Should you freeze that jar of mayonnaise?
While freezing is always the first option for food preservation, you’d be surprised that you can’t freeze every food item. Mayonnaise is one of the food items you’d most likely see in every refrigerator. Some people even have some jars stashed in the freezer for long-term purposes.
Refrigerating opened mayo is one of the best ways to keep it fresh for salads, sandwiches, cakes, and deviled eggs. But, there is something you should know about freezing mayonnaise. It’s not always a good idea. Continue reading to see why you probably shouldn’t freeze your mayonnaise.
What Is Mayonnaise?
Simply put, mayonnaise or mayo is an emulsion of oil, egg yolk, lemon juice (which could be vinegar is some mayo), and other additives. An emulsion is a mixture of two liquids that won’t mix naturally but in mayonnaise, the egg yolk is the emulsifier that makes everything bind into a creamy sauce.
Mayonnaise is a good substitute for salad dressing. Also, it works perfectly as a binder for cake or bread, sauce thickener, sandwich spread, and mayo makes a very good cheese sandwich.
Can You Freeze Mayonnaise?
Yes, you can freeze mayonnaise to preserve it. However, freezing your jar of mayo is not always advisable. Mayonnaise is an emulsion that looks good until it begins to defrost.
As mayonnaise thaws, the individual ingredients separate and leave the mayonnaise looking less appealing. The oil separates and other liquid ingredients float to the top and leave the egg yolk at the bottom of the jar.
Additionally, the degree of separation of the ingredients in mayonnaise varies with how the mayo was prepared. Homemade mayo breaks down worse than store-bought mayo. However, this unpalatable mayo does not affect your health, it only affects its ability to make your meals turn out nice.
Can You Freeze Mayonnaise on a Sandwich?
While freezing sandwiches could be a blessing, freezing sandwiches with mayo on them is not a good idea. Mayonnaise is creamy and the cream will leave your bread wet and soggy. After freezing, being an emulsion, the mayo separates as it thaws and gives you an oily sandwich.
The best way to preserve your sandwich is to freeze it without the cream. Apply the cream when you’re ready to eat it or store it in a refrigerator instead.
Can You Freeze Mayonnaise-Based Sauces?
Yes, you may but you shouldn’t expect to have the appealing meal you put in the freezer. The frozen mayo-based sauce will separate as it thaws and leaves you with a funny sauce. And, yes, even after mixing all the ingredients, the sauce (although still edible) will be less appealing.
Can You Freeze Mayonnaise-Based Dips?
You may freeze mayonnaise-based dips but after thawing, you’ll be left with a crumbly or watery dip. Mayonnaise is an emulsion that will break down into an oily liquid and egg yolk base after defrosting.
The best way to preserve your mayo-based dip is to put it in a refrigerator.
SEE: Is Aioli Dairy-Free?
Can You Freeze Mayonnaise in a Casserole?
Freezing a casserole with mayo in it will leave you with a grainy texture after it thaws. If you already have frozen casserole with mayonnaise in it, allow it to thaw and reheat it afterward at the same temperature you cooked it.
Also, you can add corn starch or flour, as a stabilizer, to the dish before you freeze it. However, the best way to preserve your casserole is to freeze it without mayonnaise. Thaw and add mayo only when you’re ready to eat it.
Can You Freeze Mayonnaise Cake?
Yes, you can freeze mayonnaise cake. Unlike freezing other mayo-based foods, a mayonnaise cake will not separate even after it thaws. Mayonnaise in a cake replaces egg and oil, so it is a regular cake.
All you need to do is allow the cake to cool and wrap it in plastic wrap and foil before keeping it in the freezer. Mayonnaise cake can last up to three months in a freezer as a traditional cake would.
Can You Freeze Mayonnaise-Based Salads?
Freezing salads that contain mayonnaise is not a good idea. The ingredients in mayonnaise do not bind well during freezing and neither do they keep salad condiments together. So, when the salad thaws, it is less appetizing and has a not-so-good taste.
For salads like chicken salad, it will reduce the quality. For potato salad, your meal is exposed to bacterial growth, while it thaws in the kitchen. This is because potato salad doesn’t fare well with freezing due to the temperature-sensitive ingredients it contains.
How Long Should You Freeze Mayonnaise?
You should not freeze your jars of mayonnaise for too long. Naturally, store-bought mayo would last up to four months unopened and out of the refrigerator. Homemade mayo, on the other hand, will last only eight hours outside the fridge.
When you freeze mayonnaise, it lasts longer. Store-bought mayo will last up to two months after opening. Homemade mayo should be consumed within six days if stored in the refrigerator.
Pros of Freezing Mayonnaise
- When you freeze mayonnaise, you extend the shelf life
- Freezing mayo could keep it fit for consumption for a long period
Cons of Freezing Mayonnaise
- Freezing mayonnaise will ruin it
- When you freeze mayo, the quality reduces after it thaws
- Freezing mayo-based foods can waste your food because it no longer looks appetizing after it thaws
Can you eat mayonnaise after thawing?
Thawed mayo is edible, but will not be as palatable as it used to be. It will also not mix or bind well with other ingredients.
How do you know your mayo has gone off?
Mayonnaise has gone bad when you notice mold growth on the surface or around the neck of the jar. Also, a brownish-yellow discoloration, acidic smell, and funny taste are signs that the mayo is unfit for consumption.
In addition, check the body of the mayonnaise jar for production and the best by date. This can also help you know if your mayo has gone off.
Can you freeze tuna salad with mayo?
You shouldn’t freeze tuna salad with mayo on it because mayo is an emulsion that will separate when it thaws. It doesn’t mix with the rest of the meal, therefore, leaving you with an unappealing dish.
Mayonnaise is a common ingredient and a very useful one at that. With good intentions, almost every family has at least a jar of mayo in the refrigerator or freezer for future use. However, this good intentions result in a less appetizing mayonnaise.
You should also note that thawed mayonnaise is still edible and won’t affect your health. But you shouldn’t expect it to give you an appetizing meal either.
The best way to store mayonnaise is to keep an unopened jar in the pantry. Keep the opened jar in the refrigerator and consume it within one to two months.
Thanks for reading.
Check Cheffist for more related articles on how you should freeze your food items to preserve them.