How to Store Cereal Long Term—Including Tips on How to Fix Stale Cereal

Plus, TikTok’s cold, crunchy cereal hack!


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Cereal is a nostalgic childhood treat, but it doesn’t have to be reserved for kids. We love the occasional bowl of cereal for a quick, satisfying breakfast. Here, we share our best advice for how to store cereal to keep it fresh and crunchy for as long as possible. Plus, we’ve also included a TikTok hack that will elevate your morning cereal game

How to Store Cereal

Store cereal in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, like the pantry. An unopened cereal box is airtight, and will keep cereal fresh for months. However, once you’ve opened the original box it’s no longer airtight, so make sure to roll the bag down and clip it tightly before putting it away. Stored this way, cereal will stay fresh for about a week before it begins to get stale.

To preserve cereal for even longer, you can also transfer it from its opened box to an airtight food storage container.

Can You Freeze Cereal?

Yes! In fact, frozen cereal has become a TikTok trend, with content creators like @acebking claiming that it’s the best, tastiest way to enjoy the popular food. Freezing a bowl of cereal for about an hour (before adding any milk) makes for an extra cold, crunchy treat that’ll wake you right up. Some TikTokers even swear that freezing cereal before eating it makes the pieces less likely to lose their crunch once you pour in the milk of your choice.

However, we don’t recommend freezing cereal for long-term storage, as the moisture from the freezer will eventually make the cereal soggy.

Does Cereal Go Bad?

Yes, cereal does go bad, but the best-by date isn’t always correct. Unopened, a box of cereal can last several months, although higher fat cereals will go rancid more quickly than others. Make sure to keep cereal in a cool, dark place, as heat and light cause faster spoilage.

How to Fix Stale Cereal

It’s always a disappointment when you pour some cereal, only to discover that it’s a little too stale to enjoy. Luckily, we have a simple, money-saving tip that will bring stale cereal back to life.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lay out stale cereal in an even layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for about 5-10 minutes, or until the cereal is crunchy again, and enjoy!

Otherwise, you can repurpose stale cereal by baking marshmallow cereal treats or cereal bars. Believe it or not, a whole range of cereals work well in Rice Krispie Treat form, and it’s not just Rice Krispies; Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, and Cheerios are all good options as well.

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