Crackers are a staple in the pantry, and there’s every reason for you to have some in yours!
Grabbing one or two in the afternoon as a snack can be super refreshing – they give your mouth a stimulating, savory hit, which, coupled with their super crisp texture also makes them irreplaceable on wine and cheese summer nights.
But these can get stale rather quickly, which leaves a lot of us wondering: how to store crackers long term?
More importantly, how do you find out if your crackers have gone bad?
Is there a way to revive stale crackers? How do I keep the pests away?
I’ll answer all of these questions in this post.
How Long Do Crackers Last?
Regardless of what brand crackers you have at hand, the “Best By,” “Best if Used By,” “Best Before,” or “Best When Used By” date will give you a reasonably accurate estimation of how long the crackers will remain in peak quality. It’s usually nine months from the date on the label.
But, remember that the date on the label is NOT a safety date. Crackers remain edible long after the date of expiry.
The color, texture, and flavor may change after the date on the label, but the crackers will remain safe for consumption. But before you eat older crackers, make sure you learn how to tell if your crackers have gone bad below.
Now, if you have an open pack of crackers, the timeline is different.
If you don’t store them in an airtight container, you can expect them to stay fresh for two months (at best).
How to Store Crackers Long Term
To maximize shelf life, store your crackers in a cool and dry place, away from the stove where the temperature is bound to change, and away from water since humidity is bad for crackers.
The pantry or a cupboard is the perfect spot, such as where you store pasta and other dry goods.
Similar rules apply when storing crackers after you’ve opened the box/pack. The best way to store crackers after opening them is to put them in an airtight container.
Both plastic and glass containers work equally well.
Again, store these in a cool and dry place. If you do it right, these will stay edible for roughly three months.
But according to Leaf TV, you can expect them to begin to lose freshness by the end of the first month.
You can also vacuum seal your crackers with a vacuum sealer machine instead of using an airtight container as long as you ensure that your pantry is free from pests. These can keep foods fresh for longer.
However, there is one thing you must NEVER do: store crackers in a refrigerator.
The damp air in the fridge will accelerate deterioration and shorten the shelf life of your crackers. It’s the fastest way of ruining a fresh pack of crackers.
How to Find Out If Your Crackers Have Gone Bad
Over time, the crackers will start to lose their color and flavor, but will still remain edible.
However, if you smell a bad odor, spot mildew on the crackers, or see any other significant changes in appearance, it is best to get rid of them.
But if you don’t see any of these indicators of spoiling, you can eat them without worrying about your health.
Don’t worry if your crackers have become soft – it is an effect of humidity, and your crackers are still edible.
In fact, there are a few ways you can refresh slightly older crackers and saltines and make them crisp again.
How to Make Crackers Crispy Again
If, even after all of your efforts, your crackers go soft, don’t fret!
They’re still edible, and just need to be rejuvenated.
As reported by Cook’s Illustrator, all you need to do is spread your crackers in an even layer on the baking sheet before placing it in the middle rack of your oven pre-heated at 225 degrees.
Don’t change the temperature, and leave your tray in the oven for 15 to 25 minutes.
Your crackers should come out rejuvenated and super crispy! This works for all types of wheat crackers, gluten-free crackers, saltines and oyster crackers.
But we haven’t tacked the biggest enemy of crackers yet: pests.
How to Pest-Proof Your Pantry for Storing Crackers
Keeping the pantry clean is one of the best ways of keeping pests out of it. Clean up crumbs and other wastes as soon as you see them.
A neat DIY trick to keep pests out of your pantry is to use spices.
Sprinkle cinnamon powder along the entrance of your pantry or around the cupboard you store your crackers in, and ants won’t cross the line.
Bay leaves are known to ward off cockroaches, moths, and fleas, and using cloves will keep weevils away.
You can tie these spices up in cloth bags and place a few around your pantry. If you don’t mind the smell yourself, you can also get essential oils of these spices, spritz some on cotton balls, and place them around the pantry.
Using peppermint essential oil, along with the other oils, will also ward rats away. Placing some chili around the pantry is another effective way of keeping the rodents at bay.
But regardless of if you choose to do that or not, make sure you use airtight glass or plastic containers to store your food. Pests cannot penetrate these, and even if they manage to enter your pantry, they won’t be able to gnaw through to the crackers.
These chemical-free tricks will help you ensure your family’s good health while keeping your food safe from pests.
Knowing that you have the food situation handled is super relieving, no?
And now that you know how to store crackers long term, nothing can ruin your wine and cheese night.