It's the cardinal rule of freezers: Once it goes in, it's never going to taste quite the same.
But for some foods, a better rule would be: It will taste awful, make you sick, or explode all over your ice-cube tray.
So in the name of sparing your tastebuds the trouble, we asked celebrity chef Diane DiMeo, a champion on Food Network's Chopped, to share the foods you should never, under any circumstances, pop in your freezer.
Eggs in Their Shells
In the freezer, these things become ticking foodborne illness time bombs. Freezing temperatures make eggs' water content expand, which can potentially crack the shell and let in nasty bacteria. Plus, even if they don't crack—and make a mess of your once-clean white freezer—the whites of hardboiled and frozen eggs are just rubbery and gross, says DiMeo.
You'll especially want to keep anything water-rich far, far away from your freezer—at least, if you plan on thawing it. Think: watermelon, apples, celery, leafy greens, potatoes, and cucumbers. When their ice melts, they morph into limp, soggy specimens—a sad throwback to your elementary school cafeteria days.
The same goes for herbs: As soon as you remove them from the freezer, they'll turn into a ball of mush, says DiMeo. And probably a dark brown, gnarly looking one at that.
Milk, soft cheeses (like ricotta, sour cream, and cream cheese), and yogurt all suffer from the same problem: separation and curdling. Not anything you ever want to experience first-hand.
Defrosted Meats and Seafood
Popping a chicken breast in the freezer is one thing. Defrosting it on the counter only to rethink your dinner and move it back to the freezer is another. All of that back-and-forth gives bacteria too much time to reproduce and grow, putting you at risk for foodborne illness, says DiMeo.
Mayonnaise, hollandaise, custards, and meringues just don't hold up in a freezer. They leak liquid and take on a texture you definitely don't want from anything egg-related.