Here’s all you need to know about the shelf life and storage of hamburger buns. Learn how long burger buns last, how to store them, and when to toss them.
Baked your own burger buns for the first time, and wondering how or how long you can store them? How long do hamburger buns last?
Or maybe your store-bought buns are a couple of days past the printed date, and you’re wondering if they’re still okay to eat.
If so, you’re in the right place. Read on.
How Long Do Hamburger Buns Last?
Hamburger buns last up to 5 days if you store them at room temperature wrapped, or in an airtight container. If you need them to last longer or want the best possible quality, freeze your hamburger buns when fresh.
The optimal storage time for homemade hamburger buns differs depending on whom you ask.
Some food bloggers recommend using theirs in as little as 24 hours, but most agree that burger buns should be okay for several days. About 5 days seems to be the sweet spot.
Of course, the longer the buns sit on your counter, the worse the overall quality, so it’s best to use them fresh or freeze them. Plus, if they get exposed to water or mold along the way, they’ll likely grow mold.
As you can tell, burger buns don’t last as long as bread lasts, but they keep quality noticeably longer than your average baguette.
Now, what about pre-packaged store-bought burger buns that come with a date?
After the Sell-by Date
Store-bought hamburger buns typically keep for an extra 3 to 5 days beyond the sell-by date on the label.
That said, the longer you store the buns, the higher the chance they’ll go moldy, so trying to squeeze in an extra day or two out of them is a bad idea. Instead, freeze them when fresh and reheat them when needed.
And don’t assume they’ll necessarily stay mold-free until the date printed on the label, as that’s not always the case. I’ve had a package or two grow mold a couple of days before the sell-by date (see the photo in the spoilage section), and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
(Yet another reason to freeze them if you need them to last for more than a few days.)
Next up, let’s talk about storage conditions.
How to Store Hamburger Buns
To keep hamburger buns fresh, store them at room temperature in an airtight container or freezer bag, or wrap them in plastic. If you need them to last longer than a few days, freeze them.
Like most bread-related baked goods, burger buns need to be well-covered. That minimizes the risk of microbial contamination and helps the rolls stay fresh for longer. If you leave them uncovered, they’ll go stale in a day or two.
Fortunately, if your burger buns are stale, not all is lost. Try spritzing them with water or moistening them using wet hands before you toast them. That should revive (or at least freshen a bit) them before you make your burgers or Sloppy Joes.
(The same technique works for bagels and similar baked goods.)
Alternatively, you can always use your stale buns to make bread crumbs or croutons, or use them as bird feed.
Finally, let’s cover when your hamburger buns are bad.
When to Toss Hamburger Buns
Discard your hamburger buns if they’re moldy, smell off, you store them for more than a week, or if they’re more than 5 to 6 days past the printed date.
If the buns are stale or their quality is terrible, tossing them is okay, but you can also try to revive them.
One of the techniques to freshen stale buns is to moisten and toast them, which I mentioned in the storage section. Another is to dampen a paper towel, wrap it around the bun, and microwave it for 20 seconds.
(If the bun is really stale, cut it in half and wrap each half separately. This way, the inside will soften too.)