Half and half delivers the perfect balance between milk and cream. Since it is half whole milk (3.5 milk fat) and half light cream (20 milk fat), this specialty product has a fat content of around 10 to 12%. (*)
Because it’s more than just dairy, it is a lot more expensive than your usual milk and other dairy products. But, despite its high price, it’s still loved by many because it’s slightly richer than milk, not as thick as heavy cream, and delivers just the right creaminess to your drinks.
While its taste and texture more than makeup for its high cost, there’s still one issue that most half and half users struggle with—its storage.
If you want to make the most out of your purchase, you may have considered freezing half and half at some point. But is this the best way to prolong its shelf life? Can half & half be frozen?
Read on to find out!
Can You Freeze Half-and-Half?
Fortunately, you can make the most out of your money since you can freeze half and half. But since it’s more than just dairy, half and half is a lot trickier to freeze.
This is because the thinner consistency of half and half makes it prone to splitting and breaking after defrosting.
As a result, the thawed half and half will have a curdled appearance. This is safe for cooking and baking. However, you may need to whisk it vigorously if you want to mix it in your drinks.
And what about the fat-free half and half? Can you freeze it?
We’ll be honest with you. Fat-free half and half is the only type of half, and half that doesn’t freeze well. This is because the low temperatures will alter the texture of the cream and fat substitutions that it contains. The sad part is no amount of whisking or shaking will bring back its original consistency.
How to Freeze Half and Half
If there’s one key takeaway we want you to know, it’s this: half and half is best frozen in small or single-serve portions.
In this way, you don’t have to defrost an entire batch of half and half just to use only a small amount. That would be a waste of money since thawed half and half should never be returned to the freezer.
With that said, here are two ways how to freeze half and half:
Method #1: Freeze Half and Half into Ice Cubes
Step 1. Portion and pour into an ice tray.
Pour the half and half into an ice tray. Cover the tray, then place in the freezer. Make sure it is lying flat to prevent spills.
Step 2. Transfer to a freezer bag.
After a few hours, you can transfer the frozen half and half cubes into a freezer bag.
Freezer bags are the storage container of choice for freezing dairy products as they are airtight and can prevent the cubes from absorbing the odor and flavor of the other food items in your freezer.
Make sure to remove the excess air before tightly sealing it,
Step 3. Label the bag.
Indicate the date in the freezer bag, so you’ll know when the frozen half and half will expire.
Method #2: Freeze Half and Half in a Baking Sheet
If you don’t have an ice tray, the next best option is to use a baking sheet. This method is recommended for freezing larger amounts of half and half.
Step 1. Divide the half and half into smaller portions.
Measure out the amount of half, and half your cooking or baking recipes will require.
Step 2. Transfer to a freezer bag.
Place each serving in a separate freezer bag. Make sure to use the freezer bag size that is appropriate for the amount of half and half portions you’ll be freezing.
Step 3. Place the freezer bag on the baking sheet.
Lie the freezer bag flat on the baking sheet. Remove the extra air inside to avoid the formation of air bubbles. Seal it tightly.
Step 4. Label the freezer-safe bag.
Don’t forget to date the freezer bag before putting it inside the freezer.
Step 5. Place the baking sheet inside the freezer.
Put the entire baking sheet inside your freezer. Let it freeze for 1 to 2 hours.
Step 6. Remove the freezer bags from the baking sheet.
When the half and half is already frozen, remove the freezer bags from the baking sheet and stack them neatly inside your freezer.
How to Thaw Frozen Half and Half
What if you need to use your frozen half and half. How do you defrost it? Here are the steps on how to handle thawed half and half:
Step 1. Transfer half and half from the freezer to the refrigerator.
Leave it inside the fridge for a few hours to overnight to let it thaw.
Step 2. Whisk the half and half.
When you take it out from the fridge, it’s highly likely that the butter is already clumped. Don’t fret. That’s pretty normal, but you need to bring it back to its original consistency. You can do this by whisking it until all the ingredients are properly incorporated.
Step 3. Use it in your dishes, baked goods, and coffee.
Once the original consistency is restored, you can proceed with using it in your recipes.
Frequently Asked Questions
For sure, you still have lots of questions on how to freeze and defrost half and half and how to use thawed half and half. If so, you may still want to check these answers out:
Can you freeze half-and-half milk? Yes, you can! Since it has a higher fat content than dairy products, you’ll be happy to know that it freezes pretty well. Considering that this product is a lot pricier than your usual milk or heavy cream, you must freeze it properly.
The best way to freeze half and half is to store it in smaller portions in airtight freezer bags. Make sure to leave at least an inch of space at the top of the container since it expands as it freezes.
With these tips, you can undoubtedly enjoy your half and half a lot longer!