How to Defrost Buns

Bread is a very important staple in almost everyone’s kitchen. It’s used for sandwiches, topping casseroles as crumbs, and for frying. However, as everyone who uses bread is keenly aware – bread doesn’t keep long. 

Some people will be tempted to freeze their bread to make it stretch a bit longer. So, surely you’re wondering – what is the best way to thaw out frozen buns? Can you even freeze them?

Yes to both! The best way to defrost buns is to thaw them on the counter at room temperature, inside their original bag. A single bun should take no longer than 20 minutes, however, a whole package may require a significantly greater thawing time of an hour or more.

How to Freeze Buns

The first thing you need to know about thawing out your buns is how to freeze them. This guide will go over the best methods for both long and short-term bread storage.

Short Term

Freezing your bread and buns for a short time is a great way to keep your buns fresh and tasty.

  • Remove your buns from the original packaging
  • Place them into a freezer-safe ziploc baggie
  • Remove as much air from the bag as possible
  • Seal it tightly

If you plan on making something like burgers out of your buns, consider slicing them before you freeze them. It’ll make it much easier on you in the long run.

Long Term

If you know you’re not going to be using this bread again any time in the next 2 to 3 weeks, you’ll need to change up your freezing strategy. Just popping them into a ziplock baggie, even a freezer-safe one, will still expose your bread to the air inside the freezer.

This is a very bad thing, simply because exposure to air is what causes freezer burn and ice crystals to form on your food.

  • Remove your buns from the original packaging
  • Wrap them tightly individually in plastic wrap
  • Wrap again in a layer of aluminum foil
  • Place your double wrapped buns in a freezer-safe Ziploc baggie
  • Store for no longer than 6 months
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This method will keep that nasty freezer burn at bay for much longer than the short-term storage method. 

Be sure to use your bread within a 6-month window of freezing, otherwise, you’ll start to get a noticeable drop in quality in the bread. After 6 months pass, the growth of ice crystals, freezer burn, and unpleasant smells and tastes will begin to form.

How to Defrost Frozen Buns

The best way to thaw your frozen buns is to set them on the counter and let them thaw at room temperature. This way you avoid the risk of burning or drying out your buns. 

However, there are other options for you.


If you have just a few buns to thaw, you may use the microwave to heat them up.

  • Place your buns on a microwave-safe plate
  • Cover with a damp paper towel
  • Heat on low-medium for 5-10 seconds
  • If still cold, continue to heat in 5-second bursts 
  • Remove from heat and serve immediately

Toaster Oven

The toaster oven was practically made for this job.

  • Preheat the toaster oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Wet the underside of the bun under a faucet
  • Cover the bun in aluminum foil – do not completely wrap
  • Place the buns you’re thawing onto the baking sheet or directly on the rack
  • Heat for 10 minutes
  • Remove from heat and serve immediately

By getting your bread a little wet before you pop it into the toaster oven, you’ll be creating a mini sauna inside the oven. This will help keep the bread moist and avoid any weird texture changes. 

Conventional Oven

The oven is a convenient way to thaw out your frozen buns. You’ll need less time than with a full loaf.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Remove the frozen rolls from their storage container
  • Line baking sheet with foil
  • Place buns on the foil and brush with butter or oil
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes
  • Remove buns from heat and let cool for 1 minute
  • Serve immediately
See also  How to Thaw Frozen Buns

Alternatively, if you find that the butter is burning on top of your buns, instead of adding a delicious moistness to them, you can hold back on giving the buns a brush until halfway through your bake. That way you ensure you get a melted buttery roll instead of a halfway burned mess.

How Long do Buns Last

Unfortunately, like all bread buns don’t have a particularly lengthy shelf life. The maximum time a bun can last – at room temperature and properly stored – is 5-7 days. Beyond that, and your bread starts to get stale, or worse it can begin growing mold. 

However, in particularly warm and humid climates, bread lasts even less time on the counter and must be frozen to preserve it for longer than 3 days.

Things to Avoid When Storing Buns

While it seems like a straightforward process, a little thought should be given to where and how you store your bread.


Fresh bread should be stored at room temperature on your kitchen counter, or in a bread box, still in its original packaging.

Bread, regardless of the type of bread, should absolutely never be stored in a refrigerator because this will lead to the bread drying out and going stale even faster than on the counter.

Final Thoughts

While bread is an amazingly versatile and beloved food item, it just wasn’t meant to last. Sitting it on the counter in its original packaging may be the best way to store it if you’re planning on using up all of the buns quickly. 

However, if you have more bread and buns than you know what to do with, freezing them is going to be your best bet for keeping them fresh and tasting like they had just been baked an hour ago.