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How Long Can Sweet Potato Pie Sit Out? The Ultimate Guide for Safety

Food Guide

Sweet potato pie is a beloved southern classic with its creamy texture and spices like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. It makes a delicious dessert for Thanksgiving or anytime. But if you’ve baked a sweet potato pie, how long can it safely sit out before refrigerating?

Sweet potato pie fillings are egg and milk-based custards. To prevent foodborne illness, these custard pies must be refrigerated promptly after baking.

Read on for a complete guide to sweet potato pie food safety including sitting out times, proper storage, shelf life, and more.

Does Sweet Potato Pie Require Refrigeration?

Yes, sweet potato pie should always be refrigerated. The filling contains eggs and milk, making it a custard that can spoil at room temperature.

According to the USDA Food Safety guidelines:

  • Eggs and dairy must be refrigerated promptly to prevent bacterial growth.

  • Baked goods containing eggs and dairy should not sit out more than 2 hours.

  • If temperature is above 90°F, baked goods with dairy/eggs should not sit out more than 1 hour.

So a freshly baked sweet potato pie should go straight into the fridge after it cools slightly, within these recommended time frames.

How Long Can Sweet Potato Pie Sit Out at Room Temp?

Baked sweet potato pies should not be left at room temperature for more than:

  • 1 hour if temperature is above 90°F

  • 2 hours if temperature is below 90°F

After these time limits at room temp, the pie must be refrigerated or discarded for safety. Leaving it out too long allows bacteria from the egg and dairy custard to multiply quickly.

If the pie filling contains evaporated or condensed milk, the safe room temperature times are even shorter. Be extra careful refrigerating promptly.

Storing Baked Sweet Potato Pie

Once your sweet potato pie has cooled slightly after baking, follow these steps for proper storage:

  • Allow pie to cool to room temperature, about 1-2 hours.

  • Refrigerate within recommended 2 hour (1 hour above 90°F) room temperature time limit.

  • Cover pie loosely and allow air circulation in fridge.

  • Store pie on lower shelf of refrigerator at 40°F or below.

  • Never leave any custard pie with eggs/dairy out overnight.

  • Enjoy pie within 3-4 days for best quality and freshness.

Can You Leave Sweet Potato Pie at Room Temp Overnight?

It is unsafe to leave baked sweet potato custard pie out on the counter overnight. The dairy and eggs provide the perfect environment for rapid bacteria growth if left overnight above 40°F.

Always refrigerate any uneaten sweet potato pie within the 2 hour maximum room temperature window. Leftovers should be promptly stored in the fridge.

Leaving the pie out overnight could lead to food poisoning if contaminated and eaten. When in doubt, throw it out.

How Long Does Sweet Potato Pie Last in the Fridge?

A properly stored sweet potato pie will last 3-4 days refrigerated.

Be sure to:

  • Refrigerate within 2 hours of baking

  • Store in fridge at 40°F or below

  • Cover pie loosely to allow air circulation

  • Place on lower shelf of refrigerator

After 3-4 days, it’s best to throw away any uneaten sweet potato pie. The texture and flavor will start to decline. Discard pie if you see any mold.

For longer storage, freeze pie up to 1-2 months.

Can You Freeze Sweet Potato Pie?

Sweet potato pie can be frozen for 1-2 months to extend its shelf life. Use these tips:

  • Allow pie to cool completely first.

  • Wrap tightly in plastic wrap then foil. This prevents freezer burn.

  • Place in freezer bag if desired.

  • Freeze pie for up to 1-2 months.

  • Thaw overnight in fridge before serving.

Freezing allows you to enjoy sweet potato pie outside of the holiday season when sweet potatoes are in season.

Storing Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet potato casserole follows similar refrigeration rules as the pie. After baking:

  • Allow to cool slightly, about 1 hour.

  • Refrigerate within 2 hours of baking.

  • Store covered in fridge for 3-5 days.

You can also freeze cooked sweet potato casserole for longer storage. Always reheat thoroughly to 165°F.

Tips for Sweet Potato Pie Food Safety

Making your sweet potato pie? Keep these food safety guidelines in mind:

  • Use pasteurized eggs when making homemade pie filling.

  • Refrigerate pie dough if not using immediately.

  • Wash hands and prep surfaces before and during baking.

  • Prevent cross-contamination by washing utensils after contact with eggs.

  • Don’t leave pie out more than 2 hours after baking.

  • Refrigerate all leftovers within 2 hours.

Sticking to proper food handling and storage times will ensure your sweet potato pie stays safe and delicious. Now that you know how long it can sit out, get ready to enjoy!


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