How to Store Ice Cream in Your Freezer

Hi there!

We’ve been thinking that with all these fantastic new True Scoops recipes you’re trying out, we should teach you the best way to store ice cream in your home freezer.

Are you one of those people who stuff food in the freezer and expect it to stay fresh and good as new years later? We hope not! Freezers are pretty amazing, don’t get us wrong. We make ice cream for crying out loud. But don’t think for a second that your food, even ice cream (yes, even ice cream!), will last indefinitely in there and maintain its quality. Your perfectly creamy, delicious ice cream can fall victim to crunchy, icy freezer burn and spoilage. Even though most ice cream is pasteurized, you’re still dealing with dairy, and bacteria can still be present if your ice cream has been opened, melted, and refrozen.

So how long is too long before your ice cream gets freezer burn and loses its creamy texture? And how can you tell if a batch is no longer safe to eat? Let’s break it down.

How Long Ice Cream Lasts in the Freezer

If stored properly in an airtight container, ice cream can last the longest when frozen, usually one to two months. The freezing temperature slows the growth of bacteria, preventing it from becoming rancid too quickly.

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The Problem with Freezer Burn

Freezer burn is a different story. It can happen quickly if too much air gets into the container. As moisture leaves the ice cream and combines with warmer ambient air, it freezes on the surface, creating a snowy layer of crystals that signals freezer burn. You’ve experienced it before, right? It turns the ice cream icy, crunchy, and unappetizing. Air is not your friend when it comes to freezer burn.

How Can You Tell If Ice Cream Has Gone Bad?

Like milk, spoiled ice cream is easy to recognize. The containers may start to bulge or leak, and the ice cream itself will lose its smooth, creamy texture and original color. It can become grainy and develop ice crystals. You might also notice that the color dulls over time.

Hopefully, these signs are apparent, saving you from a taste-test, because spoiled ice cream tastes sour, slimy, or may even have an odor. In some cases, it might just taste off or different from when it was fresh. If you notice any changes in texture, smell, or taste, it’s best not to eat it. It could make you sick.

Is It Safe to Eat Freezer-Burned Ice Cream?

On the other hand, freezer-burned ice cream is safe to eat. Freezer burn doesn’t mean that the ice cream is spoiled, but it does affect the texture and taste. You may not get sick, but you will be crunching through some icy, stale-tasting dessert. If you find ice crystals on top, simply scrape them off or consider blending it with milk to make a milkshake.

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Best Practices for Storing Ice Cream

Here are some tips to ensure your ice cream stays fresh and delicious:

  • Keep ice cream frozen below 0℉ until serving. Check your freezer’s setting and make sure it’s on the coldest option.
  • Keep your freezer organized! Proper airflow helps freeze your ice cream (and other food) quickly and evenly.
  • Store ice cream at the back of the freezer. If it’s nearer to the door, it becomes more susceptible to freezer burn every time you open the freezer and let warm air in.
  • Use an airtight container, like a zip-top bag, to store your ice cream. Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing.
  • In a pint or other sturdy container, cover the ice cream’s surface with plastic wrap or parchment paper before putting on the lid, for extra protection.
  • To prevent the whole pint from defrosting when serving, try cutting a paper pint, slicing the ice cream. It’s faster than scooping and removes the air pocket between the lid and the remaining ice cream in the container. The lid should still fit over the shortened cylindrical container.
  • Here’s something unconventional: store the ice cream upside down! This can help protect the surface from exposure.

We know it’s hard to imagine anyone resisting finishing their ice cream long enough to let it go bad. Two months? Ha! How about two minutes! But if you do find yourself stocking up on different flavors and creating a stockpile in your freezer, please be careful.

We want you to be happy and healthy forever, which is why we’ve created new purposeful packaging launching on June 5th! These pint containers come with the True Scoops Ice Cream mix tucked right inside, and they are freezable and food-safe. This way, you don’t have to dig around in the typically disastrous Tupperware cabinet or use fragile glass containers! Just choose your base flavor—vanilla bean, chocolate, or strawberry—follow the instructions, pour the mixture back into the container, pop the lid on, write your flavor name, and freeze it for 4-6 hours or until firm. And once you’re done devouring, simply toss out that pint container, grab a new one, and get ready to whip up your next batch!

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Hope to see you on the blog again soon!

Shelly & Kelly

Ice Cream

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