Can You Eat Pie Left Out Overnight?

Pie has a long history dating back to more than a millennium ago when it was created by baking leftover venison in a crust wrapping, but nowadays, there are numerous types of pies available, each with its distinct storage requirements.

If you leave certain pies out overnight, like fruit pies and molasses pies such as shoofly pie, they can still be eaten for up to 2 days at room temperature. Nevertheless, custard and cream pies should not be consumed if left out for several hours.

Is it possible to store pies in the freezer? What is the duration for which different types of pies can be refrigerated? All of these queries and more will be answered below, so keep reading!

How Should Pie Be Stored?

Depending on the type of pie, whether it is baked or not, and if it is safe at room temperature, the storage method may vary. To maintain freshness and prevent spoilage, it is recommended to store most pies in the refrigerator. It is important to cover your pies with plastic wrap or other covers to avoid contamination and drying.

Various kinds of pies exist, such as:

  • Custard
  • Ice cream
  • Fruit
  • Meat
  • Cream 
  • Meringue
  • Sugar/Molasses  

While there are various kinds of pies available, custard pies are one of the most popular types that can be either homemade or store-bought. These pies consist of a pre-cooked crust and an uncooked filling made with eggs, sugar, and vanilla.

Custard pies need to be kept in the fridge as they contain a significant amount of egg and dairy, which makes them prone to spoilage. On the other hand, cream pies, such as those made with cream or pudding, like chocolate and vanilla cream (or pudding) pies, also require refrigeration.

Just like custard pies, pies can go bad if kept at room temperature and must be stored in the refrigerator. Nevertheless, as they are baked, they can last a bit longer when left out. It is best to avoid leaving them out for more than six hours if your house’s temperature is 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) or lower.

It is necessary to refrigerate pies, including meat pies like chicken pot pie and beef steak pies, after 2 hours if the temperature exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius).

Meat pies contain a significant quantity of gravy, meat, and vegetables, all of which can spoil if left at room temperature. It is recommended to refrigerate these pies after being kept at room temperature for two hours.

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When it comes to pies, those with meringue, fruit, and molasses bases are more adaptable. Examples of meringue pies are Keylime and lemon meringue pies which consist of egg whites, sugar, and citrus fruit.

Fruit pies such as peach, apple, and berry pies have a crust made of butter and flour, while molasses pies like shoofly pie are mainly composed of sugar.

As long as they are covered and kept away from direct sunlight, pies can typically be stored at room temperature for a maximum of 2 days.

Ice cream pies are highly vulnerable to room temperature as they will begin to melt within a few minutes, so it’s best to store them in the freezer until you’re ready to eat them.

What Happens If You Eat Pie That’s Gone Bad?

Consuming spoiled pies may lead to foodborne illness, which can result in symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort.

Severe cases of food poisoning can lead to dehydration and even death if not treated, but it’s important to note that expiration dates, sell-by dates, and other labels from manufacturers are not always conclusive.

Pies can spoil at varying rates, ranging from a few days to a few weeks, depending on their storage and preparation methods. Frozen pies, however, can be kept for up to a year without spoiling or losing freshness.

Although it is possible to store most pies in the refrigerator for up to two weeks without spoilage, they can still go bad and cause food poisoning due to the presence of dairy, eggs, meat, vegetables, and fruits that can harbor bacteria and mold.

When perishable items such as spoiled milk, eggs, and meat are left at room temperature, they can quickly develop food poisoning; hence it is advisable to store them in a cool space or the refrigerator to prolong their shelf life and prevent mold growth.

How Can You Tell If Pie Has Gone Bad?

One of the most effective ways to determine if your pies have spoiled is by checking for the presence of mold, which can indicate age and spores that may contain bacteria. It is advisable to avoid consuming pies that are runny, discolored, emit a foul odor, or taste stale.

When pies begin to spoil, they emit a moldy, musty, or fermented odor and may also become dry while the crust becomes soggy; however, these indications do not necessarily imply a severe problem with your pie.

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Consuming slightly spoiled pie may not cause harm, particularly in the case of baked fruit pies. However, eating pie made with spoiled meat or dairy products can have more severe consequences. Typically, if you eat a pie that is spoiling or has already spoiled, you may encounter abdominal discomfort and diarrhea.

Normally, this indicates the presence of bacterial infections in your gastrointestinal system, which should resolve within a few days. Nevertheless, for certain individuals, food poisoning may have more severe consequences.

If you are a child, elderly, or have a weakened immune system, you may have difficulty fighting infections that can cause severe dehydration. It is important to seek medical attention if these symptoms persist for more than a week and you are having trouble staying hydrated.

How Long Should Pie Last If Stored Properly?

Most pies can remain fresh for 4-10 days if they are stored correctly in the refrigerator. To store them properly, you need to cover them and keep them consistently at or below 42 degrees Fahrenheit (5.6 degrees Celsius). If you slice a pie, make sure to cover the exposed section adequately to maintain its freshness.

Each pie has a unique storage time. The following chart will present the information in an easy-to-understand format.

Type Fridge Storage  Freezer Storage
Cream/Custard 4 days Do not freeze
Fruit pie 10 days 6 months-1 year
Meat pie 10 days 6 months-1 year
Meringue  6-7 days  3 months-6 months (up to a year when store bought freezer pie)
Ice cream Do not store in the fridge 6 months 
Molasses  10-12 days  6 months-1 year

Cream and custard pies are not suitable for freezing as they tend to lose their texture and become dry, cracked, and grainy, which can make them unappetizing but not harmful to consume.

Always ensure that pie is covered when not being eaten or served, especially when bringing sweet pies outdoors for a picnic, as bugs like flies are drawn to sweet foods and can spread diseases.

To ensure optimal results, store your pie in an airtight plastic container. Alternatively, if you prefer to keep it in the baking tray, be sure to cover it entirely with either plastic wrap or foil.

Plastic wrap is more effective than foil as it retains moisture better. In case you have to store fruit pies on the kitchen counter, ensure that they are completely covered and kept away from any heat sources such as the stove. It is best to keep them in a cool and dry place and consume them within 48 hours.

See also
Can You Freeze Tofu?

Can You Freeze a Pie? 

Pies such as fruit, meat, pudding, and molasses can be frozen for up to a year if stored and covered correctly, but it is not recommended to freeze custard pies or cream pies as it may ruin their taste and texture.

Technically, a pie can last in the freezer for several years without spoiling, but it may develop freezer burn and take on unpleasant odors from its surroundings. It is recommended to consume the pie within one year of freezing.

Our suggestion is to cut the pie into slices and cover each slice with plastic wrap before storing them in a freezer-safe bag or container.

If you want to eat frozen pies, avoid thawing them on the counter and instead preheat the oven and put the frozen pie directly into it as thawing them beforehand can make them damp and unappetizing.

How Long Can a Pie Sit Out To Cool Down?

It typically takes 15-30 minutes for pies to cool down at room temperature, and it is recommended that you either refrigerate them or serve them for consumption. To ensure safety and flavor, pies should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

Depending on the type of pie, the duration it can be left at room temperature varies. It is recommended to keep cheesecakes and custard pies out for only 30 minutes before refrigerating them.

Although fruit pies and molasses pies can remain at room temperature for as long as 48 hours without getting spoiled, it is recommended to consume them within two hours of being left out to ensure optimal flavor.

Meat pies should not be left out for more than 2 hours, but they can be transferred to the refrigerator within 15-30 minutes after cooling down.

It is advisable to give your pies some time to cool down before refrigerating them, as immediate transfer can lead to problems with both the fridge and the pie.

If you leave your pie out overnight, the heat and moisture in the air will cause your fridge to work harder to eliminate them. This will result in the accumulation of heat and condensation inside the container or plastic wrap covering your pie, making it damp and mushy.

You can also check this video about “Can You Eat Pie Left Out Overnight?”

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