Does Tofu Need to be Refrigerated?

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Does Tofu Need to be Refrigerated?

Tofu is a game-changer in the vegan lifestyle. Because it can absorb other flavors, has a pleasant texture when cooked, and is full of protein, it makes an indispensable meat substitute.

Given its usefulness, you probably want to get as many blocks of tofu as you can. However, this raises questions about storage.

For example, does tofu need to be refrigerated? What are the best ways to store it so it lasts for as long as possible? Read on to learn all about properly storing your tofu.

Does Tofu Need to be Refrigerated?

That depends on the way your tofu is packaged. We’ll discuss different types of packaging or cooking and whether or not you need to refrigerate tofu for each option later on. As a rule of thumb, though, refrigerating tofu generally ensures it will last you longer.

This becomes tricky if you’re planning on prepping a little tofu for a recipe in advance. Leaving it out on the counter overnight makes it vulnerable to bacterial growth.

You can read our guide to pressing tofu overnight for tips on how to prepare it in advance safely.

You Might Also Like: How Do You Dry Tofu For Cooking?

Refrigerating Tofu Before Opening

Sealed, airtight packages of tofu don’t necessarily need to be stored in your fridge. If you store an unopened package of tofu outside your fridge, however, it will not last quite as long.

Keeping an unopened package of tofu in your pantry or outside of your fridge typically means it will last up until its expiration date. As soon as it’s so much as a single day past that date, you’ll want to dispose of it, just in case.

Read Also: How Do You Keep Tofu From Falling Apart? (Use These 5 Easy Tips)

Refrigerating Tofu After Cooking

"You’ve opened the package, so you can’t just store it outside of your fridge anymore, as it’s no longer in a safe, airtight container."

Things change a bit once you’ve cooked the tofu. You’ve opened the package, so you can’t just store it outside of your fridge anymore, as it’s no longer in a safe, airtight container.

At this point, you must store your tofu in your fridge or freezer. If you keep your leftover cooked tofu in your fridge, you can anticipate a lifespan of up to five days.

Storing it in your freezer will buy you much more time to use it – around three months, to be exact.

Read Also: How Do You Dry Tofu for Cooking?

Refrigerating Tofu After Baking

Treat baked tofu just like cooked tofu. That means you should at least put it in your fridge if you anticipate eating the rest of it within a week.

If you’d like to store it longer, consider putting the leftover baked tofu in your freezer instead.

Recommended Article: How Do You Press Tofu Without a Press?

Wrap Up

Like with most other foods, tofu typically lasts longer if you keep it in your fridge. You don’t absolutely have to do so if it’s in its original sealed package, but refrigeration becomes a requirement once it’s been opened or cooked.

Further Reading: How Do You Quickly Drain Tofu?

Even when it’s unopened, you may want to consider keeping it in your fridge, anyway. This will give you more time to enjoy it, as opposed to needing to get rid of it as soon as the expiration date comes.

Related Article: How is Stinky Tofu Made?