How to Get Frozen Items Apart in the Freezer


Foods in the freezer sometimes develop a layer of frost that freezes them together. If your freezer is turned off for an extended period of time, the frost inside the appliance may melt and cover food items with moisture, which hardens into ice once you turn back on the device. Packaged fruits, meats and desserts also stick together when frozen, usually because the food was packaged before it was frozen.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy duty freezer bags
  • Straws
  • Water
  • Refrigerator
  • Strong kitchen knife
  • Cutting board

Frozen Foods Stuck Together by Packaging

  • Open the packaging that is stuck together and remove the food.

  • Place individual items in heavy duty, freezer-safe bags.

  • Insert a straw in a bag and seal the top around the straw. Suck out all the air from the bag, remove the straw and close the bag's seal. Repeat with the other storage bags.

Frozen Foods Stuck Together Inside Packaging: Melt and Break Apart Items

  • Run the frozen packages under warm water. Break apart the food as soon as the food melts enough.

  • Leave the food inside the packaging to minimize any melting-related messes.

  • Defrost the package in the refrigerator instead if you're working with packages of meat. According to the USDA's "Freezing and Food Safety" fact sheet, it's safe to repackage the meat and refreeze after you've defrosted it this way.

Frozen Foods Stuck Together Inside Packaging: Dropping and Cutting Items Apart

  • Drop the bag or container on the floor. The force of the impact will break apart some frozen sections.

  • Remove the food from its container first and repackage it in freezer bags if you aren't sure your food's storage container can withstand the fall.

  • Remove still stuck-together food from its packaging, storage container or freezer bag. Run a sharp, strong kitchen knife under hot water, and then try to cut the pieces apart with the heated knife. Work on a cutting board.

Tips & Warnings

  • To avoid having to break apart frozen food, always pre-freeze food items before storing them in the freezer. Prepare the food as you would for freezing, but lay out food pieces on a small, parchment-covered cookie sheet instead of placing them in a storage bag. Put the sheet in the freezer for a couple of hours so the food items can completely freeze. Remove the frozen food, and then add to a freezer-safe storage bag. Use this process for fruits, vegetables, cookie dough and bread items.
  • Wrap meat item separately in parchment paper before placing them in a freezer storage container for easy separation.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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