, David, and Persis Subramaniam. Food shelf life stability. 2001.
  3. US Department of Agriculture. Food Safety and Inspection Service
  4. Smith, James P., et al. Shelf life and safety concerns of bakery products—a review. Crit rev food sci nutr, 2004, 44, 19-55.
  5. Galić, K., D. Ćurić, and D. Gabrić. Shelf life of packaged bakery goods—A review. Crit rev food sci nutr, 2009, 49, 405-426.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.