No matter which flavor you prefer, it’s a fact that milkshakes are delicious. That said, these tasty drinks are made with a blend of ice cream, milk, and other ingredients, which creates a unique consistency that can be hard to store. If you want to enjoy an unfinished milkshake later, you need to know how to store it properly.
You can store a milkshake by placing it in the freezer. It must be stored in the main part, away from the door, to ensure the consistency isn’t ruined by fluctuations in temperature. When you’re ready to drink it, remove it from the freezer and let it defrost for about 20 minutes first.
For optimal storage, containers like these from Amazon will work much better than leaving it in the cup that it came in.
This article will look at whether you can refrigerate or freeze a milkshake and how you can store a milkshake overnight. I will also examine whether milkshakes can go bad and what you can do with a melted milkshake.
Can You Freeze and Thaw a Milkshake?
The best way to store a milkshake is by placing it in the freezer until you’re ready to consume it. But does thawing make the consistency different than when fresh?
You can freeze and thaw a milkshake, and it’s the best storage method available if you want to ensure it keeps its consistency. Do not remove the milkshake until you’re ready to drink it, and practice cold thawing methods to ensure it is safely defrosted.
Aside from storing your milkshake away from the freezer door, you should also consider placing it in an airtight container before putting it in the freezer.
Ideally, the container should only be a little bigger than the milkshake cup.
I recommend using these plastic storage containers from Amazon. These containers are affordable and airtight, and their vertical shape makes them ideal for storing milkshake glasses. Additionally, they are available in packs of 24 and 144, so you won’t have to worry about running out of them anytime soon.
An airtight container ensures that other foods in your freezer do not contaminate your milkshake or ruin the taste. Alternatively, you can also use plastic wrap or a zip-top plastic bag to protect your milkshake.
When thawing the milkshake, you need to reduce the risk of bacteria growth as much as possible, which is why the USDA recommends opting for cold thawing methods when possible.
The easiest way to cold-thaw your milkshake is to move it from the freezer to the fridge. Let it sit in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes until you’re satisfied with the consistency of the defrosted drink.
If the drink was stored in a sealed container, transfer both the container and the drink to the fridge.
You can also attempt cold water thawing, which involves submerging the drink in a bowl of cold water while it is in the airtight package.
However, this is a far more time-consuming process and requires much more of your attention. To get a taste of your milkshake as soon as possible, the refrigerator method is your best option.
Can a Milkshake Be Refrigerated?
If you don’t have a freezer at home, you might wonder whether your refrigerator can do the trick. The answer to this question depends on how long you want to store the milkshake.
You can refrigerate a milkshake as long as you plan to consume it within a few hours. Longer than that, and the milkshake will melt. If you want to store a milkshake overnight, for a few days, or even longer, the freezer is your only option.
Refrigerators are usually set to 40°F (4°C) or below, while freezers are kept at 0°F (-18°C). This temperature difference is what makes the freezer safe to store milkshakes for a longer time.
Because of the lower temperature in the freezer, the ice cream in the milkshake does not melt. If the ice cream melts, the consistency and taste of the shake are ruined.
How Do You Store a Milkshake Overnight?
Storing a milkshake overnight is a relatively simple process and is essentially identical to the one used to store milkshakes for days and even weeks.
To store a milkshake overnight, you will need to freeze it first. Place it in the freezer away from the door so that the temperature fluctuations don’t affect the consistency. When you are ready to drink it, you can remove it from the freezer and thaw it out by placing it in the fridge.
Can Milkshakes Go Bad?
A milkshake cannot go bad in the sense that it can cause a foodborne illness. However, depending on the milkshake, it may expire. Homemade milkshakes can lose their taste after a month or two in the freezer.
The shelf life of a packaged milkshake or one bought at a restaurant will depend on the type and quality of the ingredients used. If the milkshake comes packaged, make sure to check the expiry date on the packaging and store it as directed to ensure it lasts for as long as possible.
While homemade milkshakes will not necessarily expire, they can go bad.
If you are storing your milkshake in the freezer, the quality of the drink will deteriorate over time because ice crystals start to form on the shake, affecting the taste and consistency of the drink. A milkshake stored in a freezer should ideally be consumed up to one to two months after the date of storage.
If the milkshake is refrigerated, the consistency will suffer and will retain its quality for a few hours before the taste becomes unrecognizable. However, milkshakes stored outside of a fridge or freezer have the lowest shelf-life.
The milk in the milkshake is a good surface for bacteria to grow in, as it spoils relatively quickly. At room temperature, it starts to spoil in two hours. If the temperature outside is 90°F (32°C) or above, this is cut by half—i.e., one hour.
If you drink spoiled milk, you risk severe stomach and abdominal issues. Some problems you might face include stomachaches, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
While you can easily identify if plain milk is spoiled, doing so can be more challenging when the milk is part of a milkshake. Ideally, a milkshake should be consumed within one to two hours unless it is stored in a cold space.
What To Do With a Melted Milkshake? (Can It Be Salvaged?)
A melted milkshake is a sad sight. It’s even worse if the milkshake is something you’ve been looking forward to. In such a situation, it’s understandable to wonder if you can refreeze the milkshake to make it drinkable.
Melted milkshakes cannot be salvaged because their water content refreezes into independent ice crystals, which can affect the texture and taste of the shake. You can instead thicken the shake using ice cream or fruit.
You can thicken your melted milkshake if you want to salvage it. For most milkshakes, add more ice cream to the shake and blend the mixture.
However, if you have a fruit milkshake, you can add either ice cream or, if you want to keep things healthier, some more of the frozen fruit in question. Blend the combination, and your milkshake should be thick again.
Milkshakes are delicious as long as they are at the right consistency and temperature. If you’re unable to finish your milkshake, you don’t need to worry about being forced to discard it to prevent it from going bad.
All you need to do is freeze the shake in your freezer and cold-thaw it using the fridge when you are ready to drink it.
However, keep in mind that milkshakes should not be stored in a freezer for more than one or two months, and milkshakes left in the fridge or outside have a much shorter shelf life.
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Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
She has a professional canning business and has been featured in the local newspaper, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is.
With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass.
Lovingly known as “Jelly Grandma” by her grandkids, Anne hopes your visit here has been a sweet one.