Can half-and-half be frozen for later use? This article will answer if you can freeze half-and-half. It also gives the steps to do it properly and how to defrost the product.
Half-and-half is one of the most commonly used dairy products in American households. While that is true, you may be surprised to know that it can also be frozen!
Cream-based food items are tricky to freeze. The thinner consistency of half-and-half means it tends to break or split once thawed, giving the defrosted product a curdled appearance.
Fortunately, there is a way to avoid the tricky side of freezing half-and-half.
- Can you freeze half-and-half?
- How to freeze half-and-half
- How to freeze it in Ziplock bags
- How to freeze half and half for coffee
- How to freeze it in the carton
- How long can half-and-half be frozen for?
- How to thaw the frozen product
- Can you refreeze half and half?
- Frequently asked questions
Can you freeze half-and-half?
Yes, you can freeze half-and-half for up to 3 months if stored properly.
But the next question is how it tastes after thawing it? You also want to know what happens when you use your half-and-half in cooking or baking. Right?
The good news is that you won't notice any changes. But what about adding it to your morning coffee?
If you love coffee, using a frozen half-and-half is the perfect way to get your morning cup of joe without sacrificing taste or consistency.
For this purpose, good whisking beforehand is a good idea. It will help you forget that our dairy ever entered the freezer.
Freezing your half-and-half is a great way to use it up in storage and save money too!
So here is the guide on how to freeze it.
How to freeze half-and-half
First and foremost, it is best to freeze half-and-half in small servings. You can use Ziplock freezer bags or ice cube trays.
But it is possible to freeze your dairy in the original unopened container too.
How to freeze it in Ziplock bags
To ensure the best results, measure the desired half-and-half amount you wish to freeze.
To achieve an optimal taste profile during storage, small quantities are preferred.
Pour each serving into a small freezer-safe Ziploc bag. Or fill each ice cube tray with your dairy.
Then place the plastic bag on a flat surface to squeeze out as much air as possible.
Transfer one or a few bags with your dairy flat onto a baking or cookie sheet.
Make sure the half-and-half flatten well enough to fill the whole bag with no air bubbles. Finally, seal the bag.
Before placing half-and-half in the freezer, the last step is to label it. Write down the date and best before date (aka expiry date).
Bring the whole baking sheet with packed bags to the freezer. Ensure not to open the door for the next 1 to 2 hours.
Once the half-and-half is frozen, stack bags flat (in a larger container) or stand in your freezer, it is up to your preference.
If you follow all the steps correctly and keep your freezer temperature at 0 degrees F, you can freeze your product for up to 3 months.
How to freeze half and half for coffee
Ideally, use ice trays to portion your half-and-half for coffee. Fill each ice cube tray from half to complete.
Remember that each cube equals 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons of liquid.
Place the tray flat in the freezer for about 2 hours. Once frozen, remove the half-and-half cubes and transfer them to a Ziplock freezer bag.
When ready for consumption, just pop out as many half and half ice cubes as needed - they will melt quickly in your hot coffee. And don't forget to give a good stir!
How to freeze it in the carton
It is not advisable to freeze half-and-half in original packaging made from a cardboard carton.
Why? Because the carton is not freezer safe. Half-and-half may expand as it freezes, and the carton can become soggy when thawed.
If the carton is splits or cracks, you may opt for repacking (make it quickly) the frozen half-and-half. Or you will need to thaw the half-and-half for use.
Still, you can freeze your dairy in an unopened carton of half and half following the simple steps described above.
Freezing the opened dairy in the carton means that the product will be exposed to oxygen, so the half-and-half will split when thawed.
So if you have leftover half-and-half, transfer it into a freezer-safe plastic bag, squeeze the air, and freeze.
Once again, it is best to freeze your half-and-half in smaller portions ready to use: either in a resealable plastic bag or ice-cube tray.
How long can half-and-half be frozen for?
To best enjoy the taste of half-and-half, freeze it for no longer than three months.
If you use your freezer frequently, opening the door often, the freezer temperature will fluctuate.
So the quality of your half-and-half might deteriorate over time.
How to thaw the frozen product
The best way to thaw frozen half-and-half is to bring it to the fridge and let it defrost for a few hours.
Once thawed, it is expected for dairy to split because of the clumping the butterfat.
To fix its original consistency, just whisk the half-and-half until all ingredients are blended nicely. After whisking, it is ready to use in your coffee.
Still, the thawed product can have a grainy texture, and some people feel uncomfortable using it in coffees.
But it is perfect for cooking and baking: you won't notice the difference between fresh or frozen half-and-half!
Remember that once thawed, you should use your half-and-half within the next 3 to 4 days.
Can you refreeze half and half?
No, it is not recommended to refreeze the thawed half and half.
I hope this article answered how to freeze half-and-half and extend the half-and-half's shelf life.
Properly frozen, it can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Frequently asked questions
Half-and-half is a mixture of whole milk and light cream with 10 to 18 % milk fat content, depending on the brand. The fat-free half and half have corn syrup alternative to the cream content.
No, half-and-half is not cream. It is a mixture of half whole milk and half light cream with a fat content that falls between 10 and 18 percent.
They are both dairy products but with different fat content. While half-and-half has 10-18% fat content, heavy cream has a higher fat percentage, 30 to 36%. You can use them interchangeably in most recipes, but you cannot replace whipping cream with half and half.
You should use half-and-half before the expiration date on the cardboard carton. Use it for the best fresh and enjoyable taste within 3 to 5 days. Once opened, transfer it from its carton to a mason glass jar with an airtight lid or air-tight container. Shake it before using.
Unfortunately, fat-free half and half doesn’t freeze very well. The cream and fat alternatives don't survive the freezing process. And once thawed, even with a good shake, the texture of half-and-half is not close to the original product.
Use a frozen half-and-half for your morning coffee or your cooking and baking. Just follow all the steps to thaw it correctly.
The distasteful sour smell, curdling or separating of half-and-half, and changes in the color are the signs indicating that your dairy has spoiled.
The best substitute for half-and-half is a blend of milk and cream. Other alternatives include vegetable beverages such as almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk.
Coffee creamer sold in single-serving sized cups should be kept in a cool, dark place for up to 1 to 2 months. It doesn't need to be refrigerated.