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How do you wrap a sandwich to keep it fresh?
March 9, 2006 6:54 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way of wrapping a sandwich before putting it in the refrigerator?

If it's a sandwich I've bought, just putting it into the frig with the paper wrapping the sandwich comes with doesn't work; the sandwich goes bad rather quickly. Should I put it in a sealed baggie? Wrap it in tinfoil? Wax paper? Put it in a plastic food container? Do I keep the sandwich in the original paper wrapping when I do use one of these methods, or do I just get throw that paper out immediately? Should I combine several of these tactics? I'm trying to make sure the sandwich neither dries up nor becomes soggy before I eat the sandwich, which may not be until a few days later.
posted by spira to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Ziploc bag. Squeeze out all the air.. it's the air that makes it go stale quickly.

Keep the paper or don't... it may absorb extra grease if there is any. The important part is to seal it away from air.
posted by Malor at 7:10 PM on March 9, 2006


Oh and for soggy.... if the ingredients are wet and the bread is dry, it's going to get soggy no matter you do. If you separate the bread from the fixings, that will help.

Sandwiches are meant to be eaten now, not two days from now. :)
posted by Malor at 7:11 PM on March 9, 2006


I can vouch for this method; I use it all the time, especially for tortillas. Wrap in a couple of paper towels, then zip in an airtight baggie. The paper towel wicks away droplets and condensation, and the baggie protects the food from drying and fridge odors. The only issue left is the meat/toppings that contacts the bread (which will become soggy and a nucleus for spoilage), so it might be helpful to put a "barrier" of cheese between the bread and the meats/vegetables. Of course that means you should try to wait on the dressings/mayo/mustard.
posted by rolypolyman at 7:20 PM on March 9, 2006


As mentioned above, you should really try to just order what you can eat ... but if you insist on saving it, well ...

First you have the bread. Bread likes to be stored at room temperature & if you place it in the refrigerator, it tends to dry out quickly. Then you have the sandwich fillings, which if they are wet, are going to make the bread soggy. Then, unlike the bread, these fillings NEED to be in the fridge -- the absolute maximum time for leaving prepared foods out at room temperature is 2 hours (harmful bacteria multiply quickly above 40F).

So yeah, trying to save a sandwich is basically a lost cause.
posted by fourstar at 7:24 PM on March 9, 2006


Ugh. I've been convinced that the fast-food sandwich shops use ingredientsw that go bad 20 minutes after the cash register closes. I would suggest you separate the vegetables, meat, and bread and putting them in their own containers. I haven't had luck much with it yet, but it's better than not doing it. The two sandwiches for $7.99 on Sunday deal isn't as good as it sounds if you're saving half of what you buy for the next day.
posted by my sock puppet account at 7:28 PM on March 9, 2006


Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Sandwich Containers.

I swear by these things. They keep your sandwich so nice and fresh it will taste like you just made it! Honest!

Don't go for some cheap knock-off store brand either. The Rubbermaid ones are the real deal!
posted by punkrockrat at 8:19 PM on March 9, 2006


Squeeze out all the air.. it's the air that makes it go stale quickly

I've never understood this (though I know it works). Obviously it's impossible for a home user to create an ACTUAL vacuum, so "squeezing out all the air" will mean "squeezing out most of it". So how does it work? How come a little bit of air won't make food go bad as quickly as lots of air?
posted by ClarissaWAM at 12:03 AM on March 10, 2006


Costco sells the industrial size plastic-wrap (saran-wrap). It's enough wrap to last you a lifetime, but the key is that the sheets are wide enough to wrap anything. If you really want to keep it from getting soggy you need to separate the wet and dry ingredients, and avoid sauce or mustard.

A trick I use when making sandwiches is to put the wet ingredients in between some of the more dry ingredients like meat and cheese, which slows down the soggification process.
posted by Manjusri at 12:45 AM on March 10, 2006


ClarissaWAM: air-induced food degradation is actually oxidation - aiir is one-fifth oxygen, and this reacts with the food to cause the spoilage. This reaction stops when the oxygen runs out. If you squish most of the air out, less of your food has to react before the available oxygen is all used up.

If you want to get really fancy, you can remove most of the oxygen from a ziploc bag by prefilling it with carbon dioxide before sealing it up: squeeze out as much air as you can, then part-seal the ziploc over the neck of a soft-drink bottle, then crack open the cap on the bottle by gripping it through the bag. If you hold it right, the bag will partially inflate with the escaping gas from the bottle. Now squeeze out most of that and seal up the bag.
posted by flabdablet at 3:48 AM on March 13, 2006


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