The worst foods to freeze

We may love our freezer to bits, so it may come as a shock that not all foods are freezer friendly. While there are some foods such as thawed meats that shouldn’t be refrozen for health reasons, these nine foods are simply unappetising once defrosted.

According to, you can store milk in the freezer for up to a month, but that doesn’t mean you should. Milk separates when frozen, meaning it may come out of the freezer quite differently to how you put it in. If you do freeze milk, it may be better to use it for cooking rather than drinking.

Some desserts
Chocolate pudding is better fresh than frozen. Creamy or custard-filled desserts are likely to weep, separate and lose their shape in the freezer. If you do make custard, and desperately want to save it, try to freeze it immediately, thaw it in the fridge and don’t leave it in the freezer for more than a month. Similarly, meringue or gelatine-based desserts will not do well in freezer.

Russet potatoes
When prepared fresh, these popular potatoes are fluffy and delicious, but when thawed after freezing they tend to become doughy and lose their shape. If you intend to freeze fresh potatoes it might be a good idea to blanch them in hot water or steam beforehand. This stops the enzyme actions that would otherwise cause changes in colour, texture and flavour.  

Sounds obvious, doesn’t it, but most leafy greens will not hold up well in the freezer. Lettuce is mostly made of water which expands when frozen, breaking down the structure of the cells. When thawed, the water returns to its smaller state, leaving the leaf soggy and floppy. The same goes for many other salad ingredients including tomato, celery and cucumber. No fresh crunch here.

Unless you like your mayonnaise to be separated and clumpy don’t try storing it in the freezer. The eggs, vinegar and oil in the mayo will split, leaving a water layer on top. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to return it to its original form once it has separated.

Fried foods
As much as we may love fried foods such as hot chips and chicken nuggets, we can’t freeze them for later and expect them to taste nearly as good. When thawed, they will become soggy and lose their texture and flavour, so it’s best to prepare fried foods fresh on the day of their consumption.

Hard cheese
It’s not that hard cheeses aren’t okay to eat after being frozen, but they may just be significantly less appealing. They tend to become crumbly after being thawed, though this can work well for some recipes. Also, cutting up a block of frozen cheese can be a hard and dangerous workout. Grate or cut up your cheese before freezing it.

Storing icing that has egg white in the freezer will cause the icing to weep and lose its volume when thawed.

Try to avoid freezing cooked pasta. When thawed, frozen pasta tends to lose its shape and flavour. If you do need to freeze cooked pasta, prepare it al dente, and the firmness of the pasta should help it hold together. Alternatively, you can freeze fresh, uncooked pasta or pre-packaged pasta bought from the cool aisle at the supermarket. These are more likely to keep their shape and flavour when cooked.

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Related articles:
Problem foods as you age
How to freeze food and for how long
Five clever ways to cut food waste

Written by Liv Gardiner

Writer and editor with interests in travel, lifestyle, health, wellbeing, astrology and the enivornment.

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