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Feb 18, 2014 11:43 AM

Things that don't freeze well

There has been a recent thread on "freezer phobia" and what freezes well. As someone with a new chest freezer, what doesn't freeze well?

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  1. Anything not labeled clearly. Those are the items that become shapeless blobs of something. Or you defrost "chili" and get italian style meat sauce.

    1 Reply
    1. re: autumm

      They still freeze fine :) Just with some adventure involved.

    2. Mascarpone cheese. I know from experience. :(

      1. Don't laugh but when my last kid went off to college and shared an apartment w/fridge freezer to hedge any landlord issues I emailed him this list:

        Never freeze cans or shell eggs; they can burst when frozen. Always throw away any broken egg or can, discarding the food where no one, including pets, will eat it. Wine bottles and soda containers can burst in the freezer too, but the contents leave more of a mess than a hazard.

        Never refreeze melted ice cream. Don't defrost your ice cream container in the microwave unless you plan to eat it all.

        Freezing coffee is not recommended. If you've bought more coffee than you can drink in two weeks, divide it into one-week portions before freezing. Remove a week's worth of coffee and a time and don't refreeze it. Wrap well: It tends to absorb odors.

        Cabbage, celery, cress, cucumbers, endive, lettuce, parsley and radishes get limp, waterlogged and quickly develop oxidized color, aroma and flavor.

        Baking potatoes, baked or boiled, get crumbly, water-logged or mealy.

        Cooked macaroni, spaghetti or rice without sauce tastes mushy and warmed over.

        Cooked egg whites get soft, tough, rubbery or spongy.

        Meringue gets soft, tough, rubbery or spongy.

        Icings made from egg whites get frothy and weep.

        Cream or custard fillings for baked goods separate and get watery or lumpy.

        Milk sauces, for casseroles or gravies, may curdle or separate.

        Sour cream separates and gets watery.

        Cheese or crumb toppings on casseroles become soggy.

        Mayonnaise and salad dressing curdle or separate.

        Fried foods, except french fries and onion rings, lose crispness and become soggy.

        from this source:

        I'm sure you've got this covered but the info resides in a handy place to share it w/you. Happy chest box freezing!

        13 Replies
        1. re: HillJ

          Thanks, my post was a result of a new freezer but also a few articles I read elsewhere on what not to freeze. As usual, these forums often offer even more information and first-hand opinions than is easily found via a quick Google search. Thanks for the article, very helpful. I have found that somehow soup with cheese or dairy freezes OK.

          1. re: fldhkybnva

            You're welcome. I have that list stuck in a college folder on the laptop, I'll probably toss it got plenty of use!

          2. re: HillJ

            It's amazing. Reading your post made me want to throw up.

            1. re: HillJ

              Great list! Thanks!

              I'm curious if anyone knows if tortillas freeze well. Thanks!

              1. re: UTgal

                I had tortillas for lunch with a nice glass of wine. I plastic wrapped them and then placed them in a large bag along with individual cups of salsa I grab one of each on the go.

                1. re: HillJ

                  Thank you! I hate buying a package of 10, using a few for a recipe then trying to use up the rest. Only two of us in the household, no kiddos.

                  1. re: UTgal

                    Package of 10 sounds like flour tortillas right? I always keep mine in the freezer but have learned that removing the number that I need (1 or 2 at a time) is much easier if I put a small piece of foil, parchment, etc. between the individual tortillas. It doesn't have to be big. a 4x4 inch square works. When I don't, the tortillas always stick together in the middle and I either have to partially defrost the whole stack or risk breaking the tortillas as I pry them apart.

                    1. re: seamunky

                      Yes, flour tortillas. Thank you so much for the suggestion! I could definitely see them freezing together in a big clump.

                      1. re: UTgal

                        seamunky is right they will stick if you don't adjust them for use prior to freezing. What I do is roll them into cigars, wrap in plastic as portions with the cups of salsa. Then I just grab what I need as I go through them.

                        But generally speaking I find that I do prepare everything I freeze from its original packaging to suit my needs. Whether I'm breaking down a large pkg of beef steaks or portioning out foods I'll use as a snack or lunch for one.

                  1. re: seamunky

                    The entire article was very informative at the time (2005) and well researched.

                2. Potatoes, rice...anything that when defrosted will absorb water and turn to mush.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: petek

                    I've been wondering about this. Trader Joe's sells frozen rice and potatoes. I've never tried either but I guess it works somehow.

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      Probably flash no ice crystals form. Makes a huge difference.

                      1. re: petek

                        I remember reading somewhere a few years ago that you could somewhat replicate that at home. You would have to spread the rice out on a cookie sheet and put it in the freezer kind of like how people do it to freeze berries or individual pieces of chicken.

                        1. re: cornedhash


                          Not sure if you could replicate the same results at home, but I have frozen berries on a sheet pan with good results(no clumping). rice just ain't the same after freezing.

                    2. re: petek

                      I've found that brown rice freezes nicely. White's a bit harder.

                      1. re: juliejulez

                        Rice freezes wonderfully. If you're making fried rice.

                      2. re: petek

                        agree with petek, and, imho, pasta in sauce also falls into this category. pasta turns into mush.

                        1. re: Gastronomos

                          Well, considering it's made up of mostly water... :D
                          But seriously it doesn't get all mushy when you defrost it?

                          1. re: petek

                            If we freeze watermelon it's to enjoy it frozen like fresh cut into triangles for a BBQ but long term, cubed and eaten much later it would be water logged and tasteless.

                            So I'd be curious what Gastro means too. Something new to learn?

                            1. re: HillJ

                              I freeze watermelon when I have more than I can eat fresh to use in blender drinks in the next week or so.

                              1. re: autumm

                                Good point autumn. In a blended drink the watermelon liquid can and often does work in our favor.

                                1. re: autumm

                                  Yes. I buy in season and freeze plenty. Watermelon does nicely in the blender for smoothies and with tequila for that watermelon "margarita"...