Cornbread is hard to make and even more challenging to preserve. From airtight containers to freezing, here’s how to store cornbread to keep it fresh and moist.
Cornbread has been a popular American dish for generations, and it’s easy to see why. Its exquisite cake-like texture and delightful yellow color have become an iconic table bread beloved by millions.
Whether it’s a Northern sweet loaf or Southern cornbread without buttermilk, it does not remain fresh for long. How do you keep it light and crumbly when storing it?
The following are the best methods of storing leftover cornbread, along with detailed descriptions and instructions for the best results. From refrigerating to freezing, here’s how to get the most out of your food.
How to store cornbread at room temperature
Storing cornbread at room temperature is perfect when you want to keep it for a few days only. The best thing about this method is you don’t need to thaw or defrost the bread when you want to enjoy it later. It is well suited because it keeps the cornbread dry enough not to spoil it.
Ensure that the cornbread has cooled and is no longer warm. Wrap it in aluminum foil or plastic wrap to retain the moisture, then place it in a cool, dark cupboard, tin, or drawer. The cornbread will stay fresh for 1 to 2 days.
When storing cornbread, it’s important to remember a few essential things. It needs to avoid sunlight, so keep it in a cupboard or opaque container. Constant exposure to sunlight can spoil food, particularly food that contains dairy products.
How to store cornbread in the refrigerator
The refrigerator is always the first place we turn to for keeping food, and storing cornbread is no different.
Allow the cornbread to cool before putting it in the refrigerator. This helps eliminate the risk of salmonella bacteria that can spoil the food and also protects the other food in your fridge from the same contamination. It also helps the cornbread stay fresh longer.
Wrap the cornbread in plastic wrap to get rid of excess air moisture. Use a vacuum sealer for the best results and then place it in the fridge. It should be good for up to one week.
How to store cornbread in the freezer
Freezing allows us to significantly extend the shelflife of food, although there is a compromise on food quality. If you want to reuse cornbread further down the line, this is the way to go.
Allow your fresh cornbread to thoroughly cool down before slicing it into smaller portions, as much as you think you will be using at a time. This allows you to only thaw the pieces of cornbread you’ll need later, saving you time and stopping potential food wastage.
Wrap each portion individually before placing it inside an airtight or zip lock bag. Vacuum sealing the packet will help remove a lot of air. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, try to press out as much air as possible after putting the bread in the bag.
Close the bag or the container tightly, being careful not to crush the bread. Check that there’s enough space between the lid and the cornbread. Since it’s soft, there’s a possibility that it could crumble when you press it down too hard.
Label the container with the date, giving you an easy reference point when you want to reuse it. When stored correctly in the freezer, cornbread can last for 2 to 3 months. After this, it will start to lose quality in texture and taste.
When you want to use the bread, thaw it by leaving it overnight in the refrigerator. Then, reheat it in a skillet or your oven at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes.
Signs of spoilage in cornbread
Thinking of keeping any food for some time means that you also need to think about how to tell when it goes bad, or at least when it starts to. Knowing this can help you avert a health issue.
You can tell that cornbread is about to spoil when it has a foul odor. You could also describe the smell as sour. And it’s a definite sign that the bread has gone bad.
You can also tell that it’s time to throw it out if there’s mold growing. The other tell-tale sign is a change in texture. If it’s properly made, cornbread should be fluffy. If it starts to change and perhaps become soggy, then you know it’s time.
If you suspect that your cornbread has gone stale, you may still be able to eat it, but it won’t taste right. When it gets mold on it, it’s unsafe to eat.
Below you can find the most frequently asked questions about storing cornbread.
How long does cornbread last?
Cornbread will be alright at room temperature for 1 or 2 days. You can store it in a refrigerator for one week and in the freezer for about three months. These are guidelines; the sooner you use them, the better.
How do you keep cornbread moist?
There are different ways, including covering it with a towel or with aluminum foil. You could also substitute buttermilk for milk and milk or water in your recipe to keep it moist. The other method is to put the bread in an airtight container or zip lock bag, seal the moisture in, and air that would dry it out.
How do you reheat cornbread?
The best way to reheat cornbread is in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes, or in a butter-lined skillet over medium heat.