The best way to store bagel

The only time I buy bagels is when they are on sale. So it always ends up with this many bagels when we bring it home… There are a lot of tips that you can find on the internet about how to store and reheat them. 

In order to get the best experience each morning when we warm up the bagel, we’ve done a series of tests to determine the best solution. So… we’ve been eating bagels for the entire week! 

All of the bagels are prepared by my wife and blind tested by me. In this article, we are going to share with you what we find out.


Bagel Testing #1

The toaster turns out the best equipment to reheat the bagel, compared to an oven and an air fryer.

Our original plan was to test if warming up the whole bagel would be better than a split slice. Chef Kenji recommended the idea of toasting the whole bagel in this video, and yea he was right. 

However, at that time, we ended up with 1 extra bagel slice remaining from the test, so we were thinking, oh why not test them together. And here we are.

Turns out a normal bread toaster was better than when air fryer or oven, it also took a shorter time since it doesn’t require preheating.

As you can see our toaster is pretty cheap and it doesn’t toast very evenly, but it still turned out better than our air fryer.

Bagel Testing #2

Use paper bag to store the bagel

The previous test was taken when the bagel was still fresh. This test is to see the better way to store the bagel for when you leave them on the countertop for a few days.

We compared the bagel that is stored in a paper bag v.s. in an air-tight bag. And test them on day 2 after we bought them. 

On the internet, there are tips about these 2 ways to store. So we tested. Both of the results are ok to eat and they also taste slightly stale… They both lose freshness so quickly!

The main difference is the paper bag bagel becomes so dry so quickly. On day 2 it was already hard like a rock. So it became very crunchy if you just toast it directly.  Listen to how crunchy it is…

The bagel that is stored inside the air-tight bag is still soft, but it has a stronger stale smell than the paper bag bagel. Even after toasting it. 

Later on, we do another test, to see if adding moisture to the paper bag bagel will make any difference. We tried rinsing it under the tap water for 1 second and using our hands to splash some water on the bagel. And then toast them. Since we only add a small amount, the water evaporated during the toasting process.

For both of the method, they rehydrate pretty well which fix the crunchiness problem. They both turned out pretty well. It definitely tastes less stale than the ziploc bag bagel and nearly as good as the fresh bagel.

But you need to be careful when rinsing the bagel, make sure as quickly as possible otherwise it will become soggy!

Bagel Testing #3

Freezing is the best way to store the bagels longterm

It turned out that freezing is the best way to store the bagels. It will help to keep the maximum freshness. So we tested warming up frozen bagels with an oven, air fryer, and toaster. 

All of them turned out great!

All you need to do is just wrap up the bagel on the day you bought, and keep them in the fridge. So it will stay at its peak freshness. Make sure you can pre-slice it if you plan to heat it up in a toaster.

Here is the detail of each way to warm up the frozen bagels.>>

– Air Fryer

Preheat the air fryer to 345ºF. no need to defrost. Heat up for 5 minutes. 

– Oven

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. The same process as the air fryer, just add the bagel in and heat up for 5 minutes.

– Toaster

First, defrost the bagel in the microwave for 30 seconds. Then put it in the toaster. 

In the end, we still decide to go with the toaster, because it takes the least time. Even though we have a cheap toaster and some part is burnt, it still tastes so great!

Voila, that’s how we buy the bagels in bulk and enjoy them daily! To conclude, here is our take on the best method to store and warm up the bagel:

Fresh bagel – toaster is the best way to warm it up, and also the fastest.

1-2 days bagel – store in a paper bag, add a splash of water over the bagel before toasting it.

> 3 days –  freeze the bagels when on the day you bought them. Microwave for 30 seconds to defrost and warm it up in a toaster.

Check out our YouTube video for the full testing result!

Bonus: Here is a recipe for a scallion spread that was shared in the comment section of Chef Kinji’s video. Highly recommend trying it out!


On December 6th, one day after we posted this blog, we tested with the ChatGPT AI.

Here is the result >> It turns out the AI also suggest the toaster method lol!

how to reheat bagel answered by chatGPT AI

However, when it comes to how to store the bagel, the AI suggests an air-tight container!! We do agree on the part about keeping the bagels from getting dry. But I bet the AI can’t taste how stale the flavor can be!

But it is indeed a great tool for getting any tips on your life! We like it 🙂

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