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Yes you can easily freeze orange juice (homemade or store-bought) for 8 to 12 months as long as it's kept in an airtight container. Orange juice that is pulp free freezes best, but you can freeze orange juice with pulp as well.
How to Freeze Orange Juice
Orange juice is a delicious, sweet and refreshing drink. You can sip it on its own or add it into smoothies or baking recipes.
The store-bought unopened orange juice has a decent shelf life, once you've opened orange juice or if you make it homemade, it doesn't last but about 5 to 7 days.
This means if you don't drink it super fast you may need a way to extend it shelf life. Freezing does a great job in this case as the defrosted product really has a similar taste and texture especially if you freeze it pulp free.
There are whole slew of different methods that can be used to freeze orange juice safely. Some of these include straight in the carton, in freezer bags and airtight containers or in ice cube trays. The method you choose should really be based on how much orange juice you have to freeze and how you think you'll use it when you defrost it.
Freezing in the carton
If you want the fastest easiest way to freeze your orange juice in bulk, simply freeze it in the carton. Of note, you should only use this method if it is a cardboard carton. Plastic containers don't freeze as well.
- Make room. Orange juice expands when it freezes so it's important to dump out and enter to from the container before freezing it to allow for room.
- Freeze it. Once you've poured a little out of the container, simply put the top back on securely and toss it in your freezer.
- Note: store-bought cartons are not made for freezing and therefore they may not maintain quality for as long as freezer safe airtight containers. Additionally, even with tossing some of the liquid out to allow for expansion they may crack or burst in the freezer. Overall, they do a good enough job.
Freezing in an airtight container
If you know you'll be drinking your orange juice relatively fast when you defrost it you can freeze it in bulk in an airtight container. This can range from a glass bottle that is freezer safe to a freezer safe mason jar or even a flat Pyrex.
- Strain it. If you are using homemade orange juice or orange juice with pulp, you may want to strain it before freezing it as orange juice with pulp does not freeze as well.
- Package it. Pour your orange juice into your chosen container. Make sure to leave an inch or two of headspace between the top of the orange juice and the lid of the container so that the orange juice can expand as it freezes.
- Label it. Take a Pen or marker and write the date on your container.
- Freeze it. Place your container into the freezer.
Freezing in freezer bags
If you want to save a little space or if you want to freeze in smaller amounts using freezer bags works well.
- Remove pulp. If using homemade or pulpy orange juice you may choose to strain the pulp out as it doesn't freeze as well as pulp free. This is an optional step.
- Package it up. Decide what your portion size will be and pour that amount into your freezer bag.
- Seal it. Zip your bag shut and sharing that you have squeezed out any additional air as you close it.
- Date it. Write the date on the outside of your bag.
- Freeze it. It's best to lay your bag flat in the freezer in order to save space.
Freezing in an ice cube tray
If you'll be using your defrosted orange juice and drinks, smoothies or in small amounts for baking then freezing it in an ice cube tray is the best way to do it.
- Strain juice. If you have a pulpy orange juice you may want to strain it before freezing since the pulp does it freeze well. This step is optional.
- Fill the tray. Pour your orange juice into the compartments of the ice cube tray. Then, pop the tray into the freezer for a few hours until the juice freezes.
- Pack it up. Once the cubes are frozen remove it from the tray and pop them into a freezer bag or airtight container.
- Seal it. Place the lid on your container or zip your bag shut. If using a freezer bag, make sure to plus any extra air out when closing it.
- Label it. Write the date with a pinner marker on the outside of your container or bag.
- Freeze it. Toss your bag or container into the freezer.
Successful freezing tips
No matter which method you use, here are a few key tips to apply to ensure you maintain high quality in your orange juice.
- Fresh is best. The fresher your orange juice is when you freeze it the better the quality will be when you defrost it.
- No air. Making sure that you keep as much air out of the container or freezer bag You freeze it in will ensure the texture and taste stays of maximum quality.
- Decide on use. But deciding how you'll use the defrosted orange juice before you freeze it, this will help you to properly portion it before freezing and also decide the best way to freeze it.
How to Defrost Orange Juice
The best way to defrost orange juice is to simply remove it from the freezer and pop it in your fridge overnight. Keep in mind if you've frozen a large container of orange juice it may need longer than 8 to 12 hours to thoroughly thaw.
If you frozen orange juice with bulb still in it, you'll want to make sure to shake it vigorously to help redistribute the pulp. However, the pulp still might taste a little grainy or dry.
If you've frozen orange juice in an ice cube tray and plan to use it for something like smoothies or in a drink, you don't need to defrost it you can simply pull it out of the freezer and toss it into your smoothie or drink.
How to Use Frozen or Thawed Orange Juice
- As ice cubes for drinks
- In Smoothies
- For baking
- regular drinking
Can you freeze orange juice from concentrate?
It's best to not refreeze orange juice made from frozen concentrate if you want to maintain high quality.
How long does orange juice stay good frozen?
When frozen properly, orange juice can stay good frozen for 8 to 12 months. You can actually keep it frozen past this and it will still be safe to drink however the quality may degrade over time.
How long can orange juice be kept in the fridge?
Opened orange juice can be kept in the fridge for around 5 to 7 days.
Can you freeze orange juice in the carton?
Yes, you can freeze orange juice in the carton. However, it might not last as long as if you use an airtight freezer safe container. Also, you'll want to make sure to pour an inch or so out so that it has room to expand as it freezes.
Is orange juice good after freezing?
Yes, orange juice is good after freezing. In fact, it freezes quite well with very little loss of texture or flavor.
How to Freeze Orange Juice
- airtight container
- marker or pen
- freezer bags
- Ice Cube Tray
- Orange Juice Store-bought or Home squeezed
- This method is not recomended as the carton can bust as the juice expands. Additionally, it is not as protective as freezer safe containers or freezer bags. But, when short on time it can work.
- Simply toss the unopened store-bought carton into the freezer
- note:1) if you want to avoid pressure on the carton, open it and pour an inch or two out before freezing it.2) For extra protection, pop the whole carton into a freezer bag before putting it in the freezer.
Freezer Safe Container or Freezer Bag
- Portion the juice out into how much you will want to use when thawed.
- Pour the juice into a freezer safe container or freezer bag.If using a container, use one that will only have 1 - 2 inches of space between the juice and the lid.
- Carefully zip the freezer bag up after squeezing any air out of the bag. Or, secure the lid on top of the container.
- Label the outside of the package with the date and lay it flat in the freezer.
Ice Cube Tray
- Pour the orange juice into the holes in the ice cube tray, leaving a little space at top of each hole to accommodate expansion when frozen.
- Place the tray into the freezer for a few hours, until it is frozen.
- Remove the tray from the freezer and pop the frozen juice cubes out.
- Toss the frozen cubes into a freezer bag or freezer safe container.
- Seal the package up by zipping the bag closed, after pressing any air out of it. Or by placing the lid on top of the container.
- Write the date on the container or package and toss it into the freezer.