Ice Cream Shelf Life: How Long Does Ice Cream Last?

What is the average shelf life of ice cream? How long does ice cream last in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer? What is the best way to store ice cream to increase its shelf life? Find out the answers to these questions and more below:

Shelf Life of Ice Cream

Unopened2-3 Months
Opened1-2 Months

Ice cream can last for 2 to 3 months beyond its best-by date. The shelf life also depends on numerous other factors, such as the preparation method of the ice cream, the expiration date, and where it has been stored. Ice cream comes in a variety of flavors and has a rich, creamy texture. It is the best of all dairy products. Unopened ice cream can last for 2 to 3 months beyond its expiration date, while opened ice cream can last 1 to 2 months beyond its expiration date. However, make no mistake – it won’t last very long at all if it is stored uncovered, even in the freezer.

Purchasing Ice Cream

You should consider other factors besides color, taste, and price before buying your favorite ice cream. If you are on a diet, then it is not the ideal product to consume. Always make sure of what is included in the ingredients of the ice cream that you have bought. Be certain that you read through the nutrition facts and details about the elements of your ice cream. Most of the time, the manufacturers have included artificial flavoring or preservatives, or even food coloring, to enhance the taste and look of the ice cream. Because it involves cream and plenty of sweeteners, it is among the most fattening dairy products.

Storing Ice Cream

Ensure that you store your ice cream in the freezer, and you should also place it in an airtight container. You can conveniently transfer the container from freezer to fridge for about 10 to 20 minutes and then serve. When placing the remaining ice cream back into the container after removing some of it, always put waxed paper or plastic wrap on the top of the ice cream within the container, and then set the lid. Make sure that you immediately put the container back into the freezer after taking out the scoops. This way, you can maintain the freshness and delicious flavors of the ice cream.

Handling Ice Cream

You need to treat your ice cream carefully, not because it is delicious, but because it is perishable, and it would be a shame to waste any. When similar frozen desserts get exposed to temperatures of over 10 degrees Fahrenheit, they exhibit adverse variations in characteristics such as texture, body, and flavor. Don’t allow the ice cream to soften and refreeze frequently or repeatedly, or the tiny ice crystals within the ice cream will become bigger with the passage of time.  If you want to eat your ice cream, take it out of your freezer, place it in your refrigerator for thawing, and then use it. After scooping out your ice cream, place the container back into the freezer immediately.

Cooking Ice Cream

Because it is sweet, you can use ice cream in some desserts and drinks. Ice cream is high in sugar and saturated fat and is very dense in energy, as well. It is made by churning and freezing a mixture that contains cream or high-fat milk with glucose- or fructose-based sweeteners. It can also contain flavorings such as chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, and many others. You can use ice cream as a topping or as a middle layer for your cakes, pastries, and cookies. You can also use it in various drinks and shakes.