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Tortilla chips can last easily two to three months if stored correctly, but perhaps you’ve bought a large bag of tortilla chips and want to store some in the freezer for later. You might wonder if storing chips in the freezer is possible. What will they taste like – will chips stay crispy and full of flavor?
You can keep tortilla chips fresh by sealing them entirely and keeping them in a cool, dark place. Freezing tortilla chips is unnecessary but works if the seal keeps all moisture out. Due to the low water content, tortilla chips won’t freeze completely; they just become cold.
I’ve been limiting my snacking, which means not eating a whole bag of tortilla chips in one sitting! When I buy a big bargain bag of chips, I need to find a way to keep the leftovers fresh and not soggy and flavorless. I trialed dividing and freezing my tortilla chips, and here’s what I learned.
Can You Freeze Tortilla Chips?
As it turns out, although it might sound weird, you can freeze tortilla chips without them becoming soggy or ending up tasting bad. The trick with storing them in the freezer is to ensure that the bag they are in is completely sealed. When water or moisture gets into the tortillas, they will go soggy.
You can store tortilla chips in any cool and dark place, which helps them stay fresh for up to two months. A freezer certainly fits the cool and dark description, but if you keep your chips in the fridge, you can make your tortilla chips last 2-3 months.
There is a downside with any tortilla chips you store because the texture will change slightly after a few weeks. Even though you can make them last longer, they will not taste as good as fresh out of the bag.
You can freeze store-bought and homemade tortilla chips, and if they have gone a little soft, you can put them in the oven to make them crispier.
How Long do Tortilla Chips Last Once Open?
If you’ve already opened a bag of tortilla chips, you can typically keep them for about 1-2 weeks at room temperature. An unopened bag usually lasts around 2-3 months, but you can check the date on the packet to be sure that your chips are still fresh.
After this, the taste and quality will begin to deteriorate, though as long as they show no signs of spoilage, they will be acceptable to eat. You can still eat tortilla chips that have gone stale, but they won’t taste quite as good as fresh chips.
You can keep chips longer by storing them correctly. The first thing you should do with storing chips is keep out any dirt, bacteria, spores, and moisture, as these will quickly spoil your tortilla chips.
If you have made homemade tortilla chips, they will likely not last as long as store-bought, as you will not have added preservatives when cooking them.
How to Keep Tortilla Chips Fresh in the Freezer
It’s simple to keep tortilla chips fresh – seal the package correctly, and keep them in a cool, dark place.
The more air you are able to remove from the bag, the better, as this will leave less moisture content in the package. Roll your tortilla bag down to seal it and remove excess air, and secure the top of the bag. You can use a bag clip for this.
If you prefer, you can vacuum seal your chip bags for extra freshness using a min bag sealer like this handheld resealer.
Putting these well-sealed bags into the freezer will keep the chips for longer. I’ve found that the chips don’t freeze but rather go very cold. This happens because the tortilla chips have very low water content due to the cooking process, and the moisture in the food freezes.
If tortilla chips absorb moisture, they will quickly go stale, so this is another reason to seal their bag completely, whether you decide to freeze them or not.
When Should I Throw Tortilla Chips Away?
If you open your bag of tortilla chips after storing them and see any signs of mold, you should throw them away.
Even if you seal the bag properly, sometimes spores or bacteria will have already entered, and if the conditions encourage them to grow, your chips will spoil.
It’s unlikely (but still possible) that you will see signs of spoiled tortilla chips if the package has never been opened, but the risk of food spoilage will increase once the package is open, even if you reseal it again.
If your bag of tortilla chips is unopened, you should check the best-by date to see if they can still be eaten. While the food won’t immediately go off the moment that date has passed, the quality will begin to deteriorate, and the taste and texture will not be as good.
How to Store Homemade Tortilla Chips
If you made extra tortilla chips when making our oven-baked nachos, freeze the extra chips before you add any of the topping ingredients. They will generally not last as long as mass-produced tortilla chips because they will have fewer preservatives.
You’ll want to avoid extra moisture from getting into your tortilla chips, as the moisture will make them stale and change the taste. Like store-bought, you’ll want to seal them in an airtight container for extra freshness. Put your homemade tortilla chips in freezer bags and vacuum seal them before storing them in the freezer.
How Do You Make Tortilla Chips Crispy Again
If you’ve followed all the storage instructions, but your tortilla chips seem a little lacking when you take them out, you can revive them and bring back a slight crispness. You can either pop them in the oven for 2-3 minutes at high heat (425⁰F) or quickly deep fry them in hot oil.
If your chips are stale and limp, you can try oven baking them for a few more minutes. If you have an air-fryer, this is an excellent way to crisp up stale tortilla chips.
Freeze Those Tortilla Chips
My experience is that freezing tortilla chips makes them last longer. I’ve found that when I take a large bag of tortilla chips, reportion them into smaller freezer bags, and vacuum seal them, they last a long time in the freezer. Freezing is a great way to reduce waste and practice portion control.