Some things make sense to freeze—nuts, berries, meat—but some people aren’t sure about what they can and can’t preserve otherwise. Here’s a comprehensive run-through for you so you know next time you go to throw a 12-pack in the freezer.
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Don’t forget to pin it for later!
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Watery veggies like cucumbers will freeze just fine, but it’s the thawing process that gets messy. Cucumbers get limp and soggy once they’re defrosted. You’re better off keeping them cold and using a couple slices to reduce eye puffiness than to try and make a salad with a frozen cuke.
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It’s the same deal with watermelon as it is with cucumbers—it’s technically fine to freeze but the thawing bit isn’t fun.
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Different fruit, same deal.
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Probably worse than overcooking pasta and letting it bloat with extra water is freezing it. Once you take it out of the freezer, it turns into a squishy puddle formerly known as noodles.
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Don’t store coffee beans or grounds in the freezer: Taking it in and out every morning will freeze and thaw the coffee, which can cause condensation and essentially ruin it. Plus, it’ll absorb any funky freezer smells. That being said, feel free to store any unopened bags of coffee beans or grounds in the freezer for up to a month.
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Two words: soggy mess. The crispy, crunchy fried bits will collect moisture when frozen and thawing this mess will only make the mushy matters worse.
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After freezing and thawing milk, it’s going to be really lumpy. This is not ideal for drinking. You can cook with it, however you should let it sit in the fridge to slow-thaw for a whole day before you use it.
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The gooey inside of raw whole eggs will expand when frozen, causing a cracked and leaky mess in your freezer. Not to mention the potential for bacteria growth. Unfortunately, even cooked eggs aren’t a good idea either. Same goes for egg-based items like mayo and meringue.
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Don’t even think about putting this creamy fruit (or is it a vegetable?) in the freezer—unless you’d like to kiss that silky center goodbye. Like cheese, it’ll totally lose its original texture. It’s fine to use in a smoothie, though!
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If you’re planning to eat them frozen, that’s fine, but it’s not advised to freeze grapes, thaw them, and eat them afterward.
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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.
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Freezing beer accelerates the aging of it, meaning you’re much more likely to open up a flat, hazy beverage after the fact.
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If you can’t polish off sprigs of basil or other fresh herbs, turn them into compound butter or pesto. If you freeze the bunches whole, they’ll turn into brown mushy messes when thawed.
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Nothing will happen to the integrity of the pepper if you freeze it, but in order to thaw it properly you have to blanch them first. Otherwise, it’s not going to be the same afterward.
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The wateriest of veg doesn’t belong anywhere near the freezer, you guys.
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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.
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It’s harder to freeze marshmallows than you might imagine (hello @gelatin!), but once you’re able to, they get hard as all hell.
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This deliciously vinegary tomato condiment will separate into a half watery, half chunky mess so it’s best to keep it in the fridge or toss it in favor of a new bottle.
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There’s a reason mayo needs to be refrigerated—there is no reason it should ever be frozen. The eggs, oil, and vinegar will separate, leaving you with a chunky disaster.
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This might sound obvious, but putting fresh, crisp greens into the freezer will yield 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.
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Explosions! So many explosions!
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Yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, cream, custard, and other dairy products will all separate and curdle after getting frozen and thawed. This is the opposite of what you want.
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Freezing this starchy vegetable is only going to give you gritty, grainy results. Avoid this sad story at all costs, and avoid the fridge, too. Store them at room temperature instead.
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Freezing canned foods or beverages is a no-go. When the liquid inside freezes, the can will expand and likely explode, leaving you with a big mess to clean up.
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If you left some frozen out to thaw, but changed your mind on what you want for dinner, you may need to toss the room temperature item. The thawing time already allowed bacteria to grow that could make you sick when you decide to dig in.
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Freezing pre-made casseroles and pies is a pretty genius way to make sure you’re ready whenever a potluck rolls around, but leave the crumb topping off before you pop your dish in the freezer. It’s best to add the addictive crumbles after it’s been defrosted, right before serving so it doesn’t get soggy during thawing.
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It might be time to clean out your spice drawer, because your freezer is not the place to store these seasonings. The flavor can change in items like pepper, garlic and clove when frozen, so a cool, dry cabinet is the ideal storage spot.
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Listen, if you can find a foolproof way to ensure the meringue doesn’t absorb any moisture during this process, great. If not, you’re looking at a mushy mess.
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