How to Preserve Ice Cream (Homemade or Industrial)

Ice cream is a creamy and delicious dessert that has plenty of flavors. It’s usually common to have ice cream at home from time to time, but how can I preserve ice cream properly?

You must store the ice cream in the freezer to maintain its texture and consistency. If it remains unopened, it can last between 6 or 8 months, but once opened, it lasts about 4 or 6 months.

Preserve Ice Cream

If you would like to learn some tricks to know how to preserve ice cream properly, then continue reading.

How to keep ice cream in a freezer?

The only way to keep ice cream in good condition is to keep it in the freezer. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, the ice cream sold in supermarkets and stores is industrially made, so due to preservatives, ice cream will last a long time.

Homemade ice cream has a shorter shelf life since it is an artisanal product lacking preservatives. 

So the way of preserving ice cream will be divided into two sections: standard ice cream and homemade ice cream.

How to store commercial ice cream

To keep the ice cream in the store or supermarket correctly, you must do the following:

  • Step 1: Buy the ice cream last.

To prevent a good part of the ice cream from melting, choose it last, so it is at room temperature for the shortest possible time. The same applies if you are going to buy other things.

And even if you can refreeze, it will create ice crystals that harden the ice cream, and it will no longer have that creamy texture that characterizes it (it has happened to you, right?). 

  • Step 2: Put in a thermal bag.

A thermal bag is ideal for keeping the ice cream at a suitable temperature. 

Although you live near the store, a simple plastic bag will be enough to take care of the ice cream. 

  • Step 3: Save in the corner of the bottom of the freezer.

This is the coldest area of the freezer, which is a perfect spot where it will keep the ice cream in good condition for 6 or 8 months. [1]

If you open the ice cream, you must add an extra step. 

  • Step 4: Place a layer of parchment paper.

If you have some ice cream leftovers, the best way to store the remaining ice cream is to cover the top with parchment paper, preventing the ice cream from forming ice crystals.

You can also use plastic film, but it tends to freeze and stick to the ice cream, so parchment or waxed paper is a better option.

If you keep it this way, you can keep the remaining ice cream for between 4 and 6 months

Preserve homemade ice cream

Homemade ice cream is usually not as airy or creamy as industrially, although they sell ice cream machines that leave them with a similar texture at home.

However, the way to store homemade ice cream is a little different since the container is different and it has no preservatives. 

To make your homemade ice cream last a long time, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Use a shallow container.

A somewhat flattened and shallow container is the best way to store the homemade ice cream since it will freeze it quickly and evenly.

  • Step 2: Do not fill the container completely.

Homemade ice cream usually grows and expands a little after freezing, so leaving about one or two fingers of space is advisable.

  • Step 3: Cover.

The container should preferably be airtight, so it will not absorb the odors of the other foods. 

  • Step 4: Cover with parchment paper.

After the homemade ice cream has frozen and expanded, you can cover it with a layer of parchment paper to prevent ice crystals formation.

  • Step 5: Save to the corner of the bottom of the freezer.

This is the coldest area of the freezer so that you can keep the homemade ice cream for about 4 or 6 months.

How to preserve popsicles and ice cream sandwiches

The popsicle and ice cream sandwich usually comes wrapped in plastic, which is something you need to keep in mind to store this kind of product.

So to store popsicles and ice cream sandwiches safely, it is best to do the following:

  • Step 1: Place the pallets and/or sandwiches in an airtight container.

In this way, it will prevent them from being crushed. If they come in a cardboard box, it is advisable to pass them in an airtight container.

If you plan to consume them the same day, you can put them in the freezer. 

  • Step 2: Save in the freezer. 

The bottom is the coldest area of the freezer, so the popsicles or sandwiches can be in good condition for 2 or 3 months there. [2]

Now, if you took away the wrapper and left them half-eaten, it is convenient to make another step.

  • Step 3: Wrap with plastic film.

Plastic wrapping is the best option to keep popsicles or ice cream sandwiches in good condition for about 3 or 4 weeks

Extra tips for preserving ice cream

Here are some extra tips: if you apply them, you can store the ice cream for a long time.

  • Do not soak the spoon with hot water to serve the ice cream easier because it will cause the remaining water to seep through the ice and crystallize, creating pieces of ice in the ice cream. 
  • Do not put the ice cream in the microwave. If you put the whole ice cream, it will affect the consistency of the ice cream, and it will not be able to be refrozen because it would not have the same texture and consistency. 
  • Be sure to cover the ice cream well to prevent the formation of ice crystals.
  • Use boxes to preserve ice cream. In case of going to a picnic or the beach, the best way to keep it is to store it in one of those thermal boxes with ice.

How do you know if ice cream is bad?

Usually, based on its shelf life and taste, it barely spoils. However, in case having forgotten a pot of ice cream in the corner of the freezer, it is advisable to inspect its state before eating it.

If it smells or tastes weird, it is best to discard it, as it would imply that it spent too much time in storage and is no longer in the best condition.

It is advised not to ingest the liquid if it is completely thawed and not covered because bacteria and microbes would develop quickly once the ice cream has softened. 

How long does ice cream last?

ProductDuration time
Industrial ice cream (unopened)6 – 8 months
Industrial ice cream (opened)4 – 6 months
Homemade ice cream3 – 4 months
Popsicles and ice cream sandwiches (unopened)2 – 3 months
Popsicles and ice cream sandwiches (opened)3 – 4 weeks

What is the best way to preserve ice cream?

Here there is no option but to keep the ice cream frozen, so you should store it in the freezer. Therefore, placing the ice cream in the coldest possible option is advisable. 

The uncapped ice cream usually has a longer shelf life since it is intact and without the entry of any contaminant. Conversely, uncovering shortens its shelf life.

If you liked this content, I invite you to explore the site, as I have a lot of information related to food preservation.



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