While jello can be put in the freezer and chilled, it doesn’t actually freeze. For the most part, you shouldn’t put jello in the freezer.
Only specific recipes call for frozen jello, like Woolworths Icebox Cheesecake, where you’ll eat the dessert while it is still frozen.
Can you freeze jello? While you can put jello in the freezer, it won’t completely freeze solid. The only way to actually freeze jello is to make it from scratch and then freeze it.
If you put jello in the freezer to create a cold treat, it’s best to eat it before it thaws. When jello thaws, it turns into a mixture of jelly and ice slush. You can try thawed jello if you want, but most people won’’t like the consistency.
How to Freeze Jello
The only way to freeze jello to create a solid is to make it from scratch and then freeze it.
To make jello from scratch:
- Boil one cup of water.
- Take the water off the stove and mix one packet of jello powder and ¼ cup of sugar while the water is still hot.
- Stir until there are no grains of sugar left.
- Add one cup of cold water.
- Separate into trays and place in the freezer.
You can also add some Kool-Aid or fruit juice for extra flavor if you’d like.
Jello lasts in the freezer for the same amount of time it lasts in the fridge. Freezing jello will do nothing to increase its shelf life, but storing it in the refrigerator or freezer does make it last longer than leaving it at room temperature.
Open jello won’t last for more than seven to ten days. If the jello has fruit, it is best to throw it out after about three days. On the other hand, Sealed jello can last up to a year in the refrigerator or freezer instead of three to four months in the cupboard.
Frozen jello might be a little bit harder to tell if it has spoiled than jello stored in the fridge. This difference is because the first signs of rancid jello are pools of water on its surface. Of course, if the jello is frozen, you won’t see these spots.
Instead, the first signs that frozen jello has gone bad will be a sour or strange taste. If you believe that your frozen jello has spoiled, smell it to see if you can detect anything that doesn’t seem quite right. Rancid jello will have a putrid or sickening smell.
Of course, if there is any mold on the jello, it should not be eaten. Mold on jello shows up as white or dark spots, usually on the surface. Also, look for fuzzy growths on the packaging or the jello surface. Check the product carefully if you think the jello may be past its expiration date.
How To Use Frozen Jello
When many people think of frozen jello, jello shots may be the first thing that comes to mind, but plenty more recipes use this delicious ingredient and are perfect for the whole family.
Woolworth Icebox Cheesecake:
This fluffy, no-bake cheesecake used to grace the lunch counter of Woolworth’s department store. Both light and filling, this summer treat is made with a lemon jello mix. A new take on ice cream pie, Woolworth Icebox Cheesecake mixes bitter lemon with sweet sugar to create a complex dessert that is inexpensive to make and perfect to serve at parties. The graham wafer crumbs spread across the top add some texture to this whipped jello delight.
Jello Frozen Strawberry Pops:
An easy recipe, Jello Frozen Strawberry Pops only takes about ten minutes to prep. Similar to classic popsicles, this option has a thicker consistency.
You can make these treats with any flavor of jello, including lemon and orange. An easy dessert to make with the kids, everyone will enjoy this frozen sweet in the warmer months.
Frozen Jello Punch:
Frozen Jello Punch is another excellent choice for parties since it is easy to make, and you can prepare it with different flavors to satisfy everyone.
Just mix your desired juices and jello flavoring and pop it in the freezer until you have a slushie consistency. Then, it’s ready for the punch bowl.
Unfortunately, there is no way to fix frozen jello. Freezing jello will ruin its binding properties, and there is no way to reverse this process.
If you have accidentally frozen jello, it is best to eat it before it has completely thawed. Partially thawed jello will be similar to the consistency of jello stored in the fridge, so finish it while you still can.
Technically, yes. The problem with freezing jello is that the edges will freeze before the rest of the container has been set. If this happens, the edges of your jello will be watery and clumpy after it has thawed.
A few minutes in the freezer can help it set a little faster, but you have to be very careful to make sure the sides don’t freeze, or you will lose part of your meal.
A better option to get jello to set faster is to add a few ice cubes to your newly mixed jello. Leave them there for about three to four minutes, then remove any remaining to keep the jello from becoming too watered down.
You can also create an ice bath to cool down your jello. All you have to do is fill a large container or your sink with ice and cold water and let your dish sit until it is cool. Just make sure not to get water in your jello. Only fill cold water around your dish, not inside it.
Finally, stir every ten to fifteen minutes to ensure even distribution of heat. Once the jello has the right consistency, it is ready to serve.
When you freeze jello, the polymers and colloids that hold it together will break down. Without the bond between the colloids (a substance of large molecules dispersed through another liquid) and the water, the jello will separate.
Basically, when jello freezes and then thaws, you will get a mixture of water and chunky, gooey gelatin.
For those who haven’t heard of them, jello shots are gelatin mixed with vodka and lemon juice to create a fun appetizer at adult parties.
Ideally, the refrigerator is the best place to keep jello shots, but if you need to store them for more than a day, the freezer can work. Just make sure to cover them tightly before storing them and keep them away from other foods. This method of storage lessens the chances of spoilage.
If you do choose to store them in the freezer, you’ll have a smaller window of opportunity to enjoy them. Since alcohol and jello have different freezing points, the consistency will be off if you drink them directly after taking them from the freezer.
However, if you wait too long, you’ll run into that same consistency issue since the gelatin will have separated.
First, it’s important to note that jello doesn’t freeze in the same way that water does. Gelatin is already solid at room temperature, so it isn’t going to turn into a block in the freezer.
With that said, jello does turn into a sort of frozen mass when left in the freezer. The amount of time it takes for this to happen depends on how cold your freezer is and the temperature of the jello when you place it in the freezer.
For example, it takes about three to four hours for the jello to turn from warm water into its classic wiggly shape in the refrigerator.
When you place room-temperature jello in the freezer, it takes about twenty to thirty minutes for the edges of the container to start freezing. After this, the rest of the gelatin will begin to freeze from the outside inwards.