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Storing Home Made Ice Cream


I have started making my own ice cream and sorbet. I usually make them in large quantities, and store them in the freezer for a few days. I have been storing them in plastic, take-out containers. They don't hold up very well in the freezer. Does anyone know what is a good alternative, other than eating it all up, for short term storage? Thanks!

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  1. What's going wrong with your ice cream? Is it picking up freezer smells and flavors? Or is it just getting too icy? I'm guessing your plastic containers are like the disposable Gladware and such?

    I buy little pint containers from Smart & Final (like Haagen Daas or Ben & Jerry containers) and they work well. I find my recipes fill one container with enough leftover to eat right away.

    Or, you could buy some thicker non-disposable Rubbermaid or Tupperware containers. They would seal out any freezer smells and I swear the thicker materials help keep ice cream better.

    3 Replies
    1. re: leanneabe

      My plastic, take-out containers are not very durable, they split open. I guess they are not meant to be put in the freezer. I live in New York City, I don't know where I can get those Haagen Daas / Ben & Jerry type containers. Thanks for the suggestion for the Rubbermaid or Tupperware!

      1. re: leanneabe

        I've had good luck with the disposable Gladware containers, but then, the ice cream is never in the freezer long enough to develop a problem! <grin> I do have some lemon-basil sorbet that got a bit icy, but it got stuck in the back of the freezer and I forgot about it for quite a long time. If you're looking for short-term storage, the inexpensive containers should be fine.

        1. re: Bivalve88

          Thank you all. I can always count on fellow hounders for great food advice!

      2. Quart size yogurt containers work fine in the freezer. We use them all the time, because w ehave so many of them - we consume a lot of plain yogurt. And Cook's Illustrated reported that they do very well except after being washed a few hundred times.

        1. If they are getting somewhat icy..or have a textural problem...Alton Brown suggests that after every use,,,, keep plastic wrap on top of the ice cream to avoid its' exposure to air...

          4 Replies
          1. re: ChowFun_derek

            This is very true. I use this method with my homemade pesto. Works every time, keeps the pesto from turning brown on top.

            1. re: ChowFun_derek

              I agree about the plastic wrap. On the top inside the Haagen Das cartons is a paper covering. If you read the ice cream "instructions", I believe that it says to keep it on top to keep the icing.

              1. re: Pampatz

                I've never had a Haagen Dasz container in my freezer long enough to notice that ;)

              2. re: ChowFun_derek

                Same here.

                I use Pyrex glass containers. When I'm making ice cream I just pop them into the freezer to keep cold. When the ice cream goes in I put a layer of plastic wrap tightly on top of the ice cream.

              3. I had the same trouble of not having something to store my homemade ice cream and now a company called Sweet Bliss Containers sells containers that hold a quart of ice cream.

                2 Replies
                1. re: scoops

                  Those look like the ones you can buy at Smart & Final (or probably any restaurant supply store), except the S&F ones are just plain white. But, this means you can decorate it however you want and there's more than enough blank space on the lid to write the name of the ice cream and date it was made.

                  One of the press releases said that you get 3 containers for $9.95. I think I bought 20 pint containers and lids for $10.

                  The ones I buy are only pint size, not quart size, but this just means there's less air space to get the ice cream icy after a while.


                  1. re: leanneabe

                    These work great they are a thick container and have a coating like the ice cream containers that you buy from the store with ice cream in them. They work really well.

                2. Hey! Be smart + green. I'd been looking up for healthy ice cream containers that will also keep my frozen desserts when transporting them for long distances into my cooler. I looked up everywere on the internet, and noticed that Cold Stone Creamery keeps the ice creams on "stainless steel containers" which you can easily buy at Sam's Club and GFS. Since I do not have a store, it definitely had to be airtight containers, which I found on this website http://lifewithoutplastic.com/boutiqu... However Bed Bath and Beyond has the stainless steel canisters http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/produ... they have them in different sizes, you can see through the lid and the lid does not crack even if it is in the freezer for weeks, they just work perfect. My frozen desserts do not burn, and last long time in my freezer. Just live it out of the freezer for about 8 minutes before scooping it. I hope this info help you all ;)

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: petaca

                    Thanks for the BBB link; those 26 ounce stainless steel containers work perfect for 1.5 pint of ice cream. Thanks!!!!!

                    1. re: cityhopper

                      Before I drop the coin, I want to be sure that you really like the BBB stainless container. How long does it store homemade ice-cream for? Any problems with freezer burn, ice crystals, etc? Thanks for your feedback!

                      1. re: Wild Honey

                        I went thru the same issue with cracking plastic containers. ended up with anchor tempered glass bowls (like pyrex) with the plastic lids. $20 for a set at walmart online or $7-8 for just the 7oz size at target or publix. if you go glass or stainless steel, i recommend pre-freezing so your product doesn't start melting on contact.

                  2. I went to any ice cream shop in my area & talked to the manager for their container distributor info. They were really nice about it too.

                    OR try: www.alkupack.com

                    Good luck!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ColmbnQn

                      No matter what you store your homemade ice cream/sorbet in, the texture will start to degrade within a day or so. Without the stabilizers that commercial producers use, there is no good way around this. That said, gelato is a bit more stable because of the cornstarch, and sorbets with egg whites are also for the same reason: These act as stabilizers.

                      The strategies above are good ideas and will prevent degradation from other causes (drying out on top and getting gummy, picking up off flavours, etc. Another problem to watch out for is the flavour of the dishsoap you use leaching out of plastic ware--I only wash these in the dishwasher or with the scent-free organic soap. Otherwise, mildly flavoured foods will start tasting like Palmolive. Yech!

                      Of course, even slightly icy homemade ice cream is still mighty tasty. When it has gone a little too far (or if I just have little bits and pieces), these get added to smoothies on Sunday mornings.

                    2. I use Cambro tubs. I think even home kitchens should have several sizes and they are all (1 liter to the huge one that will brine a turkey) among the most useful tools I have.

                      One of the uses for the 1 or the 2 liter tubs is storing ice cream. The snap on lid keeps the contents airtight and ice crystal free for at least a week (the longest I've ever had to store homemade ice cream). The wide opening makes it easy to serve from. The plastic won't get brittle in the freezer. They wash in the dishwasher. And when they're not storing ice cream you'll find a dozen other uses for them.

                      1. Has anyone heard/used this brand of container?
                        The price alone is very tempting, but I'd rather make sure it'll work properly. I need a larger container since my ice cream maker makes 2 quarts at a time. The alternative is to eat one quart... :)

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: waterhand

                          Any plastic tub - Tupperware etc. Do put a bit of plastic wrap on top of the ice cream. This works well.

                        2. Zak makes a nice container, if you're up for the $.