How to keep ice cream soft in a freezer

Soft ice cream from the freezer in both a cone and a tub

Ice cream is one of life’s gastronomic delights.

There is something magical about a dessert that is so cold and yet so creamy.

From plain vanilla to concoctions featuring flavours including fruits, chocolate and even cheese, it is a vehicle for constant culinary invention.

So, don’t take it for granted.

Ice cream is a truly marvellous thing, therefore isn’t it only right to ensure it retains its lovely, soft consistency?

We scoop up more ice cream in the UK now than we ever did according to statistics, but how many of us buy our ice cream and bung it in the freezer only to bring it out later to find that it is too hard to serve?

Keeping ice cream soft in freezer isn’t too difficult, but it does take a little more care. The reward, however, is worth it.

You may think keeping ice cream soft is just a matter of lowering the temperature but not so.

Your freezer should be set at between -5°F and 0°F. or -18°C, the optimum temperature for storing ice cream.

Lowering temperatures only brings risk of freezer burn, which destroys the texture of your ice cream and increases the chance of food poisoning.

Tips for keeping ice cream soft in freezer

1. Use the correct container

Key to ensuring that the texture and flavour of ice cream is maintained is storage. That means storing it in a container which has been designed for the purpose; one that is food safe, airtight, and able to cope with low temperatures. If the container isn’t airtight, the ice cream is at risk of freezer burn, which is when ice cream comes into contact with warmer air, then refreezes, causing crystals to form.

2. Store within the freezer

We open and shut the door to our freezer all the time, so it stands to reason that if you place your ice cream in a compartment by the door it will be at risk of melting. To prevent this happening the best place to store it is the main part of the freezer.

3. Do not refreeze your ice cream

Ice cream which has been in contact with a warmer temperature for too long will melt, but once it has been refrozen it becomes harder and more crystalised. Losing its softness isn’t the only problem that could ensue.
There’s every possibility of it becoming contaminated with bacteria such as Listeria and subsequently developing into a health hazard.

4. Keep the lid of your container closed

When returning your ice cream container to the freezer, ensure the lid is tightly shut so that no air is able to get in and destroy the texture. You can also press a piece of waxed paper on the surface of the ice cream before you place the lid back on, to help to secure it, although if you choose the right kind of container, it should have a lid that is a perfect airtight fit.

5. Ensure the ice cream goes straight back into the freezer

After you’ve scooped out your favourite iced treat, return it to the freezer immediately as this will help to keep it soft and creamy.

6. Store upside down

Once your ice cream has been opened you can prevent it from developing freezer burn by turning it upside down in the freezer. For this, you need a container with a tight lid as you don’t want anything to dribble out.
Any partially frozen ice cream will collect in the lid instead of turning to crystals on the surface of the ice cream.

7. Place into a freezer bag

Placing the tub into a Ziplock freezer bag is another way to preserve its soft texture. You need to push out all the air before you close it up.

Scoop like a professional

When it comes to serving your ice cream, you can make it much easier for yourself by scooping it out of the tub in an S shape.

Ice cream melts from the outside, and will naturally be softer in that area, and consequently will be easier to spoon out.

At Venturepak, we can match all your needs with our excellent food safe packaging products, so if you are looking for the perfect container to help your ice cream keep soft in the freezer then we can help.