Does Pumpkin Pie Need to Be Refrigerated?

Is it safe to leave your pie on the counter or does pumpkin pie need to be refrigerated? Here's what to know before you start baking.

Nothing says fall like pumpkin desserts. You’ve done the work of making a pumpkin pie—maybe entirely from scratch, maybe with a can of pumpkin—and now you need to know the best way to store it. So does pumpkin pie need to be refrigerated or can you just keep it covered on the counter?

The answer: It’s best to store that pumpkin pie in the fridge.

Does Pumpkin Pie Need to Be Refrigerated?

Pumpkin pies are relatively rich in eggs, so the best practice is to stash these pies in the fridge once they’re completely cooled.

To prevent any other fridge flavors from mixing with your perfectly spiced pumpkin pie, be sure to store it in an airtight container or tightly covered with plastic wrap. It can stay in the fridge for three to four days (but, like most baked goods, tastes better right away).

Along with your pies, be sure you’re storing these common foods the right way.

How Long Can Pumpkin Pie Be Left at Room Temperature?

While the refrigerator is where you want to store pumpkin pies for the long term, they can be left at room temperature in some instances.

First, pumpkin pie should be kept at room temperature when removed from the oven. Allow it to cool completely on a wire rack before putting it in the fridge.

You can also keep pumpkin pie at room temperature for up to two hours, according to the FDA. So feel free to take the pie out of the fridge a little while before cutting a slice.

How Long Does Pumpkin Pie Last?

Pumpkin pie can last up to four days when stored in the fridge. Just make sure it’s in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap to keep it fresh.

You can also freeze pies. Whole pies or leftover slices should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then stored in an airtight container or zip-top bag (make sure the pie is cooled first!) and then popped into the freezer. Frozen pumpkin pie should be enjoyed within a month.

When you’re ready for a slice, unwrap it and let it defrost in the fridge. Don’t forget to top with homemade whipped cream.

Why Aren’t Store-Bought Pumpkin Pies Refrigerated?

Many store-bought pumpkin pies are made with preservatives that make them shelf-stable. You’ll find this is often the case with pies purchased at large supermarkets or big-box stores. These pies can be left on the counter and are best eaten within a few days (or by the date marked on the package).

However, if you buy a pie from your local bakery, odds are it won’t contain these stabilizing extras. Small-batch pies like these should be treated as homemade and kept in the fridge.

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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.