If you’ve ever made your own orange juice, you probably noticed pretty quickly that it doesn’t keep for very long. You might have been tempted to freeze it, but you had no idea how.
Maybe freezing fresh orange juice has never crossed your mind before, but now you have a lot of it, and you don’t want to waste it.
Maybe you bought it ready-made on offer, and while you don’t want to waste it, you don’t want to rot your teeth for the sake of it, either.
Or, you’ve got a glut of oranges (see also How To Freeze Mandarins). You don’t fancy freezing them in segments or roundels, and you know you could make a lot of tasty orange juice out of them.
To find out if freezing orange juice is a good idea (see also Can You Freeze Apple Juice), how you should freeze and thaw it, and what you should use it for, keep reading.
Is Freezing Orange Juice Worth It?
Often, when someone asks, ‘Can I freeze this food or drink?’ The answer is yes, but it’s the wrong question to be asking.
The question everyone should be asking is, ‘Should I freeze this food or drink?’
More often than not, the answer to the second question is no, or it depends.
This is not because it’s a bother – sometimes it is – but it’s more of a question of whether the end product is still of a similar quality as its fresh counterpart. If it’s not, it’s not worth freezing.
But what about orange juice? You’ll know by now that storing it in the fridge helps it keep for longer, and it does taste much better. But what about freezing it?
Well, the consistency is altered by the processes it goes through when you freeze it. It separates, and if you are someone that only likes orange juice with pulp, this will sink to the bottom, more so than normal.
While you can shake it, this doesn’t really fix the problem. The end result is still watery, and it does affect the flavor. But this entirely depends on your personal palate, and if you feel it’s worth it.
You can, of course, use frozen or thawed orange juice in other ways, which means that these changes don’t actually matter, but we’ll get to that.
Not convinced? There’s one way to find out.
How Do You Freeze Orange Juice?
Before you get started, make sure that the orange juice is as fresh as possible. For best results, refrain from freezing orange juice that has been sat out for too long, or that has been open for a week or longer.
Preparing Orange Juice For The Freezer
If the orange juice has a lot of pulp – whether you’ve made it yourself or not – you should strain the juice before you freeze it.
Pulp doesn’t freeze well, as it gets flakier, and doesn’t make for a pleasant drink once thawed.
How To Freeze Orange Juice
First off, you’ll want to decide what kind of portions you want to freeze it in. How much you go for will also dictate what type of container you’ll need to use to freeze the orange juice.
As long as the container is freezer safe, you can freeze the orange juice in it. If you want to make very small portions, use an ice cube tray. You could also use a freezer safe glass container, just make sure that it’s sterilized first.
In some cases, you can even use the original container, though you’ll need to check first if it’s suitable for the freezer, and don’t freeze a full one, as you won’t want orange juice exploding inside the freezer.
Pour the juice into your containers of choice, leaving some room for the orange juice to expand as it freezes. Stick it in the freezer.
If you’re using small containers, such as an ice cube tray, it’s worth transferring the frozen orange juice into a freezer bag.
This will save space, and it means you can use the ice tray for other things. Because you’ve frozen the portions individually, they won’t stick together.
Frozen orange juice will last a maximum of 4 months in the freezer before it starts to lose quality. You can store it up to a year, but it will have significantly dropped in quality and flavor by then.
How Long Does Orange Juice Take To Freeze?
It depends on the size of the container and how much juice is in there. Let’s take the smallest container, for example.
An ice cube tray will take a maximum of 4 hours to freeze, depending on the temperature of your freezer.
A much bigger container, like a carton, may take about 12 hours to freeze solid.
How Do You Thaw Frozen Orange Juice?
The best way of defrosting frozen orange juice is overnight, in the fridge. While this is the most time-consuming option, it’s also the safest, and the quality is less likely to plummet.
In the fridge, it will take anywhere from 6 to 12 hours to defrost, depending on how much there is to thaw.
You can also defrost orange juice in tepid water. Make sure the seal is intact, and put the whole thing in a bowl of water. This will still take a few hours, but it won’t take the whole night.
You can also use it frozen, depending on what you want to use it for.
Frozen orange juice that’s been thawed in the fridge will last a maximum of 3 days before it starts to deteriorate. If you thaw it in cold water, use it all straight away.
If the orange juice is very lumpy thanks to some pulp, strain it before you use it.
Can You Refreeze Orange Juice?
If you’ve chosen to defrost the orange juice in the fridge, you can safely refreeze it.
It will, however, lose a lot in terms of quality, so make sure you portion the orange juice correctly before freezing, in order to prevent this.
How To Use Orange Juice Which Has Been Frozen?
If you use the ice cube trick, one of the best ways to use orange juice which has been frozen is to use it instead of normal ice cubes.
The flavor will be distinctly weak, but just add more to taste. This method is perfect for a dry day.
You can also use orange juice which has been frozen in smoothies. You can thaw it first, or throw it straight in, depending on how powerful your blender is.
A way to use thawed orange juice is in baking, when something calls for a citrus element (see also Freezing Limes). Don’t forget that you’re adding more water content, though, so adjust accordingly if you need to.