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Wondering if you can freeze buttermilk? If you’ve got leftovers, here’s the skinny on whether it works for long term storage.

Can you freeze buttermilk
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Got leftover buttermilk? This tangy dairy ingredient comes in a large package, and many recipes only call for small quantities. When we make a batch of buttermilk pancakes, often we’re left with a container of buttermilk at the back of the refrigerator. Can you toss the remainder in the freezer? Here’s what to know.

Can you freeze buttermilk?

Freezing buttermilk is a simple and effective way to preserve it. The texture can become slightly grainy after thawing, but stir it up and it’s suitable for use in most types of recipes. It’s best used in cooked and baked recipes like pancakes and biscuits, but it can even work in dressings like ranch dressing. Some dairy products don’t freeze well (like sour cream), but buttermilk freezes beautifully.

How long does it last refrigerated?

Opened buttermilk lasts up to 14 days refrigerated. So if you’re in this time window, you can try to use it up in buttermilk recipes like pancakes and ranch dressing.

How to freeze buttermilk

Ready to freeze buttermilk? It’s best to start with buttermilk that is as fresh as possible (and of course, don’t freeze buttermilk that’s past its expiration date). If you’d like, you can separate it into smaller containers or bags so you don’t have to use it all at one time. Here’s how to freeze buttermilk:

  • Prepare the milk for freezing: Pour the buttermilk into a plastic container or resealable freezer bag, leaving at least ½ inch of headspace in the container to allow for expansion during freezing. Or, you can freeze it into smaller portions in a silicon tray or in plastic zip top bags.
  • Label the date: Seal the container or bag tightly and label it with the date.
  • Freeze: Place the container or bag in the freezer. Freeze for up to 1 month for best results.
Can you freeze buttermilk

How to defrost frozen buttermilk

After the buttermilk is frozen, you’ll need to thaw it correctly before using it. Use the defrosted buttermilk within 3 days.

  • Place the buttermilk in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours to defrost. Do not defrost milk at room temperature because of the risk of bacteria growth. (If you’re in a rush and using the milk in a cooked or baked dish, you could also microwave the buttermilk in short bursts; just be careful not to overcook it.)
  • Or, place the container in a bowl of lukewarm water for 30 minutes. This can speed up the process. If it’s not fully thawed, place in the refrigerator to finish the process.
  • Stir. Buttermilk becomes slightly grainy and separated after thawing. Stir to re-integrate the texture.

Uses for thawed buttermilk

Once thawed, you can use frozen buttermilk in most recipes that call for it. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

More freezing methods

Many dairy ingredients freeze well, as do many fruits and vegetables! Here are a few more freezing methods to review:

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Can you freeze buttermilk

Can You Freeze Buttermilk?


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: N/A

Description

Wondering if you can freeze buttermilk? If you’ve got leftovers, here’s the skinny on whether it works for long term storage.


Ingredients

  • Buttermilk (as fresh as possible*)

Instructions

  1. Pour the buttermilk into a storage container, leaving at least ½ inch of headspace in the container to allow for expansion during freezing. Or, you can freeze it into smaller portions in a silicon freezer tray.
  2. Seal the container tightly and label it with the date. Place it in the freezer. Freeze for up to 1 month for best results, or up to 3 months.
  3. To defrost the buttermilk, place it in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours (or you can place the container in a bowl of lukewarm water). Stir the buttermilk to re-integrate the texture; it should work for use in most recipes. Once thawed, use within 3 days. 

Notes

*It’s best to start with buttermilk that is as fresh as possible (don’t freeze milk that’s past its expiration date).

  • Category: Frozen
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: Frozen
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!