Anyone who loves falafel will have wondered how to store this food, both in its raw and cooked forms. Proper storage will ensure that the falafel remain good to eat for as long as possible, but what does proper storage involve?
How long does falafel last? Falafel should last for four days provided that it is kept in the fridge at all times. This ensures that any bacterial spread throughout the food is slow, and therefore helps the food to last well. Before falafel mix is mixed with liquid, it can be stored at room temperature in a sealed packet until the date indicated on the packet, or sometimes longer.
How Do You Store Dry Falafel?
If you have bought a packet of ready-made falafel that is stored in a box, this can be kept at room temperature. If you have opened the packet, you should transfer it to an airtight container to reduce the airflow.
This kind of falafel should keep very well provided it is kept dry. If moisture gets into the mix, it will quickly start to deteriorate and become unsafe to eat. Keep falafel mix in a dry cupboard, away from any sources of water.
Dry falafel will usually keep well even after its “best before” date, but be aware that the flavor and texture may start to deteriorate as the spices age. If your packet of falafel smells musty or off when you open it, throw it away and do not try to eat it.
How Do You Store Mixed Falafel?
Once you have added water to the falafel mix, you need to start storing it in the fridge. It should be kept below 40 degrees F to ensure that it is still safe for you to consume, and to slow the spread of bacteria through the food. Use it within four days.
You can store the falafel mix in the fridge without cooking it, or store the cooked falafel. Either is fine, but make sure that you are prompt about refrigerating them. Although the ingredients of falafel are not as prone to dangerous bacterial spreads as some foods (such as meat), you still need to follow food hygiene standards.
As soon as you have finished mixing falafel, place it in an airtight container, seal it, and put it in your fridge. If you don’t cover the falafel, it is likely to go dry and the texture may be less pleasant when it is cooked.
You can keep mixed falafel in the fridge for three or four days, but not longer, or it may be unsafe to eat. If you are not going to use up falafel within that time period, consider freezing it instead. This will keep it safe to eat for months, although you may find that the flavor and texture have slightly deteriorated when you come to eat it.
In general, it is better to store the falafel mix before it has been cooked. This then allows you to fry or bake it when you are ready to eat it, and achieves a crispy coating that most people prefer. Although you can store cooked falafel, the outside will go somewhat softer, losing its crispiness.
How Do You Store Cooked Falafel?
Cooked falafel should be cooled and then promptly refrigerated if it is not being eaten directly after cooking. Like falafel mix, it is vulnerable to food borne bacteria if it is kept at room temperature, so it should be chilled promptly. If chilled, it should last for around four days.
If you have cooked extra falafel balls, spread them out on a tray so that they can cool down. As soon as they are cool enough, place the leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the fridge.
Do not leave them at room temperature for longer than it takes for them to cool. As soon as they have cooled, put them in the fridge.
How Do You Know If Falafel Has Gone Bad?
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell if falafel has gone bad; it often does not noticeably change in texture, taste, or smell, which are the usual signs that a food is no longer good to eat. You might be able to see specks of mold on the surface, but falafel can have gone bad without showing any visible signs.
If you aren’t sure whether falafel is okay to eat, start by inspecting the outside, and smell it. You may not be able to smell whether it has gone bad because the spices give it a strong scent anyway, but it is still worth checking.
When in doubt, it is better to discard falafel than to risk eating it when it has gone bad. If you are unable to remember how long falafel has been stored for or you think it may be moldy, throw it away.
You may find it helps to make a note of when you mixed the falafel with water to make it easier to determine its expiry date.
What Happens If You Leave Falafel at Room Temperature?
Falafel left at room temperature will quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria, and this could make you sick if you consume it. Within just a couple of hours, bacteria can spread throughout the food and make it unsafe to eat.
Can You Freeze Cooked Falafel?
Yes, you can freeze cooked falafel. After a few months, the texture and flavor may deteriorate, but it will be safe to eat for a long time. This is a good idea if you have made too much falafel and you won’t use it up within four days.
You can then thaw falafel in the fridge, and reheat it in the oven, microwave, etc., until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Falafel will last for up to four days in the fridge, and it is best to store it in airtight conditions, in its uncooked state. You can also store cooked falafel in the fridge for up to four days. Falafel mix can be kept in its dry state for months as long as it is stored in an airtight container and not exposed to moisture.