Re-Dry Stale Crackers, Chips, and Cookies in the Oven

In my house, I am the cook and custodian of everything related to the kitchen. But a few weeks ago I broke my whole leg, so my partner took over, well, everything. He does a great job of keeping the pets alive and keeping the house clean, but I wish he paid more attention to storing snacks because my crackers and chips are stale.

I don’t know why he can’t reseal a bag of chips or transfer an open bag of crackers to an airtight container or freezer bag, but I suspect it has to do with his inability to close drawers and cupboards. Either way, this blind spot has resulted in several snacks going stale, which is not a good thing considering eating snacks is one of the few ways I can enjoy myself right now, figuratively or literally. Luckily, re-toasting crackers and cookies is easy.

Just turn on the oven

Crackers, cookies, and chips get stale due to moisture. Water is absorbed by the starch in the snack, resulting in a softer texture and lack of crunch. Putting them in the oven for a while will get rid of the moisture, returning them to their original crispy appearance (and if you store your snacks in an airtight container, they will stay crunchy).

You want your oven temperature to be fairly low, somewhere in the 200-225℉ range. I start low for thin, burn-prone snacks (like chips) and increase it for thicker foods like cookies. Arrange chips and crackers in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and place cookies and thick crackers on a rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven for five minutes, then toss the snacks—or flip for crackers and cookies—and return to the oven. Continue heating and stirring/turning in five minute increments until everything is nice and crispy, then eat immediately. Transfer what’s left (if there really is anything left) to an airtight container.


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