Can pizza rolls go bad?

When you’ve got a craving for a little cheesy goodness, there’s nothing quite like pizza rolls. Personally, I can’t get enough of them, but what’s the expected shelf life REALLY going to be on these divine little pockets of cheese? Can pizza rolls go bad?

Sadly, like everything else in this world, pizza rolls can and do go bad. That said, they have a whopping 18-month‘ shelf life’ in your freezer on their own, and you can even squeeze an extra 2 to 3 months out of them with a little hack that I’m going to share with you today.

In today’s article, I’ll give you the real scoop on things like pizza roll expiration dates, freezing and freezer burn, and even how long you should technically wait before eating your freshly-cooked pizza rolls if you don’t want to tempt Fate. Let’s talk ‘knowing your rolls’!  

Can you eat frozen pizza past the expiration date?

First things first, I want to address that rule that we like to avoid (most often by simply not looking) and that’s the expiration date. Printed in blocky letters that look like they used a printer from the ’80s, these may be expressed as simply as something like ‘EXP: 02/20/2020” or you might get a ‘Best if consumed by:02/20/2020’.

You know what I’m talking about. That ‘best is consumed’ is actually much more accurate than the much more grim ‘EXP’ for ‘expires’, as the implication of the first is basically ‘you can eat these, but they won’t taste as good versus‘ while ‘expired’ makes it feel more like your pizza rolls become completely inedible on a specific day.

The truth is, the ‘best if consumed’ by is a recommendation and if you’ve taken the extra step of sticking your pizza roll box into a plastic, sealed container, it can remain edible almost indefinitely, even avoiding freezer burn in many cases that can seep in through those thin, cardboard containers.

We’re not advocating eating expired food, or at least not technically. Frankly, I’ve never let pizza rolls stay in my freezer that long on purpose – mostly just when I put them under some veggies and forgot about it. That said, protected from freezer burn, they’ll probably be okay, just not as tasty as you might expect.

Do with that what you will!

How long can you freeze pizza rolls?

You’ll have to check the expiration date for a ‘ballpark figure’, but on average pizza rolls will last in your freezer for about 18 months. This can be affected by traffic, of course.

 If you’ve got a big family and the freezer is getting opened and closed a lot, then that can result in some ice melting and getting on the box, and then the risk of freezer burn is a very real possibility.

 You can combat this, either by opening the box and putting those pizza rolls in a plastic container that you mark the expiry on or if you’re lazy like me you can just stick the whole box in there – just to preserve the integrity of the original seal, of course!

It’s an excellent shelf-life all on its own, but you can squeeze a little more out of that if you want and have employed the ‘dump and seal’ food container method, so stick around and I’ll tell you how it’s done.

Can pizza rolls go bad?

Can you refreeze thawed pizza rolls?

Refreezing thawed pizza rolls can definitely be done, but you’re going to increase your chances of freezer burn if you just leave the box with the rolls you aren’t cooking on the counter for even a few minutes. To get around this, why not bake them first and refreeze them?

What I do is I go ahead and cook up the whole box and once they’re done, I take out half of them, spend a minute or two arguing with myself about also taking the other half, and once my willpower kicks in then I let the remaining half cool-off enough to stick in the freezer for a ‘pre-cool’.

IMMEDIATELY after I finish my pizza rolls, I’ll make a quick trip to the freezer and whip dump those pizza rolls back into the plastic container. It’s already clean, since I put the whole box in, and after I scribble today’s date on them it’s back into the freezer they go.

If you do this with pizza rolls that have managed to stay in the freezer long enough to get close to their expiration date, I’ve found they still taste great after another 2 or even 3-months.  

It’s a sneaky trick, but it works, so the next time you forget a box of pizza rolls I hope that you’ll give it a try and see for yourself. It’s a good feeling when the rolls come out hot and perfect and you get the guilty pleasure of ‘breaking all the rules!

How can you tell if a pizza roll is freezer burned?

Freezer burn is a polite thing, in that it doesn’t try to hide from you – you’re definitely going to see it. It basically looked like a snowman took out your pizza roll, juggled them for a while, and put them back in – leaving a telltale layer of frost and ice crystals.

 Sometimes there are only a little and other times, quite a lot, and while you can usually eat them it’s not a pleasant experience. That acidic tomato sauce inside erodes the cheese a bit, while the integrity of the baked dough ends up producing a cardboard-like texture even after reheating.

After one of two times that this happened to me and I ate them anyway, I went straight to the plastic food container strategy and I’ve never looked back. I highly recommend that you do the same, the difference really is night and day.

Some last words on delicious pizza rolls

So, there you have it. Pizza rolls have a fantastic shelf life of approximately 18 months, and you can even get a little more mileage by baking and refreezing them, provided you follow my steps to a tee.

It’s also a good idea to transfer those rolls to plastic containers right away, otherwise, you risk freezer burn robbing you of getting the ‘full-flavor’ experience and your friends might be mad at you if they eat pizza rolls that way, too.

I hope that you’ll take advantage of these tips and if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a sudden craving for pizza rolls that simply can’t wait!

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Sam Brett

Sam Brett is the founder and editor of Pizzachefhq, a pizza enthusiast who writes about what he's learned on the way of being a pizza creator and sharing his advice, tips, and research.

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