Buying in bulk and freezing the excess inventory is a great strategy for saving money on groceries. Luckily, there are methods for freezing and preserving all sorts of different foods and produce. But a word to the wise — some items should never be frozen.
Food with a high moisture content (like cucumbers and watermelon) do not freeze well. Same goes for creamy foods (like custards and yogurt). The texture and consistency changes once thawed. Read on for a handy list of foods that don't belong in your freezer.
1. Leafy greens and some fresh produce
Do not freeze any produce that is water-rich. This includes apples, leafy greens, and potatoes. Unless you plan to blend or cook the frozen produce later, the freezing and thawing process will leave you with chewy or limp messes.
2. Creamy foods and condiments
It's recommended not to freeze creamy foods. This includes soft cheeses, cottage cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream and yogurt. If you freeze these items you'll see separation and curdling. The exception? When used in cooking. A casserole made with sour cream will likely still taste just fine, but a yogurt cup tossed in the freezer won't have the same consistency thawed.
3. Eggs in the shell
Do not freeze eggs in the shell. Raw eggs can crack, inviting bacteria to grow inside the egg. Hardboiled eggs become rubbery and unappetizing. Cracked eggs, however, can be frozen so long as they are also mixed.
4. Defrosted meats and seafood
Moving your meat back into the freezer after defrosting it is not recommended because it can compromise both the safety and quality of the meat. When you thaw meat, ice crystals form within its cells, breaking down the cell structure and causing moisture loss. Refreezing meat after thawing can lead to further damage as these ice crystals can rupture cell walls, resulting in a dry and less flavorful end product.
Moreover, there's a risk of bacterial growth if the meat has been left at room temperature during the defrosting process, which can multiply when the meat is refrozen. To ensure food safety and the best quality, it's advisable to cook the meat immediately after thawing or store it in the refrigerator for a short period but not return it to the freezer.
Coffee should not be stored in the freezer because it can absorb moisture and odors from the surrounding environment. When coffee beans or grounds are exposed to moisture, they can deteriorate in quality, losing their flavor and aroma. Additionally, coffee can also pick up unwanted odors from the freezer, which can taint its taste. It's best to store coffee in an airtight container at room temperature to preserve its freshness and flavor for a longer period. If you have a large quantity of coffee that won't be used immediately, it's advisable to vacuum-seal and store it in a cool, dark, and dry place rather than the freezer.
6. Fried foods
Putting fried foods like French fries in the freezer is not recommended. The freezer will make your fries very difficult to reheat, and they will likely be soggy rather than crispy.
Cooling down soda might sound tasty in your mind, but think again. Putting carbonated drinks like sodas in your freezer will just lead to a mess. The can will likely explode and you'll be left with a very sticky freezer.