Too much OJ on hand and no idea how to use it before it goes bad? How about putting it in the freezer? Can you freeze orange juice?
If you don’t drink OJ regularly, it’s easy to get leftovers. You buy a case, drink a glass, or use part of it for a baking project and have nothing to do with the rest.
If you don’t like it very much, it’s likely to be left in the fridge until it spoils.
Luckily, there’s a better way to do this, especially if you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of quality.
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Can you freeze orange juice?
You know for sure that you can put the OJ in the freezer and it will freeze solid. What you’re interested in is whether he turns out to be fine after thawing .
The best answer to this question is: It depends.
For me, the frozen and thawed OJ tastes very good. In order to get a better insight, I conduct a test with my wife, since she is more critical than me on such questions.
I asked her to drink some fresh (powder-free) orange juice and some defrosted orange juice without telling her which is which. The task was simple: tell her which one was previously frozen. She couldn’t tell the difference and guessed wrong.
That means the flavors are quite similar, and you’ll be able to enjoy frozen and thawed OJ as well .
Here’s how fresh OJ (left) compares to a frozen and thawed OJ (right):
As you can tell, both juices look almost the same.
Besides drinking orange juice as is, there are several other options that work perfectly with frozen and thawed orange juice. I list these in the next section. If any of the suggestions work for you, freezing the juice is an option.
Pulpy orange juice doesn’t freeze as well as non-pulp ones. Consider straining the liquid before freezing if working with the former.
Read Also: Can you freeze leftover watermelon?
How to use frozen and thawed orange juice
There are a number of options depending on your preferences:
- smoothie Definitely the most popular way to use frozen fruit ( you can also freeze oranges !) and juices. You can use OJ Cubes in place of ice cubes, or thaw the liquid and add as you would with fresh juice.
- Beverages. Add a cube or two to a glass of water on a warm day. Or use in place of ice cubes in a drink or cocktail.
- baking and desserts. Some cakes and tarts need a little orange juice to add flavor. A frozen and thawed cake usually works just as well as a fresh one. The same applies to sorbets and the like.
- Drink as is. In most cases you won’t be able to feel the difference. But if you have super-sensitive taste buds or consider yourself an orange connoisseur, choose one of the other options.
How to freeze orange juice
Before we go any further, I would like you to think about how you intend to use the frozen juice . If necessary, go through the list of possibilities again and pick one or two.
This is important because you will be dividing the Official Gazette according to how you will use it in the future. That way you always defrost as much as you need and you don’t have to bother with the leftovers.
Did you figure out how you’re going to use the orange juice? Great, freeze it.
- Get a container or containers of your choice and portion the juice. If you need small tablespoon-like portions or have no idea how to use the juice, an ice tray works great. For larger portions, like 1/2 cup to 1 cup, small airtight containers are probably best. If you need the whole carton, you can also use the carton the juice came from. Whichever you choose, make sure there is an inch or two of headroom for the liquid to expand ( UOC ).
- Label and freeze. Label the container(s) if you like and place in the freezer.
- If using an ice tray, place the ice cubes in a freezer bag once they are frozen solid. You’re probably already doing this with regular ice cubes, and you’ll get your ice cube tray back.
That’s it. Your leftover orange juice is frozen and ready when you need it. It can be kept in the freezer for at least a couple of months without any significant loss of quality.
How to defrost orange juice
When it comes to thawing frozen OJ, there are two options:
- In the refrigerator. The easiest way is to put the OJ in the fridge the night before you need it. The entire defrosting process takes anywhere from two hours for small cubes to 8+ hours for large containers, so plan accordingly. You can immerse the container in lukewarm water to speed up the process a bit. But don’t expect miracles.
- Use without thawing. You already know at least a few ways to use diced OJs. If you choose one of these options, you can skip defrosting.
Freezing Orange Juice FAQ
Can you freeze orange juice in a carton?
Yes you can. The cardboard holds up very well to freezing. The only thing to remember is to strain off a few ounces before throwing it in the freezer .
If the carton is full and there is not enough headroom, the expanding liquid will rip a hole in the carton. That means the freezer needs cleaning, and I’m sure you’d rather avoid that.
Can You Freeze Orange Juice in Mason Jars?
Yes, provided your glasses are frost proof and you remember to leave an inch or two in front of the shoulder or rim of the glass.
Can you freeze orange juice in a glass bottle?
Sure, as long as the bottle is freezer safe and you leave enough headroom.
How long does thawed orange juice last?
In general, you should use the thawed juice within two to three days. It might last longer, but you never know.
I suggest you freeze it in small batches and only thaw as much as you need. That way, you never have to worry about whether it will last long enough for you to need it or not.
Can I refreeze frozen and thawed orange juice?
Yes, as long as you have thawed it in the fridge. The idea that thawing is unsafe is basically a myth. If you want to read more about it, check out this article in The New York Times.
However, after another round of freezing and thawing, the quality of the juice will be even worse. In short: you can certainly refreeze orange juice, but it’s better to plan ahead and only thaw as much as you need.