A classic, frozen, sweet treat for all ages preferred on any day of the year? Yes, we’re thinking the same thing—ice cream! Just like any other cold dessert, ice creams are best served cold, so it is very important to handle them properly.
The best place to store your ice cream is in the back part of the freezer. It is the coldest part of your freezer, so this will help extend its shelf life. Do not store it in the freezer door. Besides it being repeatedly open and shut, the freezer door is the warmest part of the freezer. Alternatively, you can store it in a chest freezer if you have one.
Temperature fluctuations will rapidly melt your ice cream which you do not want. So, it is recommended to provide the optimal storage for the product. If you want your ice cream to still taste great even after storing it, keep on reading to learn more about the appropriate ways of storing and handling your ice cream.
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The Best Place to Store Ice Cream in a Freezer
As we've mentioned, the best place to store ice cream in a freezer is toward the back. Since this is the coldest part of the appliance, your ice cream will maintain the correct temperature to remain at the perfect consistency. Keeping it properly frozen will extend its shelf life too.
Every time you open the freezer door, warm air enters the appliance. It's inevitable! Keeping your container of ice cream as far back as possible (and even behind other frozen foods) ensures that it protected from this influx of air each time the door is opened.
Monitor your freezer's temperature with a thermometer. Some freezers have one built-in while others do not. You can always purchase one if you don't already have one.
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How cold does a freezer need to be to keep ice cream frozen?
Ice cream can easily be affected by unsuitable temperatures. If your freezer is not cold enough, your ice cream will probably have those little ice crystals, or worse, it will quickly melt.
Preferably, ice cream should be stored in a freezer between -5°F and 0°F or the coldest option in your temperature settings. It is important to keep it in this range not just to maintain its quality but also for food safety concerns.
Keeping the temperature consistent is also key to having the best quality of your ice cream. It is important to maintain the desired temperature to avoid having those ice crystals which we do not want. Like all dairy products, ice cream having milk as one of the main ingredients should be treated properly.
What is the best temperature for scoopable ice cream?
To have that perfect scoop, the ideal serving temperature range for ice cream is between 6°F and 10°F. Though keeping your ice cream between these temperatures for a long time will surely melt it.
What some of us have been doing wrong in serving that perfectly-scooped ice cream is we let the ice cream from the freezer sit on our kitchen counters before scooping. From the freezer, slowly defrost your ice cream. Dip the scoop only after tempering. Tempering ice cream by transferring it from the freezer to your refrigerator before serving it will help it warm up evenly.
After about 10 to 20 minutes in the refrigerator, you should be able to scoop the ice cream easily without having to put all your strength on it. Surely from now on, you will only be serving neat scoops of ice cream.
How long can you keep ice cream in the freezer?
You may have bulk amounts of your favorite ice cream kept in your freezer that you usually have a scoop or two after dinner or maybe there's a tub that was sitting at the back of the freezer for months.
Once opened, ice cream can only last about six weeks when stored correctly. After this period, it will no longer have its optimal taste. You must not leave the ice cream out of the freezer for a long time or allow it to thaw after serving it if you'll be storing it again.
To keep it safe for consumption, store it in the freezer immediately after use. The more exposure it gets, the higher risk it has for bacterial growth, which means an increased risk of food-borne illness. It is also better to not allow ice cream to be repeatedly softened and re-freeze from time to time.
On the other hand, unopened ice cream can stay fresh for up to three months past its stamped date when frozen at a suitable temperature. Otherwise, it can only last for a shorter period than the best before date.
In general, properly frozen products are safe for a long period; however, bacterial growth is possible the longer the ice cream is in the freezer. It is important to note that frozen food products do expire. Compared to those not, frozen food takes longer to expire but bacterial growth still occurs inside.
Is freezer-burned ice cream bad?
Freezer burn is the dehydration of a product. Air is responsible for freezer burn, which is why the surface of the ice cream crystallizes. Improperly protected food results in moisture loss, thus ice crystals sublimate to the surface of the ice cream making it drier, tougher, and often discolored—this is the freezer burn.
A suitable container for the product will help, but air trapped inside the container over long periods will cause damage to the quality of the ice cream. This most often occurs in opened ice cream.
Technically, it is still safe to consume BUT freezer burn alters ice cream’s taste and texture. This means that your food safety concern is not an issue—the quality of the product is.
The longer your ice cream is stored in the freezer, the higher the chance it can develop freezer burn hence, compromising its quality. To prevent having a freezer burn on your ice cream, consider transferring it to small containers or freezer bags. This will allow less ambient air which would mean less risk to freezer burn.
What is the best container to store ice cream in?
Since ice cream is a perishable product, it should be treated carefully. It may not last long for some who can't get enough of it, but when it does, you want to make sure it tastes great whenever you indulge in it. When storing it in your freezer, it is best to put it in a freezer-safe container with a tight-fitting lid.
For an additional safe storage tip, you can cover the surface of your ice cream directly with wax paper or parchment paper. It will act as a protective barrier between the ice cream and the air. This will prevent icy layers from forming on top. Also, this will prevent foul odors from other foods in the same freezer to contaminate your dessert.
Now you know all these important storage and handling techniques, go ahead and enjoy your ice cream! With great tasting flavors, it should last no longer than a week or two!
Before you go, check out these other articles that may be of interest to you:
How To Thaw An Ice Cream Cake In 3 Steps [Inc. A Dairy Queen Cake]