A freezer is an essential attribute of any kitchen, and modern technology allows you to freeze most products with almost no loss of quality. However, there are a number of foods that should not be frozen because they can lose their flavour or even become hazardous to health.
What foods cannot be frozen? Eggs, canned food, dairy products, defrosted meat, sauces based on eggs, flour and starch, raw or boiled potatoes, vegetables and fruits with high water content and some alcohol such as beer, champagne and wine cannot be frozen because they will lose their properties, flavour and might even become dangerous to your health.
Let’s dive into the detailed list of the foods you should never freeze and why it is so.
Foods You Should Absolutely Never Store In The Freezer
Ultimate List of Foods You Should Never Freeze
Eggs should never be stored in the freezer. First, the liquid inside the egg can freeze, causing the shell to crack and, as a result, to unwanted bacteria that can bypass the shell and get inside. Secondly, even if it does not happen, the egg will, in any case, become rougher and more unpleasant in taste.
It is undesirable to freeze yoghurts, sour cream, various soft cheeses, for example, cottage cheese or cream cheese. Its delicate airy consistency will be lost after thawing. Dairy loses its valuable qualities and may even get some bacteria.
If you plan to drink milk or add it to coffee in the future, then freezing is not a good idea. The drink will completely change its texture, becoming patchy and lumpy.
Other dairy products are transformed in a similar way: yoghurt, sour cream, mayonnaise. When frozen, they stratify and become unfit for food.
However, thawed milk and dairy products can still be used in cooking, such as gravies and sauces. Only you need to defrost them gradually, on a shelf in the refrigerator. Depending on the size of the container, the process can take from a couple of hours to several days.
Mayonnaise and other sauces
Sauces based on starch, flour and eggs, after defrosting, usually stratify into their component parts, change their structure and will be unsuitable for human consumption, and simply tasteless.
Vegetables with high water content
A large amount of water contained in some vegetables leads to the water flowing out, depriving them of their former consistency, vitamins, taste and appearance. What vegetables are not good to freeze? Cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, radishes, radishes, potatoes, cabbage, as well as onions and garlic are not good to freeze because they become soft, mushy and completely unappetizing. These vegetables will also darken, lose their original taste and smell.
At low temperatures, the liquid inside them crystallizes. Once thawed, these fruits and vegetables will turn into an inedible watery puree.
In addition, vegetables that have been thawed should not be thrown back into the freezer. This will lead to the appearance of a deadly bacteria develop rather quickly in them.
Watery, overripe, padded, soft berries cannot be frozen. For these reasons, it is not recommended to freeze strawberries, raspberries, watermelons, since the high percentage of moisture contained in them, when defrosting, makes them completely shapeless, mushy, tasteless and even odourless. But if you want to feast on a vitamin berry, it is better to freeze it with sugar.
What fruits should not be frozen? All fruits, many garden and forest berries can be frozen. Do not store blueberries in the freezer, as they are watery, with thin skin. After defrosting, there will be a mushy mass in the bowl. They do not freeze the bones, since there is practically no juice in it, only bones. Melons should also not be frozen. The pulp will turn into ice, which, when defrosted, will become coloured water.
According to the storage rules, canned food cannot handle the freezing temperature. The liquid in the can expands and can break the can. This product should be kept in a cool pantry. If you suddenly need to freeze canned food, transfer the contents of the can to an airtight container and send it to the freezer.
Breaded ready meals
It’s tempting to prepare food for a week and freeze it in advance, but the result can be disappointing, especially if you fry food in breadcrumbs. When defrosting, the crisp will turn into an unsightly porridge and the dish will be spoiled.
By analogy with rice, pasta is completely unsuitable for long-term storage in the freezer. A wet lump of dough is what they will turn into after defrosting. It sounds awful, but it looks even worse!
If you still have wings or fries, do not rush to freeze them. Low temperatures in the freezer will cause fried foods to lose their delicious crust. In addition, frozen foods that have been pre-fried do not heat up well.
Meat and fish
We are only talking about re-freezing previously defrosted products. And the point is not even that frozen meat loses a large amount of juice and becomes dry, and the flesh of the fish becomes mushy. Freezing it this way can be dangerous to your health. With each new defrosting, more and more bacteria accumulate on the surface, which increases the risk of intestinal poisoning.
If you freeze and then defrost greens, it will no longer be crispy. When you buy lettuce from a store or market, it is usually fresh and tasty. The freezer destroys the structure of leafy green vegetables and causes them to lose their freshness. In the freezer, lettuce will go from crunchy to soft, soggy and mushy.
With strong types of alcohol (vodka, whiskey, rum, etc.), there should be no problems when it comes to freezing. But beverages like beer, champagne and wine contain much more water than alcohol. “Light” alcohol, as well as canned food, must not be frozen.
6 Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Freeze
What Foods Are Okay to Freeze?
The freezer can be filled with more than just meat, fish and berries. There are many foods that can be frozen without losing flavour. Frozen foods will calmly wait for their turn, and you will not have to throw them away or eat them quickly so as not to spoil. Here are 20 foods that are okay to freeze and how you can do it:
You can freeze a large piece of cheese so that it won’t crumble after thawing. If you prefer slicing the cheese before freezing, add a teaspoon of cornstarch or flour to the container to prevent the slices from sticking together during thawing.
If you like to add grated cheese to your meals, you can buy a large piece of Parmesan, chop it in a food processor and put it in the freezer in special freezer bags. It can be stored in the freezer for several months, and during cooking, it will be enough to open the container or freezer bag and take out a couple of teaspoons of cheese.
2. Homemade pancakes, waffles and French toast
If you’d like to have more breakfast with homemade pancakes, waffles and toast, you can simply bake more on the weekend, freeze on a cookie tray, and store in freezer bags.
At any time, you can take them out of the freezer, reheat them in the microwave and have breakfast. In any case, it will be cheaper and tastier than buying frozen baked goods in the store.
It is better to freeze fruits on parchment paper, and only then place them in freezer bags. It’s best to freeze the slices right away so you can take them out for desserts and smoothies as needed.
If you’re a smoothie lover, you can make yourself a frozen fruit mix straight away. Freeze slices of apples, pears, peaches, bananas, and any other fruit you like separately. At any time, you can make yourself a new smoothie by mixing different types of fruits.
If you don’t like cooking slimy thawed banana slices, freeze them whole, along with the skins. When you decide to cook something with a banana, you need to take it out of the freezer, defrost it in the microwave, cut off the top and squeeze the contents into the cooking mixture.
Here is a list of fruits that can be frozen:
- Watermelon and melon. After defrosting, the watermelon with melon will be watery, the taste will be slightly bland, so they are stored for no more than ten months.
- Apples and pears. They tolerate the freezer better than other fruits. You can store apples in the freezer in several forms: whole, cubes, slices, and puree.
- Peaches. You can store the peach in any form, the fruit’s bone is hard and does not affect the taste when defrosted. To keep the peach longer, it is tightly wrapped in white paper and in a separate container. The fruit is stored for about six months at a temperature of –12 degrees.
- Plums and apricots. The two fruits can be kept together sliced or drenched in syrup. It is important that the container has a tight lid. Fruits will keep their vitamin composition and taste at temperatures from –18 degrees;
- Quince. It is frozen sliced. Quince has a bitter core, so you need to remove the seeds and cut into layers in a vacuum container. Optimum storage temperature from -18 degrees.
- Cherries and sweet cherries. Before freezing, the cherries must be rinsed and covered with sugar to taste. If the blanks are ripe, then at temperatures from -18 they will be stored for about 12 months.
- Avocado. It is frozen as a puree and only in glass jars or containers. Before freezing, the avocado is peeled and chopped to a puree consistency in a food processor or blender. Such a blank is stored for about 9 months at a temperature of -18 degrees.
- Banana. The fruit deteriorates the fastest, even when frozen quickly, so it should be stored no more than 2-3 months. Banana can be frozen with its peel if you plan to make mashed potatoes or jam later. Without the peel, the fruit freezes in a container or baking sheet on foil or baking paper. Before freezing, the fruit must first be frozen so that it does not stick to the dishes (30 minutes at -18) After that, the banana can be put into a container without foil and stored at a temperature of -18 degrees.
- Fig. The washed fruit must be cut into cubes and placed in a plastic bag. Frozen can be stored for 12-13 months at temperatures below -12 degrees.
- A pineapple. The exotic fruit can be kept whole and sliced. In order for the pineapple to retain its taste for a longer time, it is necessary to peel it of leaves and wrap it in thick cling film before freezing. It is advisable to spread the chopped slices on a baking sheet and wrap them with foil. It is advisable to use quick-freeze followed by storage at temperatures below -18 degrees.
To avoid waiting long for the rice to cook (especially brown rice, which takes about 50 minutes), you can freeze it. Rice is first frozen on a tray or parchment and then placed in a freezer bag.
Thawed rice can be fried, used for soup or casseroles. Cooking time will be reduced by about an hour (including not only cooking but also rinsing and soaking).
You can make a large apple pie and enjoy it for several months. Wrap it in freezer paper and place it in a bag and freezer. When you want to taste the pie, send it to the preheated oven (about 150 degrees) for 2 hours.
The easiest way to freeze corn is not to take it out of the leaves, but just put it in the freezer. When you want corn, just take it out and microwave it in 5 minutes. The leaves protect the corn so it tastes fresh.
7. Tomato paste
Simmer the rum tomatoes over low heat with garlic, fresh herbs and olive oil for about 4-5 hours. When the mixture has cooled, place it in freezer bags. You can use this mixture for chilli base or tomato sauces.
Boil more pasta and freeze small portions in separate bags – you can use one small bag for soups and casseroles.
Before freezing, make sure to release the air from the bag – it should be as flat as possible. To defrost, immerse the sealed bag in hot water for a few minutes.
9. Mashed potatoes
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out a serving of mashed potatoes and place the ball on the baking parchment.
Freeze until balls are hard and then store in freezer bags. The puree will be stored in the freezer for at least two months.
10. Cookie dough
The cookie dough is frozen on parchment and stored in a freezer bag. You can divide it into separate portions or immediately make it in the desired form. Using this dough, you can make cookies in 1-2 minutes, without dirty dishes and table.
11. Potato chips
If you buy enough chips and freeze them in the same packaging they were sold in, you always have a snack. Plus, frozen chips are even tastier than regular chips, so you don’t need to defrost them before eating.
If your milk is consumed very slowly, and the leftovers turn sour and pour out, it is quite possible to freeze it until the next time.
Just find a bottle that will have room as frozen liquids expand. The thawed milk must be mixed well and can be used (just do not defrost it in the microwave).
The only criteria for freezing juice, as well as freezing milk, is a bottle large enough to allow the frozen beverage to expand.
To avoid having to throw away dry bread, you can cut several loaves and freeze. Take out the desired pieces of bread as needed and defrost them in the oven or microwave. To prevent the bread from drying out until morning, you can leave it overnight in the turned off, tightly closed microwave.
15. Pieces of vegetables
You can freeze chopped onions, bell peppers, or chilli peppers in freezer bags. When they are cold enough, you can mark the “portion lines” on the bag so you know how much to take in one go.
16. Lemon and lime juice, lemon zest
Squeeze lemon and lime into ice cube trays and place in the freezer. Now you have fresh citrus juice whenever you want. The zest can also be frozen and used to prepare various dishes.
You can freeze the aromatic herbs in ice cube trays with a little water or broth for use in soups, stews or casseroles all year round.
18. Marinated meat
Put the meat in a freezer bag, fill with the marinade and send to the freezer. When you take it out, it is already marinated and ready to cook right away.
19. Homemade casseroles
When you’re making casseroles like lasagne, why not make more and freeze half for a homemade meal during the week.
You can use several freezing options:
- Freeze a whole casserole in a platter lined with freezer paper. When the casserole is sufficiently frozen, remove the dish, repack the casserole in freezer paper, and send back to the freezer. The good news is that you can use the dish while the casserole is in the freezer. When you need it again, place it in the same dish and cook.
- Freeze in parts. Prepare a casserole, let cool, cut into pieces and freeze. Can be heated in the microwave.
20. Fish sticks
The semi-finished products sold in stores are hardly tasty, so why not make homemade fish sticks? To do this, you need to buy fresh fish, cut it into small pieces, roll in egg, flour or bread crumbs, put on a tray and freeze. After that, you can store homemade fish sticks in freezer bags as they are much tastier than store ones.