How do you keep chocolate covered pretzels from getting stale?

Chocolate covered pretzels are a delicious treat, but they can quickly become stale if not stored properly. Stale pretzels lose their crunch and the chocolate coating can become brittle or chalky. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to keep your chocolate covered pretzels fresh and tasty.

Store in an Airtight Container

One of the best ways to maintain freshness is to store chocolate covered pretzels in an airtight container. Any exposure to air causes the pretzels to lose moisture and become stale. Airtight containers prevent air circulation and lock in freshness. Look for containers made of plastic, glass, or metal that provide an extremely tight seal when closed.

You can purchase premade airtight containers, or reuse food storage containers you already have at home. Wide mouth glass jars with clamp-down lids work very well for storing chocolate covered pretzels. Be sure to inspect the container for cracks or imperfections that allow air to leak in. For best results, fill the storage container fully without overpacking it.

Recommended Airtight Containers:

  • Glass canning jars
  • Plastic food storage containers with snap-on lids
  • Vacuum seal containers
  • Metal tins

Use Moisture Absorbing Packets

For additional moisture protection, add a small moisture absorbing packet to the airtight container. Silica gel packets or oxygen absorbers help maintain an extremely dry environment that prevents pretzels from losing crunch. These packets extract and trap excess moisture from the air before it has a chance to be absorbed by the pretzels.

Moisture absorbing packets are available for purchase online or at some grocery stores. Look for food grade silica gel packs or oxygen absorbers. Use one small packet per airtight container of chocolate covered pretzels. Replace the packet every 1-2 months for best effectiveness.

Benefits of Moisture Absorbing Packets:

  • Extracts moisture before it damages pretzels
  • Prolongs freshness of chocolate coating
  • Prevents growth of mold
  • Absorbent properties last 1-2 months

Refrigerate After Opening

Once you open the airtight container, the chocolate covered pretzels are exposed to moisture and air. To maintain maximum freshness after opening, store the pretzels in the refrigerator. The cold environment of the fridge helps slow staling and prevents moisture buildup.

For best results, reseal the airtight container securely before refrigerating. Do not store chocolate covered pretzels in the fridge for more than 2 weeks, as the chocolate may start to bloom or discolor due to temperature fluctuations. Allow the container to come to room temperature before opening to prevent condensation from forming.

Benefits of Refrigerated Storage:

  • Slows staling process
  • Inhibits mold growth
  • Minimizes moisture absorption
  • Keeps chocolate coating firm

Keep Away From Heat and Light

Avoid storing chocolate covered pretzels in places with high temperatures or direct light. Heat and light will accelerate the rate of staling and cause the chocolate to melt or become tacky. Store pretzels away from heat vents, stoves, dishwashers, direct sunlight, and other heat sources.

Pantry shelves or kitchen cabinets away from appliances work very well. For long term storage, consider keeping the sealed container in a basement or wine cellar, as these locations offer cool, dark, and stable conditions. Refrain from storing chocolate covered pretzels in a garage or attic where extreme shifts in temperature can occur.

Ideal Storage Locations:

  • Pantry shelf
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Basement
  • Wine cellar

Avoid These Locations:

  • Near oven or stove
  • On countertops
  • Inside appliances
  • Windowsills
  • Garage
  • Attic

Keep Away from Strong Smells

Chocolate covered pretzels absorb odors easily. Storing them near items with strong smells, like onions or garlic, will cause the pretzels to pick up these scents. This alters the taste of the chocolate and results in less than fresh pretzels.

Isolate chocolate covered pretzels away from pungent food items. Do not store them inside a refrigerator containing onions, fresh produce, or aromatic leftovers. Consider storing the pretzels in a sealed plastic bin or glass jar inside the fridge to minimize odor transfer. Keeping them in a pantry closet or cupboard also limits exposure to strong food odors.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Spices
  • Citrus fruits
  • Cheese

Practice First In, First Out

When you purchase or make a new batch of chocolate covered pretzels, be sure to practice first in, first out for serving. This means the oldest package of pretzels should be at the front of the storage area, while newly made or purchased pretzels go in the back. That way, you are rotating stock and using up older pretzels before newer ones.

Mark storage containers with dates so you know which packages need to be used up first. Follow this system in the pantry, fridge, and freezer to minimize waste and ensure you are enjoying the freshest pretzels.

Benefits of First In, First Out:

  • Uses up oldest pretzels first
  • Less food waste
  • Easy to implement
  • Ensures freshness

Freeze for Extended Storage

For infrequent nibblers, freezing is an excellent way to enjoy chocolate covered pretzels for many months past the printed expiration date. Freezing stops the clock on staling and locks in freshness long term.

To freeze chocolate covered pretzels, first seal them in an airtight freezer bag or container. This prevents freezer burn which saps moisture and quality. Lay packages flat in a single layer in the freezer to allow for proper air flow and even freezing. Avoid over stacking.

Most chocolate covered pretzels keep 6-12 months in the freezer before quality degradation. Allow frozen pretzels to thaw overnight in the fridge before enjoying. Do not refreeze thawed pretzels.

Freezer Storage Tips:

  • Use airtight packaging
  • Label with date
  • Lay flat in single layer
  • Thaw overnight in fridge
  • Do not refreeze after thawing

Maintain Proper Serving Temperature

Serving chocolate covered pretzels at room temperature or slightly cooler helps prevent moisture condensation that leads to staling. If refrigerated, allow the container to gradually warm up to room temp over a period of 1-2 hours before opening.

Transfer the amount needed onto a plate or bowl to avoid temperature fluctuations in the storage container. Do not move pretzels back and forth between the fridge and room temperature as this introduces moisture.

When serving pretzels, keep them away from hot lights, sunny windows, or other heat sources. Maintaining proper serving temperature ensures maximum crunch and freshness.

Ideal Serving Temperatures:

  • Room temperature 68-72°F
  • Slightly cool 60-65°F

Avoid These Serving Conditions:

  • Near heating vents or radiators
  • In direct sunlight
  • On top of warm appliances
  • Inside a hot car

Check for Visual Signs of Staleness

Visually inspect chocolate covered pretzels before serving to check for signs they have lost freshness and quality. Look for the following:

  • Dull or dried out chocolate – Fresh chocolate coating should be smooth and glossy. Dull or discolored chocolate indicates a loss of moisture and fat.
  • Sugary coating – Exudation of sugars on the surface of the chocolate is a sign moisture was absorbed.
  • Soft or pliable pretzels – Stale pretzels lose their signature crunch and become soft or rubbery.
  • Mold growth – Tiny fuzzy spots of mold growing on the chocolate is a clear sign of staleness.

If any of these traits appear, it is best to discard the chocolate covered pretzels. With proper storage methods, you can avoid most signs of premature staling.


Taking steps to seal out moisture, minimize temperature fluctuations, and prevent odor absorption will help chocolate covered pretzels maintain crunchy freshness. Store unopened packages in airtight containers with desiccant packets in a cool, dark pantry or fridge. Once opened, keep in the fridge and use within 2 weeks. Freezing pretzels in airtight packaging can extend shelf life for 6-12 months. Follow a first in, first out system and check for visual signs of staleness before enjoying. With the proper storage conditions, chocolate covered pretzels can stay fresh and delicious for maximum enjoyment.

Leave a Comment