Today’s lesson is 423 words, a 1 min 41 sec reading time. It is the ninth lesson of How to Hack Your Freezer.
Whether you are heading out on vacation, or simply want to minimize trips to the grocery store, a little knowledge about freezing dairy & egg products can go a long way.
While virtually all milk products can freeze safely, most lose their creamy texture in the process. Eggs fare similarly. The following notes & tips will help you determine what to freeze, why it’s worthwhile, and how to make the most of things after the thaw.
📝 Notes, Tips & Tricks:
What makes freezing dairy tricky is that its components (e.g., fat, water, dairy solids) freeze at different temperatures. This leads to separation and crystallization (e.g., grainy ice cream).
Sugar & salt help preserve flavor and texture - hence why ice cream and frozen yogurt store better than milk or yogurt alone.
Before going on a trip, transfer dairy items into freezer-safe containers (learn more here); you can always decide later if you need/want the item.
Remember - freezing does not reset the expiration point. Don’t wait until something is close to expiration before freezing.
Thaw dairy & eggs in the refrigerator to reduce bacterial growth. Do not refreeze these items.
*In loose descending order of “freeze-ability”
Butter: wrap in foil or plastic; can be frozen for six months
Ice Cream: lasts longer if airtight (e.g., with saran wrap under the lid); if partially melted, it’s particularly prone to freezer burn (think bigger, crunchier crystals); don’t store in the door (warmest part of the freezer)
Cheese: may become mealy or crumbly; best for use in cooked dishes; pre-grate block cheese for easier use later; lasts four months
Cream: freezes okay if whipped (e.g., ice cream, whipped cream), not recommended otherwise
Milk: okay to freeze but likely to separate & have an odd/grainy texture; make sure to leave room for expansion; stir or shake vigorously upon defrosting to restore texture; lasts one month
Sour cream, yogurt, buttermilk, cream cheese, cottage cheese: all may separate and lose their smooth texture; can still be used in cooking; worth trying if going on a trip; aim for < three months storage
Egg Whites: freeze very well in containers or ice cube trays
Mixed Eggs: can be frozen in small containers or ice cube trays; blend thoroughly, minimize bubbles and add a little salt to improve texture
Whole Eggs: Do not freeze. Will crack if left in the shell.
🎓 Further Study:
Gear for Freezing [Life School]
Freezer Stocking Reference Guide [Life School]
Freezing Dairy Products, Eggs & Other Foods [North Dakota State]
How to Freeze Dairy Products [Once a Month Meals]
🙋♀️ Got feedback? Fill out this form. (This helps make us better 😄)
📚 Want to learn more? Check out other lessons in the Table of Contents.