Foods you should never put in the freezer

It's been said before that a stocked freezer is the best and easiest way to win in the kitchen. And that's true—most of the time. But there are a handful (well, a couple of handfuls) of foods that get strange when frozen and then defrosted. Here are a few of them:

1. Cheese.

 (iStock)

Soft cheeses such as ricotta, goat, or cream cheese tend to separate when frozen and thawed, which leads to strange textural changes. Hard cheeses like Parmesan and cheddar are usually a safe bet, but you're still better off buying only what you need and storing it properly in the fridge.

2. ...and most dairy, for that matter.

diary products on wooden table - food and drink

 (iStock)

Cream, buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, and custard all separate and curdle in the freezer.

3. Whole eggs.

COPYRIGHT 2013

 (iStock)

Eggs can expand when frozen, causing the shell to crack and potentially let bacteria in—never a good thing. Cooked eggs and egg-based sauces like hollandaise, mayonnaise, and meringue are also poor freezer candidates. If you really have to freeze eggs, crack them, whisk them (or separate the whites and yolks) and store in an airtight container.

4. Fried foods.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 (iStock)

The crispy, craggily, gloriously fried exterior of fried foods—that is, the best part—is lost when frozen and defrosted. Unless soggy is your thing, keep these suckers away from the cold.

5. Coffee.

Alejandro Camacho Beomont

 (iStock)

It's OK to freeze unopened, freshly-roasted bags of coffee for up to a month. But once you open the bag and start taking it in and out of the freezer, the coffee can get ruined. Thawing and refreezing yields condensation on the beans which causes them to absorb freezer smells.

6. Watery produce.

Healthy food. Watermelon fresh smoothie with celery

 (iStock)

Produce that has a high water content (cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce) gets limp and soggy when frozen and defrosted.

Check out more foods that should never be frozen.

More from Epicurious

The Crazy Secret Ingredient That Makes Steak More Tender

11 Ingredients You Shouldn't Refrigerate

20 Must-Try Ways to Pair Items You Already Have In Your Pantry 

12 Lightning-Fast Chicken Dinners to Make Now