Can You Freeze Oranges? How?

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Quick Answer: Can You Freeze Oranges?

Yes, you can freeze oranges for ages past when they are in season to enjoy them whenever you want! There are some pretty simple methods to do it: freezing whole oranges, freezing peeled orange slices, or freezing peeled and uncut oranges. No matter which method you go with, freezing oranges is an excellent, cost-effective idea!

This is a comprehensive guide put together with the aim to take you through in detail the steps of the different methods to freeze oranges.

Without further ado, let’s get right into the first method.

Can You Freeze  Whole Oranges?

Can You Freeze Whole Oranges?

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This is an effective method to work with if you are in a hurry, as it saves quite a lot of time as well as effort, not to mention space in your freezer. It essentially consists of you freezing the oranges whole, with their peels intact. It is also a fail-safe method to go with if you are a fan of fresh, delicious orange juice, or smoothies.

Materials

  • Airtight Ziplock resealable freezer bags / freezer-friendly containers
  • Paper towels

Tools

  • No special tools needed

Instructions

    1. Prep your oranges for freezing – Because you are freezing the oranges whole in this particular method, there is very little prepping involved before freezing.

      However, note that it is important for the oranges you are freezing to be completely fresh.

      It is only fresh, healthy oranges that will freeze well.

      Also thoroughly wash and clean your oranges before you freeze them; they should have no dirt or grime stuck to them.

      Once washed well, drain them too, by either air-drying, or using paper towels.
    2. Pack in freezer bags or containers, seal and freeze – Once your oranges have dried (it is important that they have no moisture), transfer them into airtight freezer bags or airtight freezer-safe containers.

      Make sure to get rid of all the excess air before you seal the bag or container tightly and securely. It should be totally airtight and watertight.

      Label the bags or containers, and stash them in your freezer. They can now be frozen for up to five to even six months months.

Freezing Unpeeled Orange Slices

Time Taken: 7-8 hours

What You Need:

  • Knife
  • Baking sheet tray
  • Parchment / wax paper
  • Airtight freezer friendly resealable bags or freezer-friendly containers

This method also does not require you to peel your oranges to freeze them, however, it does require a little more preparation than the last method.

Frozen unpeeled oranges make for excellent additions to fruity cocktails or even on top of your favorite desserts.

If you host cocktail parties at your home fairly often, this is definitely the method you should go with!

Prep the Oranges for Freezing

Again, make sure you are using healthy, fresh oranges. Wash them thoroughly, and then drain them.

Following this, cut or slice the oranges into rings or quartets, whichever you prefer.

Lay Out Orange Slices on a Baking Tray

First, line the baking tray with wax or parchment paper.

Then, arrange the unpeeled and cut orange slices carefully on the tray, with considerable distance between them, ensuring that they do not touch or overlap.

Flash-freeze the Oranges

Flash-freeze the orange slices by keeping the baking tray in the freezer for six to seven hours.

Flash-freezing is done to ensure that the slices do not stick to each other during the actual freezing process.

To be safe and if convenient, you can also flash-freeze your orange slices overnight.

Pack in Freezer Bags or Containers, Seal and Freeze

Once your orange slices have frozen hard, transfer them from the baking tray into airtight freezer bags or airtight freezer-safe containers.

Make sure to get rid of all the excess air before you seal the bag or container tightly and securely.

Label the bags or containers, and stash them in your freezer.

They can now be frozen for up to ten to even twelve months.

Freezing Cut and Peeled Oranges

Time Taken: 20-30 minutes

What You Need:

  • Paper towels
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Airtight freezer bags

This method works best if you are freezing oranges to use them as a light snack whenever you want.

Not only does it save considerable time and effort later on by eliminating any need for you to have to remove the peels and white bits, our research confirms that this method of freezing oranges preserves their flavor and texture significantly better than other methods.

Prep the Oranges For Freezing

Once you have carefully washed and cleaned your fresh oranges to freeze them, drain them using paper towels and remove their peels and white bits carefully.

Then, use a knife to cut the oranges carefully into small pieces.

You can go as tiny as you want.

Transfer into Airtight Freezer Bags

Pack the orange pieces in very carefully into airtight freezer bags.

Seal and Freeze

Before you seal the bags, squeeze out all the air from them possible.

And then be sure to seal the bags very tightly and securely.

Label the bags, and pop them into your freezer.

They are good to be frozen for up to a year!

If you are confused about which method to go with and would like a visual guide to help you out, feel free to check out:

Freezing Oranges with the Peel

Time Taken: 15-20 minutes

What You Need:

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Airtight freezer bags or freezer-friendly containers

This method should come in help for people who would prefer keeping their orange peels instead of throwing them away.

Don’t worry, there’s a method for you as well! Just make sure you follow these steps to carefully to ensure your oranges being frozen properly.

Prep the Oranges For Freezing

As described earlier, always make sure that you are choosing fresh, healthy oranges to freeze, and then wash and clean them properly.

Cut the Oranges (with peels) into Segments

Using a knife, carefully cut your oranges into segments of sizes of your choice, making sure that you keep the peels perfectly intact.

Transfer Orange Pieces Inside Airtight Freezer Bags or Containers

Carefully place your cut and unpeeled orange pieces inside airtight freezer bags, or freezer-friendly containers.

Seal Carefully and Freeze

Seal the bags or containers very carefully; making sure they are both airtight and watertight.

Label them, and they are good to be kept in freezer storage for up to ten to twelve months!

And just in case you would like a guide on how to use leftover peel to good use for when you are defrosting the oranges, feel free to use this guide:

Freezing Oranges in the Dry Pack Method

Time Taken: 20-30 minutes

What You Need:

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Airtight freezer-friendly container

Apart from the methods discussed already, this method and the next one are also time-tested, fail-safe ways to freeze oranges and retain their flavor, texture and freshness as much as possible.

While they do take a little more time and effort, they are totally worth it.

This method includes freezing oranges in an airtight freezer-friendly container, in wedges, or slices.

Prep your Oranges For Freezing

Use a knife to cut your oranges into your desired sizes – whatever your piece size may be, try to ensure that they are more or less uniform.

Pack in Orange Slices in the Container Tightly

You have to stuff the orange slices/wedges as tightly as possible into an airtight freezer-friendly container.

This is to prevent any air from getting to them, therefore guaranteeing preservation of their taste to the maximum.

Continue stuffing the orange pieces into the container (it helps if you have a large one), until you are around one-fourth, or half an inch from the top.

This gives the oranges some room to expand when freezing.

Seal with Tight-Fitting Lid and Freeze

Place the lid on the container firmly and securely, label the container with a marker and let it freeze! Your oranges should stay good in the freezer in this method for up to a year.

Freezing Oranges in the Syrup Method

Time Taken: 2-3 hours

What You Need:

  • Knife/hatchet
  • Cutting board
  • Lukewarm water
  • Sugar
  • Pot
  • Airtight freezer-friendly container

While this method requires more time and effort, it is also one that ensures preserving the quality of your oranges as much as possible. It even retains the texture to a T.

Using this method, you can keep your oranges in freezer storage for more than a year.

However, if your plans are to use up your oranges within, say, a couple of months at the most within freezing, this method is not necessary or recommended.

For longer storage though, go ahead and follow this; the additional effort and time will be worth it.

Chunk the Oranges/Cut them into Pieces

Once you have carefully washed and peeled your oranges, use a knife or a hatchet to cube or chunk the fruits into small pieces.

Prepare a Simple Syrup

This is a very easy process; all you require is lukewarm water and some sugar. In a pot, you have to keep mixing the solution until the sugar dissolves completely, and the liquid becomes clear.

For a more detailed, visual guide, you can refer to:

Transfer Syrup into Airtight Container

Once your orange syrup is prepared, transfer it into an airtight, preferably glass but mandatorily freezer-friendly container. Make sure you do not fill it to the brim – the liquid will expand while freezing.

Seal the Container, Label and Freeze

Make sure you seal the container securely and tightly. Once you have labelled, you can keep it in the freezer.
Make sure it is upright. It is good to freeze for twelve-fourteen months.

How to Freeze Orange Juice

Time Taken: 15-30 minutes

What You Need:

  • Large heavy-duty resealable airtight freezer bag or large glass freezer-friendly airtight container

Orange juice is a delicious drink that you can thankfully also freeze and store for quite some time.

And in case you would like a quick refresher on the best orange juice recipes, just check out:

This method is one of many that can be used to freeze good old OJ.

It takes very little time or effort and is more straightforward than the cubes method.

If you would like to freeze an entire container of orange juice without diving into portions, that is fine too.

Follow this method in that case.

Pour Orange Juice Directly into the Freezer Bag

Pour the orange juice, directly into the airtight freezer bag or the airtight freezer-friendly container.

Do not fill to the brim of the bag or the container, as the liquid will expand while freezing.

Seal Securely, Label and Freeze

Squeeze out as much excess air as possible from the freezer bags after putting the orange juice inside.

Once the bags are sealed securely and labeled, they are ready to freeze.

Same applies for the container.

Please keep in mind that because you are basically freezing the entire container of orange juice, it is best to consume all of it at the earliest possible after defrosting it.

Re-freezing orange juice should be done only as a last resort.

How Long Can You Freeze Oranges?

If frozen properly following the right method and technique, with all the steps having been followed properly, and if made sure that the bags or containers have been sealed carefully and made totally airtight and watertight, your oranges should stay good for ten to twelve months.

However, it bears mentioning that the longer oranges sits if the freezer, the greater are their chances of a deteriorating consistency and texture, and even flavor.

So, it is a good idea to finish up your oranges at the earliest since freezing.

How to Store Frozen Oranges?

Oranges can be kept in freezer storage in airtight freezer bags (after cutting them into pieces, with or without peeling them) or in airtight containers, as has been discussed earlier.

Whichever method you go with, the sealing and freezing needs to be done very carefully; good quality airtight and watertight freezer bags or containers need to be used, and it needs to be ensured that the oranges are frozen in the same, consistent temperature in the freezer.

How to Defrost Frozen Oranges?

To defrost your oranges, you can simply transfer the freezer bags or containers from the freezer to the fridge and leave them to thaw overnight, or at least for to 6 to 8 hours.

Once thawed completely, you can eat the oranges as they are, directly from the freezer bag or container.

Or you can use them in different beverages and other food dishes.

The latter is recommended more with frozen food items.

You can also simply use the orange pieces in smoothies. In that case, there is no need to defrost the orange.

Just go ahead and stick them right into making your smoothie. The frozen oranges will make your smoothie iced and tasty.

Can You Re-freeze Frozen Oranges?

It is never a good idea to refreeze fruit.

Thawed fruits like oranges can suffer significantly with regard to their texture, flavor, taste and appearance.

Therefore, it is best to avoid re-freezing oranges, and keep it only as a last resort.

Even for freezing, storing the oranges in portions is the most recommended as it lets you defrost and use only as much of it as you need, at a time, without having to go into the hassle of refreezing.

Do Oranges Freeze Well?

Yes, like all fruits, oranges freeze quite well.

If prepped carefully following the right methods, they can even be kept in freezer storage for up to ten and even twelve months.

That said, do note that the longer you keep it in freezer storage, the greater are their chances of slowly getting mushier and poorer with regard to its texture.

So, freeze them accordingly, with plans to consume it by the earliest.

FAQs

Can my frozen oranges go bad?

Chances of your frozen oranges going bad are very less – if you have followed the right method and the subsequent steps correctly, and if your oranges have been kept consistently at 0 degrees Fahrenheit in freezer storage, they will freeze fine.

However, if after freezing, your oranges become too soft, develop unnatural dark spots or molds on their skin; or if they have an off smell or taste, they may have gone bad.

Are frozen oranges healthy?

Yes! Frozen oranges have the same nutritional values and benefits as fresh ones: high in Vitamin C, helpful in regulating your blood pressure and cholesterol (ultimately helping a lot with reducing the risk of heart disease!)

What are some other alternatives than freezing for long term storage of oranges?

While our research says that freezing oranges is the best way to preserve their taste, quality, freshness and flavor over a long time, there are alternatives like dehydration and canning that you can also check out.

How and where can I use frozen oranges?

Frozen and thawed oranges can be used in a multitude of different ways! While you can eat them raw directly, a lot of people don’t prefer doing that with frozen food.

Instead, you can use frozen oranges in smoothies, fruit salads, cakes and baked goods, and they will come out with the best results.

How will I know if I can use frozen and thawed oranges in a particular recipe or not?

If you are wondering whether you can use frozen and thawed oranges in a particular recipe or not, ask yourself this question: does the success of the recipe depend on whether or not the oranges are firm, juicy and freshly fragrant?

If the answer is yes, it is better to go with fresh oranges. If not, then go ahead and use the frozen and thawed oranges and you should have no issues at all!

Can I grate frozen oranges straight from the freezer?

Yep, absolutely. You can directly grate frozen oranges straight from the freezer, and the zest will be so perfect that the frozen oranges will actually defrost while being grated.

Can I freeze blood oranges?

Yes, you can freeze blood oranges in any of the methods described here in this guide. They should be able to retain their sour flavor and tart for a good 3 months since freezing.

Bottom Line

We really hope that this comprehensive, step-by-step guide covering all the best methods to freeze oranges, along with orange juice successfully at the safety and ease of your home, as well as the tips, hacks and tricks described has helped you!

For any further questions you may have, please do let us know by reaching out to us, we would love to help!

If you have any other tips and tricks for freezing oranges you have discovered and would like other people to also know, feel free to reach out and let us know, we will add them to the guides!

If this has helped you, please do share with your friends and family so that they can also use this guide!

References

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About Nancy Miller

Nancy is a foodie by heart and loves experimenting with food. She likes to experiment not only as part of academics but also as a cook at home, sometimes she does not get the desired outcome of these experiments though! But that doesn't stop her from trying more out-of-the-box things. When Nancy entered college, it became clear to her that food was going to be an important part of her life.

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