Can hamburger buns be frozen?

Keeping leftover buns at room temperature is fine for just a day or two. The fridge is even worse. And the freezer? Can hamburger buns be frozen?

You know how it is. You are going to buy a package of homemade hamburger buns. There are six and you only need three or four.

Or maybe you bake them at home. You only need two, but you can’t be bothered with such a small number. So you do four (as I do), or even six.

Burger with a thawed bun

I’m sure there’s plenty of buns. Sometimes there is only one odd bun left, but often there are two or even more. And you don’t feel like using them for breakfast sandwiches.

That’s when you start thinking about other storage options. And freezing is the first thing that comes to mind.

Can you freeze the hamburger buns?

Storing bread in the fridge is not a great idea, unless you know what you’re doing. But if you freeze the bread, it will keep for weeks without losing quality.

And luckily for you (and me), the same goes for hamburger buns.

What’s even better is that just like with bread (here’s how to freeze bread) or cinnamon rolls, you don’t need any fancy equipment to freeze buns. All you need is a freezer bag or two. And a minute to do it.

Freshly baked hamburger buns

How to freeze hamburger buns

As I have already hinted, this is all plain and simple. Let’s get to the point.

  1. Let the buns cool. If you’re going to bake your own hamburger buns (I do), make sure they’re at room temperature before proceeding. This way, they won’t get soggy in the freezer. An hour or so from when you take them out of the oven should be enough.
  2. Place the buns in the freezer bag(s). It doesn’t matter if you put each one in a different bag or all in one. Even if you go for the latter option, you should be able to pick one up easily. Squeeze out the air and close the bag(s) tightly. This will prevent them from burning in the freezer.
  3. Label the package if you want. I don’t label my bags because I use the same ones over and over until they break. If you can see through yours, you probably don’t need to label them either.
  4. Put the bag(s) in the freezer.

That’s it, your buns are long-term frozen. They can stay in the freezer for at least a couple of months without losing any great quality.

To be fair, I usually use mine within a week or so, so they don’t take up much space in my small freezer.

If you have an unopened package of store-bought bagels, you can freeze them in that package. No need to repackage them in freezer bags.

If you have an unopened package of store-bought bagels, you can freeze them in that package. No need to repackage them in freezer bags.

How to thaw frozen hamburger buns

If you are looking for the best way to defrost your bagels, the answer is to do it slowly and at room temperature. You take them out of the bags, put them on the kitchen counter and let the temperature do its work.

The downside is that it takes a long time. My not so big scones (see photos) take about three to four hours to defrost. If yours are thicker, you’ll need even more time.

Two thawed hamburger buns

Consider adding a paper towel under the buns if you notice moisture collecting on the bottom. Soggy buns aren’t what you’re after, so something else needs to soak up those water droplets.

Halfway through the estimated defrost time, turn them over. In this way, the humidity inside will be distributed evenly, instead of concentrating on the bottom.

If you plan to make burgers for dinner, it’s best to start thawing the buns in the morning. That way, they’ll be ready when you need them.

individual hamburger buns before baking

Thaw the buns in the oven

If you’re short on time, you can defrost and reheat the rolls in the oven. Wrap them in aluminum foil (so they don’t dry out), and pop them in the oven over fairly low heat (300 to 350F or 150 – 180C) for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Put the buns in right when you turn on the oven, without waiting for it to heat up.

If you’re already baking something else (I make fries to go with the burgers), you can do that too. You just have to reduce the defrost time accordingly.

There is no secret to knowing if the rolls are well defrosted or not. You have to take them out of the oven, unwrap them from the foil and check with your hands (carefully).

If they need a couple more minutes, rewrap them and pop them back in the oven.

Defrosting in the oven is a good option if you usually heat the buns in the oven anyway. In this case, leave the package wrapped a little longer, so that the hamburger buns are piping hot.

Close up of homemade hamburger bun

Using Frozen and Thawed Hamburger Buns

Now that your buns are thawed, use them in the same way as fresh hamburger buns.

If you heat them alongside the burgers, or separately in the oven or toaster oven, do the same for the thawed buns. If you’re lazy (as I often am) and don’t even try to keep the rolls warm, then so be it.

It is the same as with frozen and thawed bread. Once it’s back to room temperature, there isn’t much of a difference between the fresh variety and the frozen-thawed variety.

Burger and fries

Now it’s time to gather all the usual ingredients and compose the burgers. That means adding lettuce leaves, onions, tomato slices, mayonnaise, ketchup, burger patties, cheese, or anything else you like.

Enjoy it!

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