The Absolute Best Way to Keep Costco Muffins Fresher Longer

Packaged muffins

If Reddit ranked the most commonly asked food questions, "How long does this, that or the other last from Costco?" may top the list. And that's completely understandable. The siren song of the warehouse store's bakery section is strong, especially when it comes to muffins. There are chocolate and corn muffins and seasonal flavors like pumpkin streusel—and they all look so delicious as you cruise through the store's wide aisles.

But once you get that supersized box of pastries home it becomes clear that you might not be able to make it through the package before they go bad. To help you make the most of your Costco muffins, we reached out to Allie Echeverría, MS, RD, LD, a modern home economic expert and Jill Stuber, a food safety consultant and coach at Catalyst LLC. Here's everything you need to know about Costco muffins: how long they last, how to store them, how to freeze them and more.

Related: 50 Cult-Favorite Things to Always Buy at Costco

How Long Do Costco Muffins Last?

After consulting the experts, the consensus was two to three days at room temperature. "Fresh baked goods made without preservatives can generally be stored safely at room temperature for two to three days because of their low moisture and high sugar content," Stuber says. "After several days at room temperature, consumers may notice their baked goods drying out or even see mold growth."

How Long Do Costco Muffins Last in the Fridge?

Stashing Costco muffins in the fridge will help keep them fresher longer. Echeverría says the muffins can last seven to 14 days in the fridge. The moist environment might change the texture a bit, but that can usually be fixed by a few minutes in the toaster oven or even a few seconds in the microwave.

Related: This Vintage Southern Yeast Roll Recipe Has a Surprising Secret Ingredient

How Long Do Costco Muffins Last In the Freezer?

North Dakota State University says muffins can last in a freezer for six to 12 months at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. However, experts share consuming them sooner is best if you're looking for a fresh taste post-freezing. Stuber suggests consuming Costco muffins within two to four months of stashing them in the freezer. Echeverría gave a similar answer of three months, adding people should ensure the muffins are stored consistently at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Related: The Part of Your Microwave You’re Probably Not Cleaning

Tips for Freezing Costco Muffins

A little planning on the freezer front will ensure that your precious Costco muffins are as fresh as possible once they come out of the deep freeze.

  1. Check the date. Echeverría recommends taking note of the date on the Costco package. "For best results, check labels on Costco baked goods and aim to buy products baked within the past 24 hours," Echeverría says.

  2. Try same-day freezing. To maximize the life of Costco muffins, Echeverría says a little planning goes a long way. She suggests setting aside the muffins you plan to eat in the next two days and immediately freezing the rest.

  3. Plan ahead again. How many muffins do you plan to take out of the freezer at once? The answer is important. Stuber suggests only putting that amount in a package.

  4. Choose packaging wisely. Speaking of packaging, Stuber suggests opting for an airtight one, like freezer bags or tightly wrapped foil. "This will limit moisture loss that leads to quality issues like dry product or freezer burn," Stuber says.

  5. Label. Stuber and Echeverría both recommend labeling your muffins. "Label each container with the date baked and the date frozen," Echeverría says.

  6. Remember: FIFO. This acronym stands for first-in, first-out. "Prioritize thawing and eating muffins in the order in which you bought them," Echeverría says.

The Best Way to Thaw and Reheat Costco Muffins

You have some options here, depending on what kind of kitchen equipment you have and how much time you have (or want to spend).

The fridge is your friend. The best way to gradually thaw Costco muffins is to transfer them from the freezer to the fridge the night before you want to eat them. You can also leave them on the counter to thaw or wrap them in foil and heat in the toaster oven straight from the freezer.

Turn up the heat. For the freshest-tasting reheated muffins, opt to reheat them in the oven or toaster oven. A few minutes at 325° should do the trick. Reheating them in the microwave is also an option, but microwaving baked goods can often affect their texture, so reheat the muffin in short 30-second bursts and take it out as soon as its softened.

Bust out the butter. To really jazz up your Costo muffins, halve a thawed muffin and cook it in butter in a skillet. The caramelized edges are so delicious! This is also a good trick for reviving any slightly stale muffins that you forgot on the counter.

Up next: 50 Fan-Favorite Things to Always Buy at Costco