How to Toast Bagels in the Oven

by Véronique Raymond

Bagels are a popular treat for good reason. Their spongy yet firm texture is ideal for a quick sandwich and spreads.

However, it would be lovely to eat a warm good bagel rather than a cold one, which is why you’ll learn everything you need to know on how to toast bagels in the oven. You’ll replicate the warm, yummy serve from your local bagel shop.

Toasting Frozen Bagels

If you purchase bagels in bulk, you’ll want to freeze them to maintain their freshness. If that’s the case, here’s a simple cooking method to toast bagels in the oven if they are frozen.

  • Activate the bagel feature on your oven toaster
  • Some ovens include an automated defrost feature to set the cooking time for your bagel to defrost
  • If your oven lacks this feature, there’s the option to defrost it for 20 seconds in your microwave before slicing it

Here are a few pointers for an oven toaster that lacks a bagel feature.

  • Activate the broiler in your toaster. It utilizes the top heating element of your appliance that replicates the bagel feature
  • Put the rack right in the center of the toaster oven
  • Slice your bagel and position it on the middle rack with the inside part facing up
  • Set your toaster oven to broil for up to 4 minutes
  • You’ll notice that your bagel is crisp with a chewy interior
  • If you gravitate towards crisp bagels, position them upward when you broil them in your oven toaster

For standard ovens:

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F for 5 to 10 minutes
  • Place on a sheet pan and toast the bagel in its entirety without slicing it
  • Your bagel will have a crispy crust with soft insides

Moistening Bagels Before the Toasting Process

Moistening a bagel before you toast it will get it back to its initial state when it was baked. If you have a stale bagel, dip them into water before you toast them to revive them. By doing so, the moisture will evaporate, making the exterior of the bagel crunchy again.

The most ideal way to moisten your bagels is to dunk each of them into a bowl filled with hot water before you put them back into the oven. If you’re using a toaster, remember to drain off excess water.

Should You Cut Your Bagels Before You Toast Them?

If you’re toasting your bagels in a toaster oven, convection oven, or regular oven, avoid slicing them to retain their crustiness on the outside and chewiness on the inside. Once your bagels heat uniformly, you can slice them in half. For a toaster, you’ll need to slice the bagels before you toast them.

Should You Toast Frozen Bagels?

No! We recommend allowing the bagels to defrost before toasting them for enhanced texture. If you microwave a bagel, it becomes unpleasantly chewy and hard with excessive heating.

Instead, heat it on each side for 10 to 15 seconds on ‘high’ before you toast it. When you don’t have the luxury of time, you can toast the bagel. The most suitable way is to pour hot water on it and toast it.

Tips on Eating a Bagel

You can’t deny that a well-toasted bagel is mouth-watering and makes for the perfect start to your day. Furthermore, the versatility that bagels usher in is unmatched. They pair well with ham, spreadable cream cheese, jam, veggies, and various types of cheese such as parmesan.

Let’s discuss a few simple ideas on bagel toppings.

  • A slice of cheese
  • Bananas, strawberries, and other fruits on cream cheese
  • Slice your bagel in half and spread peanut butter on each
  • Make a bagel sandwich that consists of cream cheese, a boiled or fried egg, and strips of bacon
  • Add a thin layer of butter and top it with honey or fruit jam

Tips When Toasting and Storing Bagels


Source: Unsplash

Now that you know how to toast bagels in the oven, let’s look into a few pointers to keep in mind.

  • Fresh bagels are the most enjoyable
  • Storing bagels for two days or more will result in dehydration that can be prevented by storing them in a Ziplock bag
  • Store your bagels in a way that enhances the toasting and reheating process
  • We advise defrosting the bagels while they are wrapped in aluminum foil at room temperature before you toast them
  • Avoid toasting a fresh bagel, as you’ll likely be disappointed by the flavour and texture


Let’s discuss the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding toasting bagels in the oven.

1. Can you toast bagels without a toaster?

Bake an entire bagel as you normally would. However, rather than cutting it in half, slice it diagonally. Spread butter on the side you’ve cut. Place the bagel into a nonstick skillet with the buttered side facing down. Put the pan into your oven and set it to bake on medium heat until it becomes golden-brown.

2. How do you reheat a bagel in the oven?

The inside of a bagel is the most delicate. Once you soak it in a bowl of hot water for up to 20 seconds, transfer it to a baking sheet and place it in the oven to bake at 375°F for up to 5 minutes.

3. Should you toast bagels in the microwave?

It’s worth keeping in mind that when you toast a bagel in the microwave, it won’t have the same crunch you’d get from toasting it in a toaster oven. Slicing your bagel beforehand makes it easy to freeze. Once your bagel is warm, you have free rein to spread your preferred toppings on it.

4. Is toasting bagels an ideal option?

Bagels are yummy treats that should be consumed warm and baked up to 5 hours before to retain their freshness. However, you should toast a buttered bagel to get the burst of flavour of melted butter. You can achieve the same outcome if you purchase freshly baked bagels.

5. How do you maintain the crispiness of a toasted bagel?

An ideal way is to set your oven to low heat and put the toasted bagels in it. Use a rack for proper air circulation for your bagels. You want them to ‘breathe’ to curb the moisture accumulation under them that can make them soggy.

To Wrap Up

You can delight in a bagel despite storing it for a few days. Armed with insight into how to toast bagels in the oven, you can organize your weekends with some recipes that will be a real treat for everyone.

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