The Optimal Freezing Temperature for Ice Cream

Frozen desserts, such as ice cream, are a lucrative source of revenue for ice cream parlors and retail stores year-round. People are enamored with ice cream because of its rich and creamy taste. But if ice cream is stored incorrectly, it can impact its flavor and texture. In this article, we will explore the correct temperature for storing ice cream.

What is the Ideal Temperature for Storing Ice Cream?

When it comes to storing ice cream, the temperature guidelines vary depending on whether you plan to store it for an extended period or just a short while.

For Long-Term Storage

If you intend to store ice cream for an extended period, it is crucial to keep the temperature below freezing. The perfect range for storing ice cream long-term is between -10°F and -20°F. The frozen treats should always remain hard and never go above the freezing point.

For Scooping

To ensure easy scooping and serving, set the temperature of your ice cream storage system between 6°F and 10°F. However, avoid keeping it at this temperature for too long, as it will start to melt and compromise the texture and taste.

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Why Does Temperature Matter?

Maintaining the ice cream within the optimal temperature range is essential for preserving its quality. The two main components of ice cream, ice, and fat, remain intact when stored at the proper temperatures. However, when the temperature rises, these components begin to break down, affecting the overall quality, texture, and taste. Therefore, storing ice cream long-term requires a different temperature than displaying it.

Ideal serving temperatures ensure that ice cream can be scooped and served without melting. Slightly warmer temperatures allow for easy consumption, providing the best scoop of this delicious treat.

The Importance of Correct Freezing Temperature

Maintaining the correct temperature is crucial to prevent adverse changes in flavor, texture, and taste. It also helps to preserve the balance between frozen and unfrozen content in ice cream.

Can the Freezer Temperature Be Adjusted?

You can easily adjust the temperature of your freezer using the built-in thermostat. Depending on your freezer model, the thermostat can be a dial, a digital display, a screw-type adjustment, or one with numerical settings. Locate the thermostat and set the desired freezer temperature accordingly. Monitoring the temperature with a freezer thermometer is also advisable.

Helpful Tips to Preserve Ice Cream’s Quality

If you want to enjoy ice cream in its perfect state, here are some helpful tips to follow.

In the Store

When visiting ice cream shops with open-top freezer cases, choose ice cream and other frozen desserts positioned below the freezer line. Avoid placing your ice cream with other food items in your shopping cart. Ask for a freezer bag to insulate your treats, ensuring they remain frozen until you reach home. Finally, end your shopping trip at the ice cream parlor or the ice cream aisle in the supermarket. Check that the supermarket’s freezer case maintains a temperature below 10°F.

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At Home

Place your ice cream container in the main part of your freezer and avoid storing it in the freezer door. Use plastic wrap if you need to store leftover ice cream overnight. Refrain from repeatedly thawing and refreezing the ice cream, as it can result in the formation of lumps due to the crystal formation.

Best Freezers for Storing Ice Cream

If you’re looking to store ice cream, consider investing in one of these commercial ice cream freezers and displays:

Ice Cream Display Freezers

These freezers offer rear access to the ice cream while allowing customers to view the different flavors. They are designed to provide optimal product visibility and freshness, making them an excellent tool for marketing your ice cream.

Cabinet Display Freezer

The cabinet display freezer is equipped to store your ice cream correctly while providing visibility for monitoring your products.

Reach-In Freezer

The reach-in freezer is another versatile storage unit for ice cream. It is easy to move and can be positioned anywhere to suit your needs.


Improper storage can lead to the formation of ice crystals and negatively impact the texture of your ice cream. That’s why it’s crucial to establish a storage pattern that suits your needs. By following the tips mentioned above, you can ensure that your ice cream remains in perfect condition without compromising its taste.


1. Can a Freezer Be Too Cold for Ice Cream?

No, a freezer that is “too cold” will not affect your ice cream’s enjoyment. The ideal temperature range for freezing ice cream is 0°F or colder. Simply check your grocer’s freezer case for reference.

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2. What is the Maximum Legal Temperature for Storing Ice Cream?

There is no specific legal temperature for storing ice cream. However, there is an ideal temperature range that you should not exceed. For instance, the supermarket’s freezer case should not go above 10°F when storing ice cream.

3. Will Ice Cream Stay Frozen at 20 Degrees?

Ice cream will remain frozen at 20°F, but not for an extended period. For long-term storage, the perfect temperature range is between -10°F and -20°F.

4. Will Ice Cream Melt at 32 Degrees?

Yes, ice cream will melt and lose its firmness when exposed to temperatures above 32°F, which is the freezing point. Therefore, handle ice cream with care to avoid storing it at the wrong temperature.

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