If you are like most people, chances are you love ice cream. However, ice cream is a highly perishable food that requires careful handling. Whether you are storing it at home or in bulk for your business, you want to ensure your ice cream maintains its rich flavour and silky texture.
Once ice cream hits temperatures above 10°C, however, it begins to melt. This can affect how it tastes, looks, and feels. To ensure your ice cream is always delicious and ready to serve, follow these tips for proper storage and handling.
If you are storing your ice cream for personal use at home, here are some helpful tips:
It is possible that ice cream could experience varying degrees of thawing and refreezing throughout its journey to your home. You can tell this has happened if you find large crystals in your ice cream. This happens because once it melts, and is then refrozen, the original ice crystals in the ice cream enlarge, taking away from the creamy texture and delicious taste. To deter these crystals, it is important to avoid re-freezing. Make sure you transport your ice cream home as quickly as possible, and place it directly in the freezer to avoid re-freezing.
Check the Temperature
The ideal temperature to store ice cream is between -21°C and -18°C. However, the ideal serving range is between -14°C and -12°C. So, before storing in an ice cream freezer, make sure the freezer is set within the ideal range. This will help keep it safe from melting or becoming too hard. If you find your ice cream is too hard, consider letting it thaw slightly to reach the ideal temperature for eating pleasure! Just make sure it doesn’t melt too much or you will have the re-freezing issue if it is still in the container.
Most freezers have different sections. The sweet spot for ice cream is in the main section of the freezer, as this subjects it to fewer fluctuating temperatures with the door opening and closing. Always avoid storing ice cream in the door, as this gets the most exposure to heat.
Seal Surrounding Food
Ice cream can absorb the flavours of other foods stored nearby. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that once you open the ice cream, you close it quickly and make sure it is well sealed. As well, never place unsealed food items next to ice cream to help keep its flavours intact.
At a Store
If you have a store where ice cream is sold, follow these proper handling and storing tips:
Set a Consistent Temperature
Your freezer should be set at the right temperature for both food safety and to keep food tasting its best. Therefore, store your ice cream in the freezer at around -23°C. If you serve ice cream, it should be done so between -16°C and -14°C. Remember, avoiding even slight melting is a must to avoid those large crystals that interfere with ice cream’s consistent texture. The crystals can be a real turn off for customers.
It is important to invest in specialty freezers designed so that ice cream is stored safely below the freezer line and at the ideal temperature. As well, you want people to be able to see the flavours on display, so it is easier for them to make their selection.
Wet the Scoop
There’s a reason you see your favourite ice cream shop dip their ice cream scoops in water. Room temperature water creates a bit of a shield, so the ice cream doesn’t stick to the scoop. As well, it will glide off the scoop in the ideal shape into the cone or cup. Flavours with thick bands of caramel, sauces, or fudge are also easier to cut through with a wet scoop. Lastly, the dip of the scooper also helps to stop muddying up the flavours.
Apply the Left-to-Right Rule
When you dip your scoop into the tub, aim for the edge of the tub nearest you. Scoop from right to left across the entire width of the tub. For additional servings, scoop parallel to your first line. This makes for a nice presentation, while also ensuring you aren’t leaving the edges of the ice cream to get stale. Never scoop lengthways, as this will ruin the appearance of your tubs and will not be as attractive to customers.
While it might seem that ice cream can’t go “bad”, it certainly is perishable. Remember, the main ingredient is dairy, which can sour if not stored properly. Storing your ice cream at safe holding temperatures is very important to avoid adverse changes in both the texture and flavour.
Following these tips will help keep your ice cream at the ideal temperature so every scoop is smooth, silky, and absolutely delicious.
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