Margarine is an essential food item at home, for cooking, baking, and even just making sandwiches. It is a versatile ingredient, it can be found readily in almost every grocery store, and it is fairly affordable.
It is always best to keep extra margarine at home, but when it comes to extending the shelf life, can you freeze margarine? Yes, margarine can be frozen with great results, and it is very easy to freeze as well. Margarine contains around 80% vegetable oil, meaning it freezes efficiently and easily. When margarine is frozen, the shelf life is extended, and it means you can have more than one tub on hand for when you might need it.
Freezing margarine might be straightforward, but you might still have a few questions about freezing margarine that need answering, so here is a complete guide on freezing margarine!
Why You Would Freeze Margarine
Freezing margarine helps to extend its shelf life. You might prefer to buy in bulk, and find you have 5 tubs of margarine at home, or you may have found a great special on margarine at your local grocer.
You would not want to keep more than 1 or 2 tubs of margarine in the fridge at a time, as you run the risk of the margarine going off before you get the chance to use it.
Due to this, freezing margarine is a good option. Having one or more tubs of margarine frozen means that you will always have some on hand when you might need it, without needing to rush to the store.
You would just need to leave the margarine out to thaw before you can use it, so you would need to plan ahead.
How To Freeze Margarine
Freezing margarine is pretty easy and does not take up too much time. There are a few different ways to freeze margarine, so it would just depend on which method you would prefer to use.
The easiest way to freeze your margarine is to simply place an unopened tub into a sealed plastic bag and then into the freezer. Make sure that the plastic bag is sealed shut tight and you have removed as much air as possible from the bag.
You can also cut up the margarine into smaller blocks and place each in a sealable plastic freezer bag. This way you can take out small bits at a time for baking or cooking without having to defrost a whole block.
You could also wrap the margarine in aluminum foil and place it in the fridge to keep for longer.
One great idea for freezing margarine is to grate the solid block up. To do this, you would need to freeze the block slightly so it is hard enough to grate.
Grate the margarine block onto a tray and place this into the freezer. This will flash freeze the grated margarine.
Once frozen, place the grated margarine into a sealable freezer bag. Flash freezing beforehand means that the grated margarine will not stick together, and you can reach in and grab a handful whenever you need to, without having to defrost the whole lot.
Grating the margarine also allows it to thaw quicker, which is handy for when you don’t have hours to wait for it to turn soft.
Whichever way you choose to freeze the margarine, just make sure it is sealed tightly in a plastic freezer bag to not allow any air or moisture in and to prevent the margarine from picking up odors from other food in the freezer.
How To Thaw Margarine
When it is time to use the margarine you have kept in the freezer, you will need to thaw it properly. One way to thaw margarine is to place it in a bowl and leave it to sit at room temperature.
This will take around 4 hours for the margarine to defrost. If you can wait a little longer, you can leave the margarine to defrost in the fridge, which will take around 8 hours.
This is the safest way to do so, as it does not expose the margarine to a higher temperature which could spoil the margarine and alter the texture.
If you need margarine right then and cannot wait for it to defrost over hours, you can defrost it in the microwave.
To do this, set the microwave at the lowest setting and leave the margarine in the microwave for 5 minutes. Be careful not to melt the margarine using this method as it may ruin it and you will not be able to use it for much.
What Is The Shelf Life Of Margarine?
Due to its high vegetable oil content, and low milk content, margarine has a longer shelf life than butter.
You will be able to find the expiration date of margarine at the back of the tub or on the wrapping, but it usually lasts well past this date if it is stored and handled properly. If the margarine does not smell bad, or if it has not discolored, it will be safe to consume.
Usually, margarine is safe to consume for up to 4 months if it is kept in the fridge unopened, and up to 2 months if it has been opened, but kept in the fridge. If margarine has been kept in the freezer and defrosted, it can be kept for up to 3 months.
When freezing margarine, you can keep it in the freezer for up to 12 months. You can choose to keep the margarine frozen for longer than this, and it is fine to do so, however, it might start to lose its flavor and texture.
You should always try to defrost the margarine before the expiration date shown on the packaging just to be safe.
Once again, you should try to consume the margarine within 3 months after defrosting and keep a check on the expiry date.
If the margarine has been defrosted and is past its expiry date, but shows no signs of spoiling, it should still be fine to eat.
Will Freezing Margarine Change Its Properties?
Freezing margarine will not have an effect on its flavors or properties. It will remain fresh for up to 12 months in the freezer without any change to its quality.
It is actually one of the best food items to freeze as it holds its quality so well over 12 months in the freezer.
Freezing Margarine Vs Freezing Butter
Freezing margarine and butter are very similar and are both known for their ability to retain their flavor and texture when frozen.
Butter has a shorter shelf life than margarine, so it will not keep as long, which is why freezing it is such a great idea. Butter and margarine both can be stocked up on when there are sales and frozen to keep for longer.
You just need to make sure that the butter or the margarine are tightly wrapped in plastic or foil to avoid any oxidation, which could affect the quality of the butter or margarine.
How To Tell If Margarine Has Gone Bad
If you have removed the margarine from the freezer and allowed it to thaw, but are unsure of whether it is safe to use or not, there are signs to check for to determine whether it is fine or if it has spoiled.
Margarine which has spoiled will be discolored, being light on the inside and darker on the outside, which you will notice when you cut the margarine in half.
Obvious signs would be if the margarine is covered in mold, or if it has a sour taste or smell.
Margarine will only spoil this way if it is left out at a higher temperature for an extended period of time, or if it is left in the freezer for over 12 months.
Refreezing Margarine: Is It A Good Idea?
The general rule for all food is that no item should be frozen twice.
Freezing food twice means there is a risk of bacteria growth, which could cause the food to spoil. Due to this, it is best to freeze margarine in smaller blocks cut from the larger stick and to freeze these separately.
That way you can use a small amount at a time without having to freeze and defrost the whole block, which could cause it all to go to waste.
What Can Frozen Margarine Be Used For?
Frozen margarine can be thawed at room temperature or in the fridge and be used as normal, as a spread for sandwiches or in cooking and baking. Some recipes even call for frozen margarine to be used.
A good way to do this is to grate the frozen margarine into small pieces to mix in with the rest of the ingredients.
Alternatively, for a normal recipe, you can place the margarine in a bowl and place it in the microwave to defrost it slightly.
Freezing Popular Margarine Brands
Different margarine brands will have different instructions and information regarding the freezing of the margarine. It is important to take note of these to ensure that you will be freezing them in the best way possible to retain their quality and flavor.
Here are some popular margarine brands and how to freeze them.
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!
You can freeze I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!
To protect the delicate flavor of the margarine, you must place the carton in a resealable, airtight plastic freezer bag, or wrap it in aluminum foil before freezing.
Once the margarine has been defrosted, it should be used within 30 days.
Both the Country Crock Baking Sticks and the Country Crock Plant Butter Tubs and Sticks can be frozen with great results.
Once again, make sure that the sticks are wrapped in aluminum foil, or placed in an airtight resealable bag, and that the plant butter tubs are sealed tightly and placed in a plastic freezer bag to prevent any oxidization.
Most Benecol Margarine variants are fine to freeze, however, some have labels that say that the margarine should be kept in the fridge and not in the freezer.
Make sure to check for this on the side of the tub or wrapping to be sure whether you are able to freeze the margarine or not.
The margarine variants which can’t be frozen usually have a lower fat content or other additives that can cause the margarine to turn rancid once it is frozen.
Where In The Freezer Should I Store Margarine?
Margarine should be placed on the upper shelves in the freezer. This is because margarine can easily pick up odors from other food in the freezer, so placing it on the top shelf helps to prevent this as much as possible.
The temperature on the top shelves is also lower and steadier, which helps to prevent mold and discoloration from happening.
Storing the margarine on the top shelves in the freezer is best to ensure that it will not go bad and that it will remain fresh and tasty once it has been defrosted.
Can you freeze spreadable butter?
Yes, you can freeze spreadable butter. It freezes very well and it can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months if stored properly.
Just make sure to wrap the tub tightly in a plastic freezer bag to protect it. Leave the spreadable butter to thaw at room temperature or in the fridge until it is soft enough to use.
Is it okay to freeze butter?
Yes, freezing butter often yields great results. To ensure the butter is kept protected and remains as fresh as possible, it needs to be wrapped in heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
The butter can remain in the freezer for up to a year if it is kept frozen at a constant temperature and if it has been stored properly. It will still be fine to use after a year, but the quality might start to deteriorate after this time.
How can you bring frozen butter to room temperature quickly?
The best way to bring butter to room temperature quickly is to grate the stick of butter.
The grated pieces of butter will rise to room temperature much quicker than a stick of butter would, and they can easily be added to recipes for cooking or baking, or even be sprinkled over toast to melt onto the bread.
Can I leave butter on the counter?
Leaving butter on the counter in a covered container allows it to be soft, making it easier to spread over bread and biscuits. However, this could expose the butter to temperatures which might be conducive to bacterial growth.
If you are planning on keeping your butter on the counter, make sure it is not at too high a temperature, and that the butter is kept completely covered within a butter container or in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
It is perfectly fine to freeze margarine, and you can do so with really great results.
If you freeze the margarine correctly, stored at a constant temperature in the freezer and wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, the margarine can retain its great quality for up to 12 months in the freezer.
It will still be fine to consume the margarine after this, but the quality will begin to deteriorate.
Whether you have bought in bulk, or have found some margarine at a great special at the store, stock up on some and keep the margarine frozen to extend its shelf life, while still keeping it as fresh as possible!