If you are a fan of Mexican cuisine, you likely are familiar with tortillas. Those soft, round, “taco shells” make the perfect vessel for all manner of toppings and fillings. They are easy to find and easy to work into a range of Mexican cuisines. But, how long do tortillas last? Since they are available prepackaged in the markets, knowing their expiration date beforehand helps you store them accordingly. So is there a standard that can be used to help determine when tortillas start to go bad? Let’s look and see what we find.
When you buy a pack of tortillas or even make homemade tortillas, you will most likely have leftovers to deal with. So, let’s find answers to all those tortilla storing and preserving questions that you have. Do tortillas go bad? And, can you store tortillas?
This article is going to answer every single one of your questions and a little more.
What are Tortillas?
Tortillas are the staple flatbreads of Mexico. They are round, and unleavened bread often prepared from cornmeal or wheat flour. The corn tortillas are the more traditional ones and can easily be made with a handy tortilla press. The look and taste of the tortilla often vary depending on the area you are buying it from.
They are commonly used in many dishes though there are some popular tortilla-inspired dishes that forgo the breaded aspect. A chipotle bowl is essentially a burrito without the tortilla, check out how to reheat your chipotle bowl, and there are also other recipes you can find that play off a traditional tortilla dish. But now that we know what food item we are referring to, let’s dive into how to preserve and store them.
How Long Do Tortillas Last?
To know how long tortillas last, you need to know about the expiration date and shelf life of the tortilla. Different variants have different shelf life. For example, a corn tortilla might last longer than a flour or wheat tortilla, depending on how you store them.
Whenever you are wondering if the tortillas have gone bad, you need to check the expiration date on the packaging of the same. While it is not a set-in-stone date, it will give you an idea of when your tortilla should be safe and good to eat. A few days to a week on either side of the printed date is usually safe to consume, provided there are no other visible signs that things are beginning to spoil or go bad.
In comparison to store-bought tortillas, homemade ones have a lesser shelf life. It is likely because of the lack of preservatives in them and the under-processed means of preparing and packaging that they go through. When making tortillas to enjoy at home, they will need to be eaten much more quickly than the ones you would be buying from the store.
How Long Do Flour Tortillas Last?
Answering the question of how long do tortillas last comes down to what they are made of and how they are preserved. The expiration date of the flour tortillas depends on how you preserve them. If you keep them out on your kitchen shelf, they’ll likely stay fresh for a week. But, storing them in the refrigerator often extends the expiry date by 3-4 weeks.
Additionally, freezing further extends the shelf life of the flour tortilla by 6-8 months. So, in case you do want to save your flour tortillas for long, freeze them. You will need to take care with reheating so that they do not dry out or get soggy, but it is possible to store tortillas for nearly a year in the freezer when done correctly.
How Long Do Corn Tortillas Last?
When talking about tortillas, it is likely most people opt for the traditional corn tortillas. So, how long do these corn ones last for? Following their expiration date, the corn tortillas often last for around 8-10 days, depending on the storage condition.
In case you refrigerate them, they’ll last for 7-8 weeks and in the freezer for 6-8 months. But, always ensure that you freeze them in batches instead of storing them in bulk. Separating each tortilla with parchment paper can help keep them from sticking together and tearing apart when you try to reheat them and use them later on.
How Long Do Wheat Tortillas Last?
Out of all the varieties available, the whole wheat tortillas are considered the best in terms of nutrition. If you ask any of the health buffs, they’ll likely suggest using a whole wheat tortilla. It has a lot of fiber and nutrition; it is extremely delectable and filling too. If you leave them out on your kitchen shelf, they’ll last around a week after the expiration date.
The denser makeup of these tortillas can be a little problematic when it comes to storing them long-term simply because there is more there to preserve and keep from spoiling. But, in case you plan to store them in the fridge, they’ll last for 3-4 weeks without any issue. In the freezer, though, these tortillas stay fresh for 6-8 months easily and be quickly reheated to add to any dinner or lunch plans you may have down the road.
How Long Do Homemade Tortillas Last?
Homemade tortillas tend to have a shorter shelf life on the counter since they don’t contain any preservatives. That said, they still stay fresh and eatable for 3-4 days. Aside from that, these also stay fresh for 5 days to a week in the refrigerator. If you plan on freezing them, they will likely last for 5-7 months.
How Long Do Flavoured Tortillas Last?
Have you ever eaten those green and red “taco shells”? If yes, they are likely made with spinach and beetroot puree. They are high in nutrition and taste, just like any other tortilla that you eat. If kept outside, they will last for a week on the kitchen counters. In the refrigerator, they do last for a month or so. In case you freeze them, they will keep easily you for 6-8 months.
One point to remember with these flavored varieties is that they can either be made from different ingredients or have other additives that bring color and flavor to the tortilla. These can sometimes affect preservation times, so keep that in mind when working with these varieties. Determining how long do tortillas last when stored in warming baskets and airtight containers is an important part of the process of enjoying these tasty treats.
How to Tell If the Tortillas Have Gone Bad?
Tortillas go bad quite easily if you don’t store them right. It is one of the issues the majority of the people face. But how would you know they have gone bad?
There are a few different changes in the tortilla’s taste and texture that indicate it has gone way past its shelf life. Being cautious of these signs is necessary to avoid the risks of consuming contaminated food.
Some of the factors to look our for to determine when tortillas go bad include:
Changes in Texture
If you have corn of flour tortilla lying around long on the kitchen counter, they will start feeling slippery on the outside. They also start forming green or black shade molds on the outside. If you find these kinds of outgrowths on the outermost tortillas in the pack, you can discard them and eat the rest. But, be careful to check every single one of them before eating.
Another change in texture is that the tortillas go stiff if they have gone out of date. But, the hardened texture doesn’t always mean they have gone bad, so you need to check for other signs. When trying to answer the question of how long do tortillas last in the fridge, the texture is just one of the signs to look for.
Changes in Appearance
Aside from the texture, a bad tortilla will show changes in its appearance too. If you witness spotting all over the tortilla, it is likely because of the growing molds. Mold growth is usually fuzzy and soft looking and is often green, black, white, or a muddled grey color. Additionally, any kind of change in the color of the tortilla is also a bad sign. If you especially notice a green or yellow tinge to the tortilla itself and not necessarily anything growing on it, it is likely that the tortillas have already gone bad.
How to Store Tortilla for Preserving It?
The primary reason why tortillas fail to stay good for longer is because of improper storage. How long do tortillas last- it all comes down to how you choose to preserve them. If you don’t store the tortillas the right way, they will only remain good till their expiration date.
So, how do you store tortillas the right way?
How to Store Tortillas from the Market?
Store-bought tortillas are easy to store. All you have to do is keep them stored in a container when kept inside the freezer or fridge. Understanding how long do corn tortillas last in fridge vs in the freezer and how preservation affects the overall quality of the tortilla is something to consider when buying in bulk. If you cannot properly store what you buy, it might be better to buy smaller quantities that you can easily use before they start to go bad!
Smaller quantities can easily be stored in the fridge or freezer and it is safe to do so. Just ensure that the fridge and the freezer have constant temperatures inside. If possible, cover them in aluminum foil before storing them in the fridge. If your tortilla has an open package, try resealing it before storing them. In case you can’t, opt for the freezer bags.
How to Store Homemade Tortillas?
Do tortillas go bad? Of course, they can eventually go bad. In fact, homemade foods have a much shorter shelf life and can’t be stored for as long. This is part of the reason why homemade tortillas are quite hard to store, especially because they are either sold warm or hot from the vendors. So, know that they last less than the store-bought options.
For this, you need to follow the steps mentioned.
- If your tortilla is warm, make sure you separate each of them and cool them down first. Avoid keeping the tortillas in a pile if they are warm or hot.
- The best way to cool them down is by using a soft cloth cover.
- Once they cool down completely, put them back into a pile. If possible, you can even wrap them in individual papers before storing them.
- Put every packed tortilla into an airtight container and store it in the freezer.
Do Tortillas Expire?
Yes, tortillas come with a specific shelf life. Store-bought tortillas tend to last longer in comparison to homemade ones. So, if you have any type of tortilas lying around in your house, know for a fact that they come with an expiration date. The majority of them last for around a week on the kitchen counter, following which you’ll have to freeze them. It is important to know how long do corn tortillas and flour tortillas last so you can ensure you and your family do not accidentally get sick from eating tortillas that have started to go bad.
How Long Will Tortillas Last in the Fridge After Opened?
Tortillas tend to last for 4-5 weeks in the fridge after you have opened them. But, it is essential to store them the right way to prevent contamination with other foods in the fridge.
How Do You Keep Tortillas Fresh?
If you have some leftover tortillas that you want to eat in the week to come, you can always pack them up in a freezer bag and then keep them stored in a fridge. If you want to preserve them for longer than that, you can always freeze them in an airtight container.
Do Tortillas Need to Be Refrigerated After Opening?
For the most part, a pack of tortillas after it is opened should be refrigerated. Leaving it open on the counters can cause them to become stiff in texture and even grow molds because of the air outside. Have you ever tried reheating a burrito? Many of the same effects that can be seen with a burrito can also apply to tortillas when they are reheated after refrigeration so check out the link and see what you should anticipate.
Conclusion – Understanding How to Keep Tortillas Fresh
There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the safe and proper storage of this popular food item. Knowing how long flour tortillas last in the fridge or freezer and how long corn tortillas can last once they are made can help ensure your next Mexican dinner party is a good one! If you have always wondered about ways to preserve your extra leftover tortillas, I hope this article gives you all the insights you possibly need. Make sure that you follow the storage instructions for maximum safety and to prevent spoilage.