How long do peanut butter sandwiches last at room temperature?
We're going on a long flight with our family tonight. I prepared peanut butter sandwiches for the kids, and would like to pack it already to avoid the last minute rush (or forgetting them). We're not leaving for another 12 hours or so, and it will probably be eaten a few hours after that. (I'm not so concerned about mushy sandwiches because these are little kids, they won't mind.) Bread and peanut butter individually can be stored at room temperature for a significant amount of time... Can I leave my peanut butter sandwiches out for ~15-20 hours?
I've done it before without problems. Even if they're peanut butter & jelly (something that's typically stored in the fridge), it has so much sugar in it that it's inhospitable to microbes.
If you want to play it extra safe, and the sandiwiches won't be easten shortly after you leave, you could place them in the freezer and then let them thaw in your bag.
... all that being said, if you're in the US, the TSA considers peanut butter to be a gel, so won't let you fly with a container of it. I have no idea what their rules are in sandwich form. (I've never tried it, as I typically fly w/ cold cut sandwiches, and just take them straight from the fridge before I go).
update from Erica : "I have flown with peanut butter sandwiches in our carryons. New TSA rules mean pulling it out of bags to send through the scanners, but they had no objections."
I wouldn't freeze them, I think that would definately make the bread yucky soggy. I would recommend eating them before getting to the airport, like has already been said, TSA might not let you through.
@Escoce : it depends on the type of bread. My mom would make sandiwches for a week & freeze them so that you could just pull one out in the morning. Firmer sandwich breads like pepperidge farm hold up just fine. I don't know how well it'd work with today's overly soft breads, or artisinal rustic loaves. I should also mention that for years my mom would buy loaves of sandwich bread & freeze them; the bread ends up a bit firmer than if you didn't freeze it, but it was what I grew up on for sandwiches.
I was thinking more of condensation being an issue, sure some breads stand up better than others. I like ryes and pumpernickels best, and those have amazing shelf life.
@Escoce : If it thaws while tightly wrapped, it's not an issue. You could wrap it in a paper towel first to help mitigate any problems, but I don't remember it being an issue growing up (admittedly, it's been a few decades)
FWIW, I grew up eating pb/j sandwiches for lunch, which were assembled using frozen bread slices (store-bought white bread) in the morning (thus pb/j not frozen), and by lunch the sandwiches were defrosted. The bread was a bit moister, but not soggy. Your mileage may vary. :)