We’ve all been there. You’re looking forward to enjoying a nice chilled soda or other fizzy beverage when you realize that you forgot to put it in the fridge the day before. Your natural reaction might be to put it in the freezer to cool it down quickly but if you do that will it make it flat?
Soda that doesn’t freeze, or partially freezes, will still retain its fizz when taken out of the freezer. Frozen soda pushes the carbon dioxide gas out so is likely to burst, but if it doesn’t then it will still retain some fizz when thawed.
It’s best to not leave soda or beers in the freezer for too long. I’ve got some recommended times below that will chill them optimally, and I’ll show you some faster ways to cool down your drinks than the freezer.
Firstly, let’s explore chilling drinks in the freezer and what happens if it freezes.
What Happens If It Freezes?
When you put a can or bottle of carbonated beverage in the freezer, as the liquid inside starts to freeze it expands and ejects the carbon dioxide that has been used to make it fizzy.
The combination of ejected gas and frozen liquid can become too much for the container so it bursts open. This means you lose the gas so it becomes flat if thawed – it’s also messy and a bit dangerous.
If it doesn’t burst, some of the gas still might be forced out of the container through small gaps. And if you were to thaw the drink, some of this CO2 gas will dissolve back into the drink but it’s likely to be noticeably flatter than before.
With a non-carbonated beverage, exploding is less risky as there’s room for the liquid to expand and there is no super-pressurized CO2 gas.
- Related article: Will Plastic Bottles Of Soda Explode In The Freezer?
How To Chill Drinks In The Freezer
Chilling drinks in the freezer is a great way to cool them down quicker than in a fridge, particularly if you have a lot of bottles or cans, or maybe a large bottle of soda that doesn’t fit in your refrigerator or cooler.
A simple way to make the process quicker is to wrap the containers in a wet paper towel first. As the water cools it will help to remove heat from the drink as water conducts heat better than air.
Doing this cuts the time you have to wait for the drinks to chill by about half so it’s well worth trying.
Also, don’t try to chill too many drinks at once – it can warm the temperature of the freezer.
One of the most important things is to check them often and remove the bottles or cans before the liquid they contain starts to freeze. If you leave them in too long you risk them exploding and making quite a mess.
Why is chilling drinks so important? Cold drinks taste better because cold suppresses the excessive sweetness and bitterness in the drink.
How Long Should I Leave Soda In Freezer?
Working out how long to leave pop in the freezer depends on how warm the soda is in the first place, what the container is made of, how cold you want it to be for drinking, and what the temperature of your freezer is.
Try this chilled drinks calculator which is a really handy site to calculate the chill time for you based on all the different variables.
Using that as a guide, small glass bottles will take around an hour and a small can will take around 15 minutes. That’s because aluminum cans conduct heat more quickly than glass so it cools more quickly.
Remember to remove the containers before they start to freeze and if you’re not sure then err on the side of caution and check them every 10-15 minutes or so.
If you wrap the drinks in wet paper towels as I outlined above then they could be ready in around half that time.
How Long To Chill A 2 Liter Soda In Freezer
A 2 liter bottle of soda will take approximately just over an hour to chill from a room temperature of 62F/16.5C down to an optimal 40F/4.5C in the freezer.
It might take almost double the time if the soda was left out on a hot summer’s day before chilling.
These calculations were done with the chilled drink calculator so you can play with the settings yourself there if you want.
If you’re in a rush you could try the wrapping in wet paper towel trick, although you will need to cover the whole bottle for it to work properly.
A better way would be to try one of the alternative methods outlined below.
Faster Ways To Cool Down Your Beverages (and safer)
Believe it or not, besides not being the safest method, chilling your drinks in the freezer is not actually the quickest way to do it either.
Also remember, choosing your drinks container wisely will help make it quicker as any method works quicker for cans than bottles.
1. Quickest Method – Salted Iced Water
The quickest method is to use salted iced water as this will help to remove heat from the drink faster than using just ice or cold water.
Salt makes the ice melt faster which means it needs to draw energy (heat) from the surrounding environment including your beverage.
To do this, you’ll need:
- A large container or bowl
- Ice cubes
Fill the container or bowl with a layer of ice cubes, top up with water and then sprinkle over a couple of tablespoons of salt.
Then simply place your drink containers into the mixture making sure that they are fully submerged and stir them around gently.
Cans will be ready in as little as 1 minute, and bottles 2-3 minutes!
If you don’t feel like constantly stirring them just move them around every so often and it will still work pretty quickly.
2. Next Quickest Method – Cooler Filled with Iced Water
If you have a lot of drinks containers to chill down, the easiest way would be to place your bottles and cans in a large cooler and then fill it with a mixture of ice and water.
Make sure all the bottles and cans are completely submerged.
Because their whole surface area is touching very cold liquid, they will cool down in around 5 minutes. Water conducts heat very efficiently so the heat is pulled away quickly.
3. Next Best Method – Cooler Filled with Ice
If you don’t have access to a water source but have lots of ice available, you can chill your drinks down in around 10-15 minutes using this method.
- Place a thin layer of ice on the bottom of your cooler.
- Lay your drinks containers on this ice layer, trying to leave a small gap between them.
- Pour more ice over the drinks containers making sure it gets down into all the gaps.
- Repeat until you’ve run out of drinks or space in the cooler to put them.
- Leave for 10-15 minutes and your drinks will be chilled to perfection.
4. Mix Ice With Your Drinks
The last straightforward tip is just to add ice to your drinks to cool them down.
Ice can make your soda taste better because it prevents you from tasting the overly sweet or bitter notes in the drink. You therefore get maximum refreshment when using ice in your drinks as you’ve probably noticed before.
I hope this article helped you answer whether soda goes flat in the freezer and provided some useful tips for chilling down your drinks in a hurry.
The freezer shouldn’t make your drink flat provided you don’t let it freeze. Even frozen soda won’t go completely flat but it’s likely to burst so try and avoid that.
Using a freezer is the method many people will think of first, but make sure to check on your drinks every 15 minutes or so to ensure the liquid doesn’t freeze. Otherwise, you could have an explosive situation on your hands.
If you’re in a real hurry then using salted iced water is the quickest way, or if you have lots to chill then using a cooler filled with either iced water or just ice will do the job.
And finally, remember that aluminum cans conduct heat quicker than glass bottles so they will always chill down a lot faster.