Can You Eat Freezer-Burned Ice Cream?

If you love ice cream, you probably preserve it in your freezer to get it anytime without going out. Have you ever noticed some crystals on top of your ice cream when getting it out of the freezer? Well, that’s probably freezer burn especially if it had been in the freezer for long. 

Freezer burns in your ice cream can be a result of many things other than prolonged freezing but that does not give you the green light to toss it off in the dustbin. 

Can you eat freezer-burned ice cream?

You can eat freezer-burned ice cream by simply removing the affected area or blending the entire ice cream to make a milkshake. Freezer burns will just affect the quality of your ice cream but won’t make it unsafe for consumption. 

Fresh ice cream is creamy, delicious, and has a soft texture, unlike freezer-burned ice cream which has a more rigid texture and a watery taste. Therefore, you can just scoop out the affected area rather than throwing away the entire ice cream, and enjoy the rest of the ice cream.

Alternatively,  you can put the freezer-burned ice cream in a blender, add fruits and flavors of your choice and make a mouth-watering milkshake.

How to tell if ice cream is freezer-burned

Freezer burned ice cream

Freezer burn affects the quality of your ice cream in terms of texture, taste, and appearance. Here’re the traits of freezer-burned ice cream.

  1. Ice crystals will form on top of the ice cream.
  2. It will have a crunchy texture instead of the normal soft-creamy texture.
  3. It will have a dull taste. Since freezer burn is a result of moisture evaporating from the ice cream, once the water in the ice cream which carries the flavor evaporates it leaves it dry and tasteless.

Why Does Ice Cream Get Freezer-Burned?

Your ice cream is likely to get freezer burns if:

  • You store it close to the door. When you open the freezer door, warm air gets in the freezer and therefore, the foods close to the door suffer temperature fluctuation leading to freezer burn.
  • You don’t seal the container tightly before putting it in the freezer. Freezer burn also occurs when ice cream is exposed to dry air in the freezer. The dry air causes the moisture-containing flavor to evaporate and form big ice crystals on the surface of the ice cream. 
  • You store your ice cream for too long.

How to fix & save freezer-burned ice cream

Although freezer-burned ice cream is safe to eat, the taste and the crunchy texture aren’t anything to look forward to. However, there are ways you can incorporate it in other recipes to make it edible.

Here’s how to fix and save freezer-burned ice cream;


Milkshake is always my number choice whenever freezer burn happens on my ice cream. I find it easy and fast since not much is needed. Simply put a pint of the freezer-burned ice cream in the blender, add ⅓ to ⅔ cup of milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla/strawberry/chocolate extract then blend. You can crush nuts or cookies and add them in after blending (optional) and enjoy your delicious shake.

Ice cream float

This is a chilled soft drink or carbonated drink that has ice cream in it. If you have coca-cola, soda water, or any fizzy juice in your fridge you are good to go. Just put the drink in a glass, then add a scoop of ice cream on top and enjoy your drink.

Scrape off the top surface

Although you may need to part with some amount of your ice cream, this method helps to get rid of the crunchy texture of freezer-burned ice cream. When ice cream suffers freezer burn, the ice crystals that are formed on the surface of the ice cream give it a crunchy texture. Therefore, using a spoon, scrape off all those ice crystals on the top, and you will be left with soft creamy ice cream since the bottom part does not suffer freezer burn.

How to Prevent Freezer Burn on Ice Cream

You can store ice cream in the freezer for long without worrying about freezer burns. However, you will need to do it safely by keeping it off air exposure and temperature fluctuations while in the freezer. 

Here‘s how to prevent freezer burn on ice cream;

1. Place the ice cream in the coldest part of the freezer 

Every time you open your freezer, warm air gets in hence causing temperature fluctuation in the foods near the door. Therefore, to prevent freezer burn on your ice cream, place it at the back of the freezer where it is constantly cold to prolong its shelf life.

2. Ensure the Ice Cream is Airtight 

Air exposure to ice cream causes moisture to evaporate from the ice cream and form big ice crystals on its surface (freezer-burn).  Therefore, keeping the ice cream in a sealed and airtight container will reduce the likelihood of freezer burn. Once you scoop the amount you want, cover the surface of the ice cream with a parchment paper to ensure no oxygen comes into contact then seal tightly with the lid.

3. Use while still at its best quality

I know how tempting it is to stock your freezer with ice cream, especially during summer. If you have to do it make sure to consume old stock first and before the ‘sell by date’ since the longer it stays the higher the risk of freezer burns.

Final Verdict 

Preserving your ice cream at home prevents the stress of rushing outside for ice cream when the cravings kick in. However, freezer burn can affect the ice cream and lower its quality. The good thing is that you can prevent it by following the methods in this post. If the ice cream gets freezer-burned, you can save it. Remember to keep ice cream airtight and enjoy every scoop when you finally open it. 

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