9 Tips For Freezing Food
Whether you’re looking to prep your meals like a boss or simply freeze items that are going out of date, I’m going to be giving you my top tips on freezing food.
So, before we get started let’s talk about the benefits of freezing food;
It keeps your kitchen cleaner. If you’re prepping food in advance and freezing it you’re going to find that your kitchen stays cleaner. By doing the bulk of the cooking ahead of time you’ve also done the cleaning. Instead of having multiple bowls, pots, and cutlery to clean you’ll only have one cycle to do and it’s done!
It saves you money. Buying reduced food is a great way of saving money at the supermarket. However, reduced food is often short dates. Freezing items can allow you to maximise these savings whilst minimising waste.
It saves you time. You can save a lot of time by doing large batches of many different types of food and freezing them and then just use what you need for a meal. Think about batches such as grated cheese for example.
1. Cool Foods
It’s important to cool foods before you freeze them. Freezing foods whilst hot or even just warm will increase the temperature of the freezer. This could potentially thaw other frozen items before the freezer re-freezes them this can alter the taste and texture of some foods.
If you’re looking to freeze a stew or other semiliquid dishes with some fat content then be advised to chill completely. Then skim the fat from the top before freezing. Fat spoils easily over time and can shorten a meals frozen life span.
2. Don’t Refreeze
Don’t refreeze any frozen food. Even if the food was raw and then cooked.
Refreezing food isn’t particularly dangerous. However, it is going to damage the quality of the food. That’s because the already slightly damaged cells are being expanded with ice crystals again. The moisture
3. Fill Your Freezer
A full freezer is much cheaper and economical to run than an empty one.
That’s because the cold air doesn’t need to circulate so much, therefore less power is needed. If you have lots of free space to fill then one idea is to fill plastic bottles half full with water and see them filling the gaps.
4. Store Correctly
Regardless of whether you have a chest or upright freezer, freezing is freezing all the same. However, what is important is the way in which you store your frozen goods.
Store food in the best-fitting, shallow container. If you’re looking to make this an eco-friendly project then consider getting glass storage containers (tempered glass or glass marked as freezer safe only). If you’re going for the plastic container option then just ensure they’re labeled BPA-free.
Certain products you want to freeze are going to require freezer bags. Be sure to leave as little air as possible in the freezer containers by removing as much air as possible from freezer bags before sealing them. Also, ensure you wrap meats and baked goods tightly with foil before you place them in freezer bags.
5. Portion Control
Try and freeze food in realistically sized portions. You don’t want to have to defrost a stew big enough to feed eight when you’re only feeding a family of three.
The British Love Food, Hate Waste website has a fantastic calculator to help you better understand what portions are required for your family based on the products or dishes you plan on freezing.
6. Throw It
If it smells bad, looks weird or you’re simply unsure then throw it out. Despite what many people think it has been proven that freezing doesn’t kill bacteria. If you’re unsure of how long something has been frozen or unsure about something when it’s been defrosted, don’t take any chances.
7. Freezers Are Not Miracles
“I’m freezing food, you know so it gets better”
Don’t freeze old food because you don’t want to waste it. This doesn’t contradict buying reduced food provided you freeze it the day you purchase it (on or before the best before date) You get out of a freezer exactly what you put into it. Freezers are not miracle workers, and won’t improve the quality of your food.
Remember, you get out of a freezer exactly what you put into it. Freezers are not miracle workers, and won’t improve the quality of your food.
Labels are super important when it comes to freezing food.
You might think you’ll never forget what’s in that container or bag, or when you froze it when you’re actually doing it. But then, weeks go by and you can’t remember when you bought it, what it is, or what you need to do with it.
Then, it ends up in the bin.
You’ve wasted time, money and valuable freezer space.
Don’t use pens to write on freezer bags or containers as it’s possible that they could contaminate your food. Instead look at purchasing labels suitable for frozen products with enough space to write all the information you need on them.
Freezing food is simple and defrosting is just the same. There are three completely safe ways to thaw frozen food.
Cold Water Thawing
To thaw food stored in a freezer bag, submerge the bag in cold tap water. Never use hot water, as that can cause the outer layer of the food to heat up to a temperature where harmful bacteria begins to multiply. You’ll need to change the water every 30 minutes to ensure that it stays sufficiently cold.
Refrigerating food is without a doubt the easiest. Simply put it in the fridge and wait until it’s thawed. This usually takes an entire day for most portion sizes however if you were looking at thawing an entire turkey or chicken then it’ll take around 24 hours per 5 pounds of food.
Unsurprisingly it’s the microwave that offers the quickest method of defrosting frozen foods. Most modern day microwaves come with a defrost setting that allows you to ensure that the outer edges of the food don’t become cooked whilst the remainder is still frozen.