Keeping leftover buns at room temperature is fine for only a day or two. The fridge is even worse. What about the freezer? Can you freeze hamburger buns?
You know how it goes. You go and buy a package of buns for homemade hamburger buns. There are six of them, and you only need three or four.
Or maybe you bake them at home. You only need two, but you can’t be bothered with such a small number. So you make four (like I do), or even six.
Surely, there are leftover buns. Sometimes there’s only one odd bun left, but often it’s two or even more. And you don’t quite want to use them for breakfast sandwiches.
That’s when you start thinking about other storage options. And freezing is the first one that comes to mind.
Can You Freeze Hamburger Buns?
Storing bread in the fridge isn’t a great idea unless you know what you’re doing. But if you freeze bread, it keeps for weeks without losing quality.
And fortunately for you (and me!), the same thing goes for hamburger buns.
What’s even better is that, just like with bread, you don’t need any fancy equipment to freeze the buns. A freezer bag or two is all you need. And a minute to get this done.
Here’s how I do it.
How To Freeze Hamburger Buns
As I already hinted, this whole thing is simple and straightforward. Let’s get right to it.
- Let the buns cool down. If you’re baking your own hamburger buns (I do), make sure they’re at room temperature before you proceed. This way, they won’t get soggy in the freezer. About an hour from the time you get them from the oven should be enough.
- Put the buns in freezer bag(s). It doesn’t matter if you put each one in a separate bag or all of them in one. Even if you go with the latter option, you should still be able to grab one easily. Squeeze out the air and close the bag(s) tight. That will help avoid freezer burn.
- Label the package if you like. I don’t label my bags because I use the same ones over and over until they tear down. If you can see through yours, you likely don’t need to label them either.
- Chuck the bag(s) in the freezer.
That’s it; your buns are frozen for the long term. They can sit in the freezer for at least a couple of months without any huge loss in quality.
To be fair, I usually use mine within a week or so, so they don’t take the space in my small freezer.
If you have a package of store-bought buns that’s still unopened, you can freeze them in that package. There’s no need to repack to freezer bags.
How To Thaw Frozen Hamburger Buns
If you’re looking for the best way to defrost your buns, then slowly and at room temperature is the answer. You take them out of the bags, put on the kitchen counter, and let the temperature do its job.
The bad news is that it takes quite a while. My not-that-big buns (see pictures) take about three to four hours to thaw. If yours are thicker, you need even more time.
Consider adding a paper towel under the buns if you notice any moisture gathering near the bottom. Soggy buns aren’t what you’re looking for, so something else should absorb those water droplets.
Halfway through the estimated thawing time, flip them over. This way, the moisture inside will be distributed evenly, instead of concentrating at the bottom.
If you are planning hamburgers for dinner, better start defrosting the buns in the morning. This way, they’ll be ready to go when you need them.
Defrosting Buns in the Oven
If you’re short on time, you might thaw and warm up the buns in the oven. Wrap them in aluminum foil (so they don’t dry out), and put in the oven on fairly low heat (300 to 350F or 150 – 180C) for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Chuck the buns in there right when you start the oven, without waiting until it heats up.
If you’re already baking something else (I make french fries that go with the burgers), you can also make that work. Just decrease the thawing time accordingly.
There’s no secret to knowing if the buns are properly defrosted or not. You have to take them out of the oven, unwrap from tinfoil, and check with your hands (be careful).
If they need a couple more minutes, re-wrap them and put back into the oven.
Defrosting in the oven is a good option if you usually warm up the buns in the oven anyway. If that’s the case, leave the wrapped package for a bit longer, so the hamburger buns are nice and warm.
Using Frozen and Thawed Hamburger Buns
Now that your buns are defrosted, you use them the same way you use fresh hamburger buns.
If you’re warming them up alongside your burger patties, or separately in the oven or toaster, do the same with thawed buns. If you’re lazy (like I am quite often) and don’t even try to keep the buns hot, so be it.
It’s just like with frozen and thawed bread. Once it’s back at room temperature, there’s no much difference between the fresh and frozen-and-thawed variety.
If you’re baking hamburger buns just so that you use your fresh yeast before it goes bad, I have good news for you: you can easily freeze fresh yeast.
Now is the time to gather all the usual ingredients and compose the burgers. That means adding lettuce leaves, onions, tomato slices, mayonnaise, ketchup, burger patties, cheese, or whatever else you like.
If you’re looking for a dead-simple recipe for homemade burgers, check out this burger recipe from Easy Peasy Foodie.