If this is your first time freezing or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read General Freezing Information before beginning.  

1. Selection

  • Select fresh, mature, firm fruit free of soft spots to make juice with. Do not use fruit that show signs of decay or mold.

2. Equipment

  • Colander
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Tool for fruit juicing 
  • Ruler/headspace tool
  • Use clean packing containers and materials that are moisture and vapor-proof/resistant:
  • Rigid containers (glass jars and hard plastic containers) are especially good for freezing foods with liquid. Covers for rigid containers should fit tightly.
    • Square or rectangular, straight-sided rigid plastic containers make the best use of freezer space.
    • Wide-mouth, dual-purpose glass jars made for canning and freezing are tempered to withstand extremes in temperature and allow for easier removal of partially-thawed foods.
    • Narrow-mouth dual-purpose glass jars can also be used but require greater headspace (to avoid expansion breakage at the shoulder) and foods must be completely thawed before removal.
  • Flexible bags or wrappings (plastic freezer bags, freezer paper and heavyweight aluminum foil) are best for freezing food products with little or no liquid.
  • Vacuum packaging removes more oxygen than other freezing methods (Refer to manufacturer's instructions.)

3. Prepare Equipment

  • Before use, wash containers in hot soapy water and rinse well.  

4. Prepare Fruit

  • Thoroughly wash citrus fruit.
  • Squeeze juice using squeezer that does not press oil from rind.

5. Pack

  • Sweeten with 2 tablespoons sugar per quart of juice or pack unsweetened.
  • Add ¾ teaspoon ascorbic acid per gallon of juice to prevent darkening.
  • Before sealing, make sure sealing edges are free of moisture or food.
  • Leave proper headspace, depending on shape of container (See Headspace table below).

 

Headspace for Freezing Juice
Type of Pack Container with wide-top opening Container with narrow-top opening Flexible bags and wraps
  Pint Quart Pint Quart Any Size
Juice Pack 1/2-inch 1-inch 1 1/2-inch 1 1/2-inch Remove as much air as possible


6. Store

  • Label with the name of food, date, and type of pack.
  • Freeze packaged fruits as quickly as possible to 0°F or below.
    • For quickest freezing, place containers in single layer in freezer.
  • Most fruits will maintain high quality for 8-12 months at 0°F or below.