Cornbread makes every dinner so much cozier. And even though baking cornbread doesn’t take that long, sometimes you don’t have even 30 minutes to do it. In such cases, leftover cornbread comes in handy.
How long does cornbread last? How long can you keep the quick bread at room temperature or in the fridge? The shelf life of cornbread is only 2 days if you keep it in a kitchen cabinet or on the countertop. The fridge makes cornbread last much longer. Properly stored cornbread lasts up to a week in the fridge.
Continue reading to learn how you should store cornbread to bring its shelf life to the maximum and if you can freeze it to make it last even longer.
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Cornbread doesn’t last that long especially if you don’t store it properly. Left unopened, cornbread will quickly dry out. Cornbread with additional ingredients, such as various vegetables and cheese, is more perishable.
The key problem with cornbread is that it can quickly dry out if you leave it open. If you are not going to eat the cornbread right away or you have leftover cornbread, keep it wrapped in order to maintain the softness of the bread. You can wrap the bread with food wrap or aluminum foil. Both work well so long as you wrap the bread tightly.
Once the bread is wrapped, put it in a zip-top bag. When using a sealable plastic bag, it is important to squeeze out the excess air.
Alternatively, you can keep the bread in an airtight container. Make sure the container is not too big for the amount of cornbread you are storing. The more oxygen is left in the container with cornbread the higher are the chances of it drying out.
If you know you will be eating the cornbread within the following few days, keep it in a cool and dark area. A kitchen cabinet, so long as it is away from heat sources, is a good storage area for cornbread. You should also avoid leaving cornbread under direct sunlight.
If you know you won’t manage to finish the cornbread within a few days, it is best to store it in the fridge. As in the case of storing cornbread at room temperature, cornbread stored in the fridge should also be wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Don’t forget to put the bread in a plastic container or bag for an extra layer of protection.
Wrapping cornbread tightly with food wrap or aluminum foil is important especially when you are storing it in the fridge as the bread may absorb other odors.
If you like traditional, i.e. plain cornbread, the abovementioned storage rules are what you should stick to. But when you are making cornbread with various added ingredients, such as vegetables, keep it refrigerated at all times.
You should also refrigerate cornbread with cheese as leaving it at room temperature is not safe.
Note: No matter where you are going to store the cornbread, let it cool down completely before wrapping it with food wrap or foil. Otherwise, the steam from the bread will create condensation which will then cause the bread to not only become mushy but also go bad very quickly.
Cornbread left at room temperature will keep well for 2 days. Thus, you should leave cornbread out only when you know you can finish it soon. If you have too much cornbread, leave some of it at room temperature and store the rest in the fridge to get the most out of your quick bread.
Refrigerating extends the shelf life of cornbread to 7 days. It may keep longer if stored properly. However, if you have had the cornbread in the fridge for longer than a week, closely inspect it before eating it.
Cornbread with vegetables or cheese lasts 5 to 7 days in the fridge. Make sure to use the freshest ingredients in cornbread to make it last as long as possible.
Yes, freezing cornbread is an option when you want to make it last longer.
If you have lots of leftover cornbread and know you won’t be eating it within the coming week, freeze it right away. The fresher the bread is when you freeze it the better.
Freezing does affect the texture of cornbread. Defrosted cornbread is less fluffy. But the flavor remains unaffected so long as you store the bread in the freezer properly.
You can freeze an entire loaf of cornbread or divide it into portions and only then freeze it. We do recommend freezing cornbread in smaller portions as you can take out, defrost, and eat as much as you need. The defrosting time is also much shorter for smaller portions of cornbread.
To freeze cornbread, wrap it with aluminum foil and put it into a zip-top bag removing as much air as possible from it. You can also use plastic containers instead of freezer bags.
You can wrap the bread with a layer of food wrap too if you know you will let it sit in the freezer longer or you are afraid of the bread getting freezer burn. Wrapping the cornbread also protects it from absorbing odors.
If you have just baked it, let the cornbread cool off before wrapping it. Otherwise, the liquid accumulated from the steam will freeze. Later, when you go to thaw the bread, it will be too mushy.
To defrost and reheat cornbread, transfer it from the freezer into the fridge to thaw. Once the bread has defrosted, remove the old wrapping and wrap the bread with a new layer of aluminum foil.
Reheat the bread in the oven preheated to 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.
If you don’t have time to defrost the bread in the fridge, you can put it right into the oven. In this case, however, cornbread will take longer than 15 minutes to fully thaw and get warm.
Cornbread stored in the freezer has a shelf life of 3 months. It may keep safely for much longer. But too much time in the freezer will significantly affect the texture and the flavor of the bread.
Thus, if you decide to store your leftover cornbread in the freezer, eat it as soon as you have a meal that would benefit from a side of cornbread.
There are three main signs indicating that it is time to discard the cornbread.
Firstly, if the bread has become moldy or you see any dark spots in it, toss it out. As cornbread is soft, trying to remove the moldy parts and using the rest is not a reliable thing to do. Thus, err on the safe side and discard it.
Secondly, if you notice that your cornbread is suspiciously too mushy to the point that it feels wet, don’t eat it. the bread may not be spoiled but it certainly won’t be good either.
Lastly, when inspecting the cornbread before eating it, give it the good old sniff test. A sour smell is one of the ‘easiest’ signs to detect.
Your cornbread may be old but don’t show any signs of spoilage. In this case, however, it will most likely be stale and not the most pleasant
If you have leftover cornbread and don’t want to let it go bad, there are numerous leftover cornbread recipes on the internet. You can make pudding, croutons, or a breakfast casserole with leftover cornbread.