Prevent Ice Cream Ice Crystals Like a Pro!

Have you ever stopped to think about how you store ice cream? There are some significant dos and don’ts when it comes to keeping your favorite dessert fresh and delicious, according to the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA).

The Best Way to Store Ice Cream

The group makes one particularly unusual suggestion for storing ice cream that you may not have heard or seen before: After opening a new carton of ice cream, the IDFA recommends pressing a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap against the surface of the ice cream before putting the lid back (making sure it’s on tightly!) and returning the carton to the freezer. This will help prevent the formation of ice crystals by adding an extra layer of protection to the ice cream’s surface.

If you want to take it a step further, or if you are storing ice cream for a longer period of time in a deep freezer, the IDFA says to put the ice cream container inside a large resealable plastic bag in the freezer for added protection. Squeeze out any extra air to avoid freezer burn.

Other pointers include keeping the ice cream as deep inside the freezer as possible—not in the door, where the temperature can fluctuate—and never placing it beside uncovered foods, whose flavor the ice cream could absorb. Apparently, even strong-smelling food that is packaged can pass on unpleasant aromas, such as frozen fish sticks, garlicky pasta sauce, or cubes of pesto.

And never, ever let ice cream thaw and refreeze repeatedly. “When ice cream’s small ice crystals melt and refreeze, they can eventually turn into large, unpalatable lumps,” says the IDFA. And no one wants lumpy ice cream!