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You can freeze Jello, however, when you saw it it will not be the same jiggly gelatin that you are used to. Therefore, even though it technically can be frozen it's probably better not to freeze it unless you're not planning to eat it plain.
How to Freeze Jello
Jello is actually a brand name for gelatin snacks. Gelatin snacks are essentially gelatin, some sort of sweetener and a flavoring which is typically fruity. It is known for being wiggly jiggly and having a unique texture.
You can eat it plain or you can top it with things like whipped cream or even add some cut fruit into it. Store-bought pre-packaged Jello typically last a few months when it's unopened while once you have made your own jello from a powder mix it typically lasts only around 7 to 10 days.
Due to this, you may wonder if you can extend it shelf life by freezing. While you can freeze Jello and it's perfectly safe to eat otherwise The normal jiggly wiggly texture you're used to will become a liquidy mess.
This is due to the fact that the gelatin bonds are broken apart when they are defrosted. Essentially, what happens is the water in the gelatin crystallizes when frozen. This breaks the gelatin bonds apart and then jello no longwe has that same jiggly gelatin characteristic when thawed. Interestingly, freezing marshmallows doesn't affect their gelatin bonds in quite the same way.
So, if you still want to go ahead and freeze your jello you have a couple of options. Just keep in mind you won't be able to eat it with the same texture once thawed so you might want to use it frozen.
In an airtight container or freezer bag
If you've mixed up some Jello on your own from a powder mix. You can go ahead and freeze the whole block of it.
- package it. Pop it into a freezer bag or better yet an airtight container. Make sure to leave an inch or two of headspace between the lit of the container or the top of the freezer bag.
- seal it up. Go ahead and placed a lid on your airtight container or press all of the air out of your freezer bag and zip it closed.
- label it. Write the date with a pin or marker on the outside of your container or freezer bag.
- freeze it. Toss your container or freezer bag into the freezer.
In an ice cube tray
If you do decide to freeze jello the best way to do it is in an ice cube tray so that you can make popsicles or use it and drinks or punches.
- Prepare it. Mix your jello mix up.
- flash freeze it. Pour your jello into the compartments of an ice cube tray. Then stick it into the freezer until the jello has thoroughly frozen.
- package it. Once the jello has frozen remove the ice cube tray from the freezer pop your cubes out and pop them in an airtight container or freezer bag.
- seal it up. Put a lid on the container or squeeze all the air out of your freezer bag and zip it closed.
- put a date on it. Use a pinner marker and label your container of freezer bag with the date.
- freeze it again. Toss your container or freezer bag back into the freezer.
In the store-bought container
This method is not recommended as the containers can actually crack when the jello expands upon freezing. However, if you really are low on time you could certainly give this a try. Which you can also do when freezing rice pudding.
I would recommend at least popping it into a freezer bag before chucking the container into the freezer.
How to Defrost Jello
In order to defrost Jello, all you have to do is take it from the freezer and place it into the refrigerator overnight. Depending on how much you froze in one package it can take a couple hours up to 8 plus hours to thoroughly thaw.
However, due to the fact that Jello does not defrost or thought with a good texture it's best to use it frozen in some of the uses listed below.
Note: it's not unsafe to eat thawed or defrosted Jello. It just doesn't have the same jiggly texture as fresh Jello does.
How to Use Thawed or Frozen Jello
Due to the fact that the texture of jello changes drastically once thawed, you probably won't be eating it plain like you normally would. There are a few potential uses for your thawed or frozen jello:
- Pop it into punch or drinks as ice cubes.
- Make jello shots
- Make jello popsicles
Freezing Jello FAQ
How long can jello stay frozen?
Jello can stay frozen for 6 plus months. However, it's best not to thaw it but rather use it frozen and some of the methods listed above.
How long does jello last in the fridge?
Jello made from a powder mix usually lasts for around 7 to 10 days in the fridge. Storebought pre-made jello packets can last for a few months in the fridge or room temperature when unopened.
For Jello that has fruit or other things added in it, it usually only lasts around 3 or so days in the fridge.
Can you freeze jello shots?
Yes, you can freeze Jello shots.
Can you freeze jello to make it set faster?
Yes, you can freeze Jell-O to make it set faster, however, it's important only leave it in just enough to get it cooled down for about 10 maybe 15 minutes. If the Jello actually starts to freeze then when it thaws it will be a liquidy mess.
How to Freeze Jello
- airtight container
- marker or pen
- freezer bags
Freezing in a bag or container
- Make sure your jello is completely cooled if you have made it at home.
- Portion your jello into the portion sizes you will be using when thawed.
- Scoop your jello into a freezer bag or airtight container.
- Press all the air out of the freezer bag and zip it shut. Or, close the container by putting the lid on top.
- Mark the outside of the container or bag with the date and toss into the fridge
Freezing in an ice cube tray
- Cool the jello completely if homemade.
- Scoop the jello into the compartments of the ice cube tray leaving a little room at the top.
- Place the ice cube tray into the freezer for 5 or so hours. Or until the jello is frozen.
- Pop the cubes of jello out of the tray and toss them into a freezer bag or airtight container.
- Pop the lid on the container. Or, squeeze all the air from the freezer bag and zip it shut.
- Write the date on the bag on container and toss it into the freezer.