11 things you should never put in your freezer

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It's been said before (on this website, in fact) that a stocked freezer is the best and easiest way to win in the kitchen. And that's true -- most of the time. But there are a handful (well, a couple of handfuls) of foods that get strange when frozen and then defrosted.

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11 things you should never put in your freezer
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11 things you should never put in your freezer

1. CHEESE
Soft cheeses such as ricotta, goat, or cream cheese tend to separate when frozen and thawed, which leads to strange textural changes. Hard cheeses like Parmesan and cheddar are usually a safe bet, but you're still better off buying only what you need and storing it properly in the fridge.

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2. AND FOR THAT MATTER, MOST DAIRY
Cream, buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, and custard all separate and curdle in the freezer.

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3. WHOLE EGGS
Eggs can expand when frozen, causing the shell to crack and potentially let bacteria in—never a good thing. Cooked eggs and egg-based sauces like hollandaise, mayonnaise, and meringue are also poor freezer candidates. If you really have to freeze eggs, crack them, whisk them (or separate the whites and yolks) and store in an airtight container.

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4. FRIED FOOD
The crispy, craggily, gloriously fried exterior of fried foods—that is, the best part—is lost when frozen and defrosted. Unless soggy is your thing, keep these suckers away from the cold.

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5. COFFEE
It's OK to freeze unopened, freshly-roasted bags of coffee for up to a month. But once you open the bag and start taking it in and out of the freezer, the coffee can get ruined. Thawing and refreezing yields condensation on the beans which causes them to absorb freezer smells.

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6. SOME PRODUCE
Produce that has a high water content (cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce) gets limp and soggy when frozen and defrosted.

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7. FRESH HERBS
Try to thaw a bunch of fresh herbs from frozen and you'll be left with a brown, soggy mess. Instead, turn your herbs into compound butter or pesto, both of which freeze impeccably.

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8. COOKED PASTA
Cooked pasta turns into a mushy puddle of gluten after it's frozen. Avoid at all costs.

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9. SAUCES THICKENED WITH FLOUR OR CORNSTARCH
Thickened sauces like gravy and béchamel separate when frozen and thawed. Not a good look.

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10. AVOCADOS
The texture of avocados changes when frozen, so you can kiss that silky interior goodbye. (But really, when have you ever had trouble using up a haul?) (Oh, wait, you have? You should probably read this.)

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11. POTATOES
When was the last time you craved a soft, grainy potato? Exactly.

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