Half-and-half is a relatively expensive dairy product. Ever wondered why?
It’s because half-and-half is a specialty dairy product made by mixing half whole milk (around 3.5% milk fat) with half light cream (around 20% milk fat). This usually evens out half-and-half’s fat percentage at 10-12%.
Since half-and-half is expensive, you probably don’t want to waste it. And you might have got a lot of it on offer.
So now you’re wondering: can you freeze half and half to extend its storage life?
The answer is yes! And we’ll tell you exactly how to do that below. This article will also cover how long your half-and-half will last in the freezer and help you decide if freezing is the right storage option for you.
Here’s the lowdown: You should flash-freeze your half-and-half in portion sizes. Although that adds a few extra steps, your half-and-half will last up to 3 months in the freezer!
Should You Freeze Half-And-Half?
First up, let’s cover if you should freeze your half-and-half. If it’s regular 10-12% fat half-and-half, then yes.
Freezing regular half-and-half won’t change it significantly in texture or taste.
However, you should never freeze fat-free half-and-half. The texture will change, and it will be ruined.
It’s also probably not a great idea to freeze half-and-half in the carton, as they’re usually not freezer safe.
How To Freeze Half-And-Half In Larger Quantities
Below, we’ll give you step-by-step instructions for freezing half-and-half if you’re cooking or baking with it.
- Measure out about 300ml of half-and-half. You can adjust the quantity to your desired portion sizes, but be sure to make a note of it on each freezer bag.
- Pour the half-and-half into freezer bags labeled with the use-by date and quantity.
- Squeeze all the air out of each freezer bag, and ensure they’re all completely sealed!
- Lay each bag flat on a deep baking tray, making sure not to stack them on top of each other. Too much pressure, and they might burst!
- Flash freeze for 2 hours.
- Once your half-and-half is completely frozen sold – this might take longer if you’ve frozen a lot in each bag – transfer the freezer bags to one big airtight container.
This method will help you save on freezer space!
To thaw your half-and-half, grab as many bags as you need, and place them in a container in your refrigerator overnight.
If you need your half-and-half to thaw faster, you can leave it on your counter in a container full of lukewarm water for up to 2 hours.
How To Freeze Half-And-Half In Smaller Quantities
If you use half-and-half in your morning coffee or only use a splash at a time, then you should freeze your half-and-half in ice cube trays. Simply pour the half-and-half into an ice cube tray, ensuring enough space at the top for the liquid to expand.
Then, cover that in aluminum foil and flash freeze for 2 hours. Once they’re frozen solid, transfer the half-and-half cubes to an airtight container or freezer bag.
You can put a cube in a mug in the refrigerator overnight, ready for your morning beverage. Or you can add it frozen to make your coffee the perfect drinking temperature.
How Long Half-And-Half In The Freezer Lasts
Expect your half-and-half to last for up to 3 months in the freezer.
However, once thawed, your half-and-half’s shelf life drops dramatically to 3-4 days in the refrigerator. So only defrost as much as you need!
Other Storage Options For Half And Half
Let’s quickly run through the other storage options for half-and-half, so you can be confident you’re picking the right one.
If you’re yet to open your half-and-half, and you know you’ll finish it within a week, don’t bother freezing. Unopened half-and-half lasts for 7-10 days in the refrigerator.
Once open, reseal your half-and-half tightly, and replace it in the refrigerator. Expect it to keep for 3-5 more days.
Now: don’t keep your half-and-half in the refrigerator door – it’s the warmest part of your fridge, so the dairy product will go bad faster if stored here!
As for half-and-half creamer cups, you won’t extend their life much by freezing them since they last 1-2 months in a cool, dry, dark place. Think kitchen cupboard or pantry.
The Round-Up On Half-And-Half
Now you know whether to freeze your half-and-half and how to do so if you need to. To recap, here’s a summary:
- If you have a splash of half-and-half in your coffee, freeze it in ice cube trays.
- Half-and-half lasts for up to 3 months in the freezer but only 3-4 days once thawed.
- Unopened half-and-half will last for up to 10 days in your refrigerator, provided you put it there as soon as you’re home from the grocery store.
- Only defrost as much half-and-half as you need at a time.