Can you freeze mayonnaise? Firstly, I have to tell you that this is a bit of a complicated question that can’t be answered in one paragraph.
But, don’t worry, it is not so complicated that you won’t be able to understand it.
First, what is mayonnaise anyway?
I assume that you all know what it looks like and what it tastes like, since you probably once ate it as a condiment with pizza, in a mayonnaise sandwich, in a chicken salad, potato salad, or you mixed mayo with cottage cheese (speaking of my top five sides for sandwiches). It can be also used as a thickener, salad dressing, and binder in cooking.
For anyone who really doesn’t know, miracle whip is mayonnaise’s younger brother. But still, I think most of you have heard of mayonnaise before. But let’s back to the freezing of mayonnaise.
What is good to know about the freezing and thawing process is what plain mayonnaise is made of and how it is made in the first place. The main ingredients of mayonnaise are egg yolks, olive oil, and either vinegar or lemon juice as the acid component, along with salt and seasonings.
The process of blending all these ingredients into a white creamy emulsion is called emulsifying. Later in the text, you will see why this term is important for our topic.
So, to find out, keep reading this tutorial and you’ll find out if it’s possible to freeze mayonnaise and, if so, what’s the best way to do it!
So, Can You Freeze Mayonnaise?
The shortest answer to this question is “yes, you can freeze mayonnaise!” But, of course, there is much more to add. Freezing mayonnaise is not something that is done every day and it’s not something I would recommend you do just like that.
The reason for this is the deterioration of the quality of the mayonnaise itself. More precisely, the reason is the distortion of the mayonnaise texture.
Considering that mayonnaise is an emulsion, after it has been frozen and thawed, the ice crystals will be formed and they will cause the separation of ingredients. That will result in curdle texture compared to the previous smooth and consistent texture.
This refers to store-bought mayonnaise to which preservatives, stabilizers, and other additions that extend its shelf life, are added.
Of course, aside from commercial mayonnaise, there is also homemade mayonnaise and you need to pay special attention to it. It can be even more sensitive than the former, so paying attention to the ingredients you make it from is important.
If you used olive oil as one of the ingredients, it is not good to freeze such mayonnaise because of the separation of the oil.
In general, to avoid such a situation, it is good to add a little vinegar or lemon juice while the mayonnaise is thawing. In this way, you will reduce this unwanted phenomenon.
Considering all this information, you can conclude that it is not the best idea to freeze your mayonnaise, especially homemade ones. But there is a way to get the best version of mayonnaise possible and I’ll show you below and try to explain it as best I can. So stay tuned!
5 Essential Steps To Freeze Mayonnaise
Here are 6 main steps that you have to follow to get the best out of your frozen mayonnaise:
1. The first step to freezing your mayonnaise is to sterilize the airtight container that you will use. You will do that by putting your freezer-safe airtight container in boiling water and wait 5 minutes for them to be sterilized. You can also use a freezer bag, but one with a zipper seal, or well-washed glass jars.
2. After those 5 minutes, you will remove them with tongs. Following this, you can place them on racks to dry and cool down. Don’t touch them with your hands!
3. You can then put your mayonnaise into that container. It is important to emphasize that you should not fill it with mayonnaise to the top. So, you have to leave some space at the top for the expansion of the liquids during freezing.
4. It’s a good thing to lightly tap the container to get rid of any remaining bubbles that can potentially contribute to spoiling the mayonnaise. After you have done that, you are free to tightly seal the container.
5. The last step before you put the container into the freezer is to put labels with the date and contents on the container. In this way, you won’t risk forgetting when you put the mayonnaise in the freezer, and thus you will know that you took it out at the right time.
6. You are then free to put the container with mayonnaise in the freezer!
But How To Defrost Frozen Mayonnaise?
After you have successfully frozen your mayonnaise, the next logical step is to thaw frozen mayonnaise. Mayonnaise, as you can already see, is a bit of a complex ingredient.
In view of this fact, it cannot be simply taken out of the freezer and left at room temperature in the expectation that it will successfully defrost. Instead of that, you will have to put it in the fridge and be patient until it is ready for use.
One of the safest thawing methods for mayonnaise is simply leaving it overnight in the fridge or for several hours. After that, the emulsion will most likely separate and break down, and a watery layer will form on the top.
In order to get something that at least resembles the original form of mayonnaise, you will have to read the following text to learn how to do it.
How To Re-Emulsify Mayonnaise After Defrosting It?
Just defrosting the mayonnaise and getting thawed mayonnaise out of the fridge is not the last step in this whole process.
As you can see, it is a slightly more complex process than, for example, defrosting chicken or paprika, or some other type of food that is not obtained by a complex process of combining several ingredients. It is not like defrosting chicken is that easy, but mayonnaise is still at a higher level.
Therefore, as you have already learned, the emulsion process produces a delicious creamy condiment. By freezing and thawing it, the structure created by that emulsion is disturbed, so it will need to be re-emulsified.
That’s why below I will teach you the methods by which you can achieve almost fresh mayo.
Pour Off The Excess Liquid
If the ingredients in the mayonnaise have not separated too much, basically if the texture has not been significantly damaged, you can simply pour off the excess liquid from the top of the container.
After that, mix the rest of it and you have solved the problem.
Blend The Mayonnaise
After you take your thawed mayonnaise out of the fridge, you’ll put it in a mixing bowl. You will take your electric mixer, put it on high speed, and beat the mayonnaise on high for several seconds.
This should help the ingredients in the mayonnaise come back together. If this doesn’t help, you can try to add some water to help combine the ingredients.
Egg Yolk Method
You will break one raw egg and separate the egg yolk into a clean bowl. After that, you will add a little of the mayonnaise to the same bowl and stir carefully until a cream is formed.
After the cream has been created, you can add the rest of the mayonnaise a little at a time until the process is complete.
Is Mayonnaise Safe To Freeze?
Yes, it is safe to freeze mayonnaise of any kind. However, freezing mayonnaise will ruin its texture to some degree because of the separation of its ingredients. But this will not lead to spoilage because of the cold temperature that stops the bacterial growth.
Even when you re-emulsify it, it won’t have the same texture as fresh mayo, so it won’t be as good to eat. But as far as safety or potential health risks, if you do the whole process right, then you don’t have to worry.
Pro tip: When freezing chicken salad that contains mayonnaise, I recommend freezing chicken and mayo separately.
How Do You Store Mayonnaise Long Term?
After opening your mayonnaise, it is best to put it in the refrigerator. When it comes to store-bought mayonnaise, after opening it can last in the fridge for about 2-3 months because of the cold temperature that slows down the growth of harmful bacteria.
If you do not put your mayonnaise in the fridge after opening, it won’t last long, maybe about 8 hours. The main reason for this is the egg yolk it contains, which makes the mayonnaise very perishable.
If you decide not to open the jar of mayonnaise, then it can last an average of 3-4 months if it is not put in the fridge. By putting it in the fridge, you extend its life for about a year.
Can You Freeze Mayonnaise-Based Dips?
Yes, you can freeze mayonnaise-based dips in ice cube trays. The good thing is to add some acid to the dip in order to prevent it from splitting too much when it thaws.
After that, you are going to stir it vigorously.
However, the best option is to freeze all the ingredients separately, depending on what kind of dish it is, and then add fresh mayonnaise afterward.
To Sum Up
After reading this article, I think you have mostly concluded that there is no safety obstacle to freezing mayonnaise in response to the question of “Can you freeze mayonnaise?”.
But, as I said at the beginning, the answer to that question is a bit more complex, as you can see. The reason for this is that you will damage the quality of the mayo, i.e. the quality of its texture, by freezing and thawing it.
Therefore, the conclusion is as follows: “If you don’t really have to, don’t freeze mayo. If it becomes necessary, then follow these steps and tips to get as good a version of your favorite creamy sauce as possible”.