Worst Freeze-Dried Foods: Why Avoid Eggs, Mayonnaise, Milk, and More

worst freeze dried food

This article will discuss a list of the worst freeze-dried foods you should avoid. The article is based on extensive research in the area of how to properly store foods. Certain foods must be stored correctly or it can result in sickness.

You will understand why certain foods should not be freeze-dried, the implications, and the solutions as to how you should properly store them for the best outcome. 

Eggs

Never place eggs in the freezer. Eggs expand when they are frozen, which can cause the shell to explode – not a good thing to have yolk all over your freezer. Not only will you have to clean up the mess, but the water in a hard-boiled egg can also cause bacteria to seep through.

If the egg doesn’t crack, it will cause the white to turn rubbery. It is okay to place a whisked egg in the freezer or the yolk.

Mayonnaise

Best Foods Mayonnaise For a Creamy Condiment for Sandwiches and Simple Meals Real Mayo Gluten Free, Made With 100% Cage-Free Eggs 30 Fl Oz (Pack of 3)

Since mayonnaise, including Miracle Whip, contains eggs, this is another one of the worst freeze-dried foods you should avoid.

I don’t know about you, but when I spread mayo or Miracle Whip on my sandwiches or use it for potato salad or some other food, I like it creamy, not clumpy, which is what you will get if you freeze mayo.

Instead of creamy, smooth mayonnaise, you’ll get a lump of cottage-cheese-like substance that will taste worse than it looks.

Milk

Organic Shelf-Stable Whole Milk boxes, Horizon Whole Milk Single Serve, 8.0 Fl oz (Pack of 6) Bundled with a Betrulight fridge Magnet

If you don’t drink milk often or have space in the refrigerator, you may be tempted to place milk in the freezer. But unless you want a clump of milky substance in your cereal or coffee, never put milk in the freezer – this also goes for yogurt and other milk-based products. 

Cheese

Deli Direct Farmers’ Market Wisconsin 2 Vintage Sharp Cheddar Cheese Blocks with a Sleeve of Gourmet Crackers - The Pounders 2 Lbs of Wisconsin Cheese for Shredding or Slicing

As you can see from this list, the worst freeze-dried foods you should avoid is any dairy product. Don’t waste dairy products by placing them in the freezer. Avoid eating cheese products that have been freeze-dried.

All types of cheese go through a textural process when frozen. Cream cheese, cottage cheese, and sour cream separate when frozen. If the cheese is hard when placed in the freezer, it will fall apart after being frozen. If it is soft when placed in the freezer, it will become a gel-like substance – neither way will be appealing. 

Canned Soda

18 cans coke classic , 12 fl oz, total 216 fl oz

This one is not necessarily a freeze-dried food. But any carbonated drinks should not be freeze-dried. But if you don’t believe it, you’ll find out after the first try.

Don’t try to save your soda drinks for another day, you’ll end up spending time cleaning the freezer because extremely cold conditions cause aluminum to explode. 

Fruit

Thousand Lakes Freeze Dried Fruits and Vegetables - Raspberries 1.2 ounces | No Sugar Added | 100% Whole Raspberries

Since fruit contains a high level of water, avoid freeze-drying fruit. This will only cause the fruit to become hardened, and it will become rot quicker.

The only exception may be bananas. If you place bananas in the freezer, you’ll need to take them out every day to avoid hardening and rotting. Keep the fruit in the refrigerator or at room temperature. 

Water-Based Produce or Herbs

50 Straight Eight Cucumber Seeds - Heirloom Non-GMO USA Grown Vegetable Seeds for Planting - Pickling and Slicing Cucumber

These are the worst freeze-dried foods you should avoid. This includes tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, avocados, and watermelon.

It may be tempting to place these items in the freezer to preserve them for a later day for salads and other meals, but it will only turn these precious products into a soft, soggy, mushy mess. 

Why is this? Produce has a high level of water in them, and just like water placed in the freezer ices over, when the produce and herbs defrost, they become a mushy mess. 

Pasta

Pasta can be a delicious left-over meal, but not if you place it in the freezer. Avoid freeze-dried cooked pasta, including noodles, rice, macaroni, and cheese.

It will cause the pasta to be a mushy, slushy unappetizing left-over. You can place uncooked pasta in the freezer and place cooked pasta in the refrigerator. 

Fried Foods

Don’t be fooled into thinking you can place fried foods in the freezer because you can purchase them pre-packaged in the freezer section of your local grocery store.

Pre-packaged foods are prepared in a certain way that allows you to heat them up and eat them.

But don’t try this with the fried foods you cook at home; you will not experience delicious fried food after freeze-drying them. Since the oil was frozen, it will change the taste or flavor of the food.

Placing them in the freezer makes the crispy part hard to reheat and actually be crispy. Fried foods like french fries will not be crispy but soggy, and crispy fried chicken will not be crispy but chewy and soft. 

Defrosted Cooked Meat

When you repeatedly thaw and refreeze cooked meat, it can cause bacteria to form and grow on the frozen meat.

Remember, leftovers are great, but not if it causes sickness. The solution is to freeze uncooked meat and thaw out only the portion of the meat you plan to cook and eat

Potatoes

It’s never a good idea to freeze-dry cooked or uncooked potatoes. Potatoes that are frozen will cause the starch to separate from the potatoes, causing them to be soggy and watery, so you’ll end up throwing them away.

Avoid placing uncooked potatoes in the refrigerator – they rot sooner than expected. Cooked potatoes hold the flavor better stored in the refrigerator, and uncooked potatoes tend to last long – within reason – if you keep them at room temperature. 

Condiments and Sauces

Heinz Ketchup, Organic, 32 oz

Some of us love our sauces and condiments so much that we want to keep them as long as possible. But it’s a mistake to freeze-dry condiments and sauces.

Sauces that are prepared with flour or cornstarch, like gravy, and of course, any egg-based sauces, will not do well after freezing and will not please your palate.

And since most sauces and condiments have a long shelf life, it’s best to place them in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Jelly

Bonne Maman Preserve, Peach, 13 oz

Love jelly with your peanut butter? But if you want to put it in the freezer to preserve it, don’t do it. Your peanut butter and jelly sandwich will taste like something you’re not used to. Just like other water-based fruits and sauces, jelly doesn’t do well frozen.

Not only will the texture not be the same, nor the taste, the frozen jelly is likely to soak the bread. The best thing to do is keep the jelly in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

And just in case anyone is wondering, avoid putting peanut butter in the freezer – it has a pretty good shelf life and is okay to put in the refrigerator to help preserve it.  

Coffee Beans

AmazonFresh Colombia Whole Bean Coffee, Medium Roast, 32 Ounce

Coffee lovers may think it’s okay to freeze their coffee beans in freezing bags to keep them fresh longer, but it’s not. Placing coffee beans in the freezer does more harm than good.

It causes the beans to lose some of their flavor and aroma, and no coffee drinker will like to wake up to a bland taste of coffee they can’t even smell. The best thing to do is to place the beans in the refrigerator or at room temperature. 

Spices

McCormick Gourmet Organic Spice Rack Refill Variety Pack, 8 count

One may not think much of placing spices in the freezer, but like other foods and sauces, frozen conditions cause spices such as pepper, garlic, and cloves to lose their spice. Plus, there is no need to place spices in freezers or refrigerators since their shelf life is long.

FAQs

In order to give you all the information about freeze-dried foods, we gathered some of the most commonly asked questions

What foods should not be freeze-dried?

Foods that are water-based, dairy products, and fresh produce and vegetables should definitely not be freeze-dried. 

What company makes the best freeze-dried food?

My Patriot Supply is rated as one of the best freeze-dried food companies on the market. 

Can you get food poisoning from freeze-dried food?

The short answer is yes. Meat that is thawed multiple times can build bacteria. Canned foods that are placed in the refrigerator can run the risk of being contaminated by bacteria from the container getting into the foods. 

How can you tell if freeze-dried food is bad?

You can tell that freeze-dried food is bad if the color has changed, if it smells bad, or if the taste and flavor are not appetizing. You can also tell by seeing mold or mildew on the food. 

By Anita Brown

Anita Brown is our go-to contributor to our emergency preparedness website. Anita brings a wealth of personal experience and professional expertise to the table, having weathered several awful natural disasters. Anita is currently working towards obtaining her Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certification.