The Subway sandwich might be an American classic, but it has one major flaw: It’s prone to getting soggy. If you don’t eat it as soon as it’s handed over, the bread will begin to soak up all of the oil from the dressing and turn into a soggy mess before you can even take your first bite. Here’s how to keep this from happening.
How To Keep Subway From Getting Soggy
Pack the sandwich horizontally
The first step to taking your sub from soggy to satisfactory? The way you put it together. If you’re packing your sandwich vertically, then all of the weight is falling on the top half of your bread and can force condensation to run down the interior of your sandwich. Instead, try building your sandwich horizontally: First add a layer of meat or vegetables, followed by cheese (if you’re using it) and then lettuce, tomato and other veggies on top. Condensation travels upwards, so this will keep your bread from getting too wet by having it at the bottom of the sandwich with ingredients between it and the more-moist toppings.
Move the lettuce away from the bread
The leaves of iceberg lettuce may create a physical barrier between water and your bread—but only if they’re not touching it! When they touch wet ingredients like tomatoes or cucumbers, they’ll wick up the moisture and transport it right to your bread. Keep lettuce—or any vegetable with a high water content—away from your bread to keep it dry and fresh.
Put all of the soggy ingredients in one half of the roll.
While this might sound counterproductive, sectioning off the wet ingredients on one side of the bread is actually a great way to keep things from getting too wet. The key is to put the wet ingredients on one side, while keeping the dry ingredients on the other. So if you’re making an Italian sandwich with peppers, onions and cheese, place them on either side of the bread—the dry half should contain your cured meats like capicola and salami, as well as any veggies that won’t get too mushy (like lettuce or tomato).
Keep your sauce on the side
This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but trust us: if you’re not adding any sauce, you’re probably using too much sauce. Even if you use the smallest amount possible, your bread will still get soggy. For example, let’s say you add oil and vinegar to your sandwich—a seemingly innocent combination that seems like it would be fine for your sub’s structural integrity. But think about what happens when you put oil and vinegar on a salad—it soaks through the lettuce, making it soggy and limp. The same thing happens to your bread when oil and vinegar are allowed to soak in.
Don’t think that toasting is a solution
Toasted bread does not absorb moisture better than untoasted bread. It’s just not true. In fact, toasting bread actually makes it harder for it to absorb liquid. Toasting bread changes its structure and makes it crunchier, but that crunchiness isn’t going to help your sandwich keep its crispness.
If you make a sandwich on untoasted bread, the liquid will be immediately absorbed by the bread and then the bread will kind of dissolve and melt into the sandwich, making it even more delicious.
But if you put that same sandwich on toast, the crust is going to be too hard to let the liquid in, so when you take a bite of your sandwich all of the liquid is just going to come squirting out at you like a water balloon.
The only way toast can help your soggy sandwich is if you rip off the crust before eating it, which is tedious and kind of defeats the purpose of toast as a soggy-sandwich-prevention tool in the first place.
Tips For Keeping Subway Sandwich From Getting Soggy
Get The Sandwich Made To Order
One of the primary reasons for sogginess is that Subway sandwiches are assembled before they’re ordered, and then kept in a refrigerated case until someone requests them. When you ask for a sandwich from behind the counter, it’s likely been sitting there for quite some time and has already begun soaking up some of its own moisture—and when you add more liquid like salad dressing or mayonnaise, it will get much worse.
To avoid this problem altogether, order your sandwich with no sauce or dressing at all and have it made fresh to your specifications. Then add just as much salad dressing or mayonnaise as you want right before eating—that way, you avoid having your sandwich sit around with too much liquid added ahead of time.
Ask For Less Sauce
If you’re not a fan of Subway’s sauces, ask for “light” when you order, or even better, order your sandwiches “dry.” And if you love their sauce, but still want to avoid sogginess, choose from their drier options like mustard or mayo. These will make your sandwich a little messy to eat, but they won’t contribute to the problem of wetness.
Choose Fresh Veggies
Opting for extra tomatoes might seem like a good idea, but that may only add to your sandwich’s sogginess. Tomatoes contain more water than other veggies (such as lettuce), so it’s best to stick with one tomato slice per sandwich. By choosing the freshest vegetables possible (and requesting no extra water), you can avoid having your bread become an unpleasant sponge.
Dry Your Veggies
When you’re prepping your sandwich at home, you can eliminate a lot of excess moisture by drying your veggies before putting them on the bread. It seems counter-intuitive to add more water to things like tomatoes and lettuce, but if you rinse them in a salad spinner or pat them dry with a paper towel before chopping them, they’ll stay crispier for longer.
Eat Your Sandwich Quickly
Make sure that your sandwich is put together just before you plan to eat it; this will ensure that it doesn’t have time to sit around and become soggy while waiting for you to chow down on it. If you want to make it ahead of time so that it’s already waiting for you when you get home, then put it between two piece of parchment paper and stack some heavy books on top of it to keep it flat.
How Long Is A Subway Sandwich Good For In The Fridge?
The good news is, as long as you keep your sandwich in the fridge and don’t eat it for longer than 48 hours (two days!), you’re fine. You can even freeze your Subway sandwich if you want to keep it for a long time—just make sure to thaw the sandwich out in the refrigerator before eating it.
Once you’ve taken your sandwich out of the fridge, though, make sure to eat it within a few hours. If you’re worried about getting sick from eating your Subway sandwich after two days (or after letting it sit out for a few hours), don’t be! Most people won’t get sick from eating food that’s been refrigerated properly, even if it’s been sitting around for a while.
But just because you probably won’t get thrown into a dangerous food-poisoning frenzy doesn’t mean you should ignore your gut and eat something that smells bad or looks discolored. If your Subway sandwich isn’t right and doesn’t taste right, then toss it in the trash—your stomach will thank you for not taking any chances.