All of us freeze food. There’s nothing wrong with freezing food because frankly, the freezer is one of life’s best inventions as a freezer really helps us keep food edible and fresh for longer.
A lot of families rely on the freezer for keeping the food they buy during their weekly shop because not everyone has time to go grocery shopping a few times a week.
If you’re someone who has been freezing food, it’s also important to note how to handle frozen food and the best tips for freezing food. Whether you have your chest freezer or an upright freezer, the tips below will ensure you’ve successful freezing every time you need to freeze food.
Top 10 freezing tips
1. Ensure all cooked foods is cooled before you freeze them. Freezing food, when it’s hot, will only increase the temperature of the freezer, which will also spoil your freezer and freezing hot food can cause other foods to start defrosting.
2. Never re-freeze anything that’s been frozen and defrosted for use. It is even recommended not to freeze food that was frozen raw and then cooked.
3. A full freezer is more economical to run as the cold air doesn’t need to circulate so much, so less power is needed. If you have lots of space free, fill plastic bottles half full of water and use them to fill gaps. Alternatively, fill the freezer with everyday items you’re bound to use, such as sliced bread or frozen peas.
4. Wrap it. Make sure all the foods you freeze is wrapped properly or placed in sealed containers, otherwise your food can get freezer-burn (yes, there is such a thing).
5. Portion out your food. Always 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.
6. If in doubt, throw it out. Contrary to what many people think, freezing doesn’t kill bacteria. If you are unsure of how long something has been frozen, don’t take any risks and throw it out.
7. Freeze fresh food. What you put in the freezer won’t improve the quality of your food. Don’t freeze old food because you don’t want to waste it; the point of freezing is to keep food at its best.
8. Label your food. It may seem a bother to do this but believe us, it’s practical as it saves you time because you’ll be able to see exactly what you’re looking for if everything is labeled clearly. It also helps to keep your freezer organized and this reduces wastage because you’ll know exactly what’s in your freezer at all times. Put the date you froze it along with the name of a dish or item you’re freezing. We recommend you use different colored markers such as a blue marker for raw foods and a red marker for cooked foods. This way, you’ll be able to identify things quickly.
9. Defrosting is essential. A freezer working at its optimal capacity means regular mantainence. An icy freezer is an inefficient one, so make sure you defrost your freezer if ice builds up. Don’t worry about the food; most things will remain frozen in the fridge for a couple of hours while the freezer defrosts. Give it a good clean too so you’ll also be able to reorganize it and discard anything that has been kept for too long.
10. In case of a freezer emergency… If there has been a power cut or you think the freezer has been turned off at some point, do NOT open the door. Foods should remain frozen in the freezer for about 24 hours, leaving you time to get to the bottom of the problem.
If you’re wondering what are the best storage times for food, check out the infographic below for recommended storage times for frozen food.
Source: tasteofhome.com & lifehacker.com.