7 Foods You Should Never Freeze

1. Spices

Your freezer is not the place to store seasonings. In items like pepper, garlic and clove the flavor can change when frozen, so a cool, dry cabinet is the ideal storage spot. If you have ever heard it’s good to freeze spices and herbs forget it! Condensation will be a problem each time the jar or bag of spice comes out of the freezer and is likely to introduce unwanted moisture to the spices.

2. Thawed Food

If you left some frozen food out to thaw, but changed your mind on what you want for dinner, you may need to toss the room temperature item – especially meat and seafood. The thawing time already allowed bacteria to grow that could make you sick when you decide to dig in.

When you freeze, thaw, and refreeze an item, the second thaw will break down even more cells, leaching out moisture and changing the integrity of the product. The other enemy is bacteria. Frozen and thawed food will develop harmful bacteria faster than fresh.

3. Canned Food

Freezing canned foods or beverages is a no-no – when the liquid inside freezes, the can will expand and likely explode, leaving you with a big mess to clean up. For items canned in metal tins, this expansion can cause the seals of cans to break. For foods in glass, the expansion can cause the jars to crack or break. In both cases, this opens the opportunity for foodborne pathogens to grow to harmful levels and make those foods unsafe to eat.

4. Yogurt

Yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, cream, custard, and other dairy products will all separate and curdle after getting frozen and thawed. This is the total opposite of what you want. When milk is heated to make yogurt, its proteins coagulate to form a weak gel that traps the water and fat. But as ice crystals form during freezing, water is drawn away from the protein network, causing the gel to weaken or even collapse.

5. Salad Greens

This might sound obvious, but putting fresh, crisp greens into the freezer will result in watery, wilted and limp leaves. Plus, they’ll lose a lot of flavor in the process. Play it safe and relegate them to the crisper drawer in your fridge.

The reason you won’t be able to use the frozen lettuce to make salads is because the freezing process causes ice crystals to form in plant cells. When ice crystals form, they rupture cell walls.

6. Gravy

If you thicken your gravy and sauces with flour or cornstarch, they’re not going to be freezer-friendly because they’re 100 percent going to separate awkwardly. The fact is, gravy will start breaking down when stored for too long. This goes regardless if the sauce is kept in the freezer or fridge.

7. Cheese

Soft cheeses like ricotta, cream cheese, and goat cheese will separate if they’re frozen and then thawed. This will change the texture in weird ways. You could technically try harder varieties like Parmesan or cheddar, though we’d advise you just keep in the fridge instead.

Freezing cheese causes ice crystals to develop, disrupting the cheese’s structure. This may affect the texture and make it drier, more crumbly, and mealy.