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How to Store Gelato – Best Practices for Ultimate Freshness

Who doesn’t love a cold and sweet gelato treat? Gelato tastes great, and it seems more exotic than ice cream! Now, if you’re wondering how to store gelato, this article has you covered!

Like many foreign things, gelato has special care requirements that you may not be used to. If you’ve stored ice cream for extended periods at home, you may think you’ll easily do the same with your tub of gelato, but there are a few other secrets to keeping gelato fresh at home. 

In this article, you’ll learn the best advice out there on how to store your gelato. If you follow these tips to a tee, your gelato will keep its freshness for longer!

how to store gelato

How to Store Gelato at Home

Keeping gelato in good condition can be tricky. Especially since it contains less fat and needs to be served at a higher temperature than other cold desserts. 

Because of this, gelato tends to freeze into a solid brick when you store it at 0°F. When you take it out to serve, you’ll need to get it into a warmer temperature first then refreeze it. But after it has melted, it will create noticeable ice crystals that can ruin its texture. 

Now the question remains: how do you store gelato? The short answer and secret is: at a steady temperature!

The Trick to Storing Gelato in a Freezer

A commercial gelato maker keeps your gelato at a steady temperature until you’re ready to scoop it into a container that also maintains the same temperature. It’s impossible to replicate this machine at home when you only have a standard freezer on hand, but luckily there’s a way around it. 

Whether you’ve bought it in bulk or made gelato for home use, you need to freeze your tubs at the lowest temperature possible. Yes, your gelato will turn as hard as a brick, but when you cannot eat a tub in one go, this is the perfect way to keep it.

How to Serve Frozen Gelato

Once you’re ready to eat it, you need to work quickly! It’s best to use a metal scooper to get the job done. It’d be too hard to scoop with a plastic spoon if you froze your gelato following the proper techniques.

Do not let the gelato thaw before scooping what you want to eat. You should scoop gelato frozen and immediately place the tub back in your freezer. It’s really important to keep the gelato tub at a steady temperature. Doing this will minimize the risk of crystalization. 

You can then place your scooped gelato in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to let it soften or leave it on your countertop. The warmer your gelato gets, the creamier and more flavorful it’ll be. An ideal serving temperature is 8°F.

store gelato at home

Things to Remember when Storing Gelato

Besides keeping it at a steady temperature, you can do a few other things to ensure the ultimate freshness of your gelato weeks after you’ve bought or made it. Here are some ways how to do it:

Keep It in an Airtight Container

Air exposure can lead to crystallization. Keep your containers airtight to ensure your gelato tastes fresh after being frozen. 

If you’re making gelato for your home, use a container with a tight-fitting top and wrap an additional layer of plastic between the gelato and the lid. Once you’ve opened a store-bought tub, you should do the same. 

Make Smaller Batches

You can scoop your gelato into portion-sized ones if you have enough containers. The gelato will freeze faster, and you’ll only need to take one small tub out that you’ll finish in a sitting.

This method works best with homemade gelato. If your gelato is store-bought, you’ll need to work quickly to avoid it melting while scooping it into smaller containers. I don’t recommend doing this because store-bought gelato melts quickly. If you let it melt too much before refreezing, you can damage its texture entirely. 

Store It At The Back of The Freezer

Each time you open your freezer, warm air enters. To keep it from reaching your gelato tubs, you should store them at the back of your freezer and as low as possible or beneath other frozen foods.

Looking for quality gelato makers you can use at home? We got a list! Check out our review of the Best Home Gelato Makers now.

gelato for home

Gelato Shelf Life

If you follow the tips above, you can safely store an unopened gelato container at home for three to twelve months!

And once you open it, you’ll immediately notice if it’s still safe to eat or has gone bad. Much like ice cream, the most common sign of spoiled gelato is the presence of tiny ice crystals on the gelato and the insides of its container. 

You should not eat spoiled gelato, even if you think it’s just the top part that’s formed crystals. Gelato might look, smell and taste fine when spoiled, but it will make you extremely sick. 

Spoiled gelato can increase your risk of contracting food-borne bacteria like E-coli, Listeria, or Salmonella. Common symptoms of these include: 

  • Stomach cramping
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever


In the end, no matter how cautious you are, gelato loses its taste and texture if kept in a freezer for too long. To ensure that you always have a fresh-tasting batch of gelato for your home, store your opened tubs no longer than two weeks. 

Now that you’re geared with the right and proper tips on how to store gelato, you can get to enjoy a great-tasting freezer batch each time you crave for a scoop or more!