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Can You Freeze Saffron?

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By Lewis Brindley

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It might be one of the most expensive ingredients by weight, but a little saffron goes a very long way. So, what is the best way to store that little pot of saffron strands for the long term?

Can You Freeze Saffron?

Yes, you can freeze Saffron for up to 3 years. The best way to do this is to wrap saffron threads in foil before transferring that package to an airtight container. Seal the container well, then place it in the centre of the freezer.

Does Saffron Freeze Well? Sometimes

Can You Refreeze Saffron? Yes

How to Freeze Saffron

Freezing saffron isn’t a tricky process, but since the spice is so expensive, we recommend following our steps – getting it wrong can be a costly mistake!

  1. Wrap in Foil: A loose foil package is a great way to ensure that the saffron doesn’t get damaged by light. A lot of the flavour of the saffron is in the same molecules responsible for the bright colour and can be bleached out through light.
  2. Transfer to a Container: Transferring the foil package into an airtight container is a great way to be sure that the saffron’s flavour won’t be lost to air – the volatile compounds can evaporate given time.
  3. Seal: Ensuring that the container is well-sealed will allow you to prevent damage from the air while ensuring that the container is as structurally secure as possible. Together, this will ensure that the saffron doesn’t lose flavour while also making sure that it isn’t crushed in the freezer.
  4. Freeze: Keeping the saffron in the centre of the freezer is a great way to make sure that you don’t damage the expensive spice by the use of freezer burn: it will be as far as possible from the frost front at the edge of your freezer.

3 Tips for Freezing Saffron

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing saffron to have the best results:

Be Wary of Freezer Bags
A freezer bag would be a great way to store the saffron with as little excess air as possible, but it would also lead to you having less physical structure around the saffron. If you do choose to use a freezer bag, be sure to avoid having it in a place where it might get crushed in any way.

Everything Is the Enemy
This is a little melodramatic, but saffron is a very potent spice, meaning that it will transfer its flavour to nearly anything, from particles of dust to droplets of water. What we’re trying to say with this is that you should ensure every element of the freezing process has as few contaminants as possible.

Dry Your Container
Allowing something to air dry might not be quite enough. Instead, a cotton cloth will allow you to remove any trace of moisture, letting you easily and quickly freeze something.

How Long Can You Freeze Saffron?

You can freeze saffron for up to three years.

The main reason is that before you get your hands on it, the saffron has been commercially dried and processed.

That processing makes it a lot easier to store, long-term, allowing you to maintain the saffron itself very easily.

How Long Does Saffron Last in the Fridge?

Saffron does not need to be stored in the fridge. Instead, it will keep in a cool, dark cupboard for up to 2 years.

How Do You Defrost Saffron?

Since saffron strands are so exceptionally thin, there’s no real processing that you need to do to bring the saffron back up to temperature from the freezer – you can simply use it while it’s still frozen.

It will rapidly thaw and impart its flavour and colour into the food that you’re making such as Spanish paella.

Can You Refreeze Saffron?

Yes, you can refreeze saffron, though you typically won’t need to. We recommend only thawing the strands that you need for a particular recipe, and keeping the other strands tucked away in the freezer.

To refreeze saffron, simply follow the same instructions that you did for freezing it the first time around.

Does Saffron Freeze Well?

Yes, saffron does freeze well! The main reason for this is that it’s a dried spice, so it’s easy to preserve it for a little longer. The main enemy you’ll encounter is moisture.

However, the question isn’t how well it freezes but whether or not there is any point. Yes, you add a year to the shelf life of saffron by freezing it versus storing it in a cupboard but will you ever need to store it for more than 2 years in the first place?

If you’ve still got questions about freezing saffron or saffron in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Saffron Cake?

Yes, saffron cake can be frozen whole or portioned out into slices. Wrap the whole cake or slices in cling film and then bag up before freezing for around 3 months.

Sources

We have verified the information on this page using the following resources:

BBC Good Food

Food52

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