- Posted October 20, 2013 by
The Best Way to Store Ice Cream in your Freezer
Whether you're buying ice cream from the grocery store or making it from scratch to make some ice cream recipes, there's a way to keep it at its creamy best and plenty of ways to go wrong. Here's what you should think about: where you're storing it, how you're storing it, and the last time you took your freezer's temperature and to make easy desserts.
In an ideal world, freshly churned ice cream should be chilled down to as low a temperature as possible, slowly defrosted until it's scoopable, and then eaten all in one sitting just like some easy dessert recipes. Every time ice cream increases in temperature, some of the ice crystals trapped inside melt.
Store your ice cream in the very back of the freezer, as far away from the door as possible. Every time you open your freezer door you let in warm air. Keeping ice cream way in the back and storing it beneath other frozen-sold items will help protect it from those steamy incursions.
Ice cream is best stored below 0°F. If you have a freezer thermometer, adjust your freezer's settings to maintain this temperature. If you don't, go out and buy one. Or take the easy way out: set your freezer dial for as cold as possible.
If you're making ice cream at home, your storage vessel makes a difference. Pro ice cream makers have the benefit of blast chillers to deep-freeze ice cream in minutes. Doing so keeps ice crystals small, leaving the ice cream just as fresh and creamy as when it was churned.
Or you can use a storage container that encourages speedy freezing of ice cream. What you want to look for is a shape with a high surface-area-to-volume ratio that'll expose the mass of the ice cream to cold air something wide and flat rather than compact and boxy.
Keep it Airtight
Ice cream is full of fat, and even when frozen, fat has a way of soaking up flavors from the air around it including those in your freezer. To keep your ice cream from taking on the odor of that fish or last week's chili, use a container with a tight-fitting lid. For extra security, place a layer of plastic wrap between your ice cream and the lid.
But regardless of how airtight your ice cream container is, prolonged time in the freezer will degrade homemade ice cream's flavor and texture. For best results, ice cream should last for no more than a week or two. With good ice cream that shouldn't be a problem.