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Can you freeze dairy? Here's the important stuff you need to know.

July 16, 2021

Can you freeze dairy? At Miller’s, we get this question often. 

The short answer is, yes, you can freeze dairy. I mean, you can freeze anything really. But, the question is, should you?

A good rule of thumb is that fat freezes well, but a combination of fat and liquid don’t fare well. 

For example, let’s take yogurt, a fragile jellified fat and liquid. When you freeze yogurt, it causes the water to be drawn away from the gel. The structure collapses, and it separates.

Yogurt will retain the same nutrient content and taste when frozen, but you’ll be left with a jar of clumpy, grainy stuff when thawed. It won’t be good for eating straight but can still be used in cooking and baking.

Now let’s take butter, which is mostly butterfat, or whey, which is mostly liquid. Both butter and whey freeze really well and are almost indistinguishable from their fresh counterparts.

Here’s a list of dairy products with handling notes and best practices:

Excellent for freezing for up to 12 months

Will have the same nutrient content, taste, and texture when thawed.

Good for freezing for up to 6 months

Will have the same nutrient content and taste. Texture will change. With liquids, the fat will separate from the water. It’s recommended to shake to recombine. Cheese will become more crumbly when thawed. Best for melting.

Poor for freezing for up to 3 months

Will have the same nutrient content and taste, but the consistency will change considerably. They will separate and become clumpy or grainy.

Have you frozen dairy? What was your experience? Any best practices or fails to share? Comment below!

Marie Reedell

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