Your Freezer Is Key For Crunchier Potato Chips

It might be difficult to imagine having any leftover potato chips. After all, who doesn't want to polish off a bag of deliciously salty spuds within a day or two of opening them? Whether those crunchy chips are sweet and spicy, cheesy, salt and vinegar flavored, dusted in sour cream and onion, or just the plain kind, an open bag seems to possess a siren song that calls whenever the slightest hunger arises. But there could be situations where there's just no way to finish them off before they start to go stale. Maybe you've been left with multiple open bags after a birthday party or a barbecue. Or you could have accidentally opened a family-size bag the day before leaving on vacation. Whatever the reason, it's important to keep them from going to waste.

The good news is, it's not as difficult as it sounds. And you don't need a vacuum sealer to keep those potato chips nice and crunchy — all it takes is a little freezer space. When you think about it, putting an open bag of chips in the freezer is just following the directions on the package. After all, it is extra cold and — assuming you keep the door closed to avoid unnecessary defrosting — the air inside is also super dry. Such conditions make the freezer the optimal place to keep an open bag of chips.

The freezer is ideal, but follow these tips too

Unlike foods with high moisture content that can get soggy and mushy when they're defrosted, potato chips are about as dry as a snack can get — the liquid has basically been fried right out. Technically speaking, the chips won't actually freeze since it's the moisture in food that does so. So not only is there nothing left in them that can make them soggy, but they'll stay nice and crisp — just make sure your freezer isn't too empty. An empty freezer won't maintain its temperature well.

Still, there are a couple of tips worth following. For one, you'll want to make sure that the bag is tightly closed. While resealing the bag isn't necessary, it can't hurt to put it inside a freezer bag just to be safe. The freezer bag shouldn't get dirty, so it can always be reused for something else later. It's also important to store those chips in a safe spot where they won't get smooshed by any other foods. If your freezer is already packed full, don't try to force the chips in, or you'll just end up with crumbs. Lastly, the chips can absorb flavors and odors from other foods, so keep this in mind if your freezer is smelling less than fresh.

How long can chips be stored in the freezer?

The point of putting them in the freezer is to keep them from going stale — and they could feasibly remain as fresh as the day you put them in there almost indefinitely. Realistically, you can expect their crunch to last for anywhere from a few months to potentially a year, assuming the freezer is in good working order, and they don't get smooshed by other foods at some point. Breakage really is the biggest risk to freezer-stored chips, but make sure that the package is closed up tightly and stored on top of everything else and this shouldn't be an issue.

Go ahead, open that extra bag of potato chips. Assuming you've got the freezer space, there's no reason not to. Even if you can't finish them off right away, the freezer will keep them plenty crisp until you're ready to. Eat them directly from the freezer if you don't mind the cold, or let them come to room temperature before chowing down.