Whenever you freeze anything, even if it’s an entire meal or just a few slices of meat, you’ll need a few tips to make sure your food stays fresh. While freezer methods vary depending on what you’re freezing, these few tips will work for any item:
10 TIPS FOR FREEZING
1) Label each item well, so you know what it is and what date you froze it. Also consider adding number of servings, instructions for cooking/reheating, and expiration date.
2) Make sure foods are stored well. Most foods can be frozen in store packaging for only 1-2 months. For longer storage, move the item into a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible (unless freezing liquid, which will expand), and seal for freezing. Double package for extra protection (e.g. wrap meats in aluminum foil and then place inside a freezer baggie).
3) Thaw foods in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. Foods thawed in the refrigerator can be safely refrozen without changing taste or quality.
4) For quicker thawing, thaw food in water tight container and thaw in cold water in the sink. Change water every 30 minutes or so until food is completely thawed.
5) And for the quickest thawing method ” head to the microwave! Assume about 6 minutes per pound of food on low heat.
6) Make sure your freezer maintains a 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower temperature.
7) Freezer burn happens sometimes and it can alter the taste of foods. Cut away freezer burnt sections before cooking or reheating.
8) Divide bulk foods into family-size portions for freezing, so you can thaw and cook/reheat, and enjoy the entire amount. For example, move large bags of vegetables into smaller bags that hold about 2-4 servings. Also move chops, steaks, and chicken breasts into 2-4 servings.
9) Spices and herbs in meals do become more flavorful while in the freezer, so take this into consideration when preparing meals. Items with jalapenos may be too hot to eat when you take them out to enjoy, if the meal was already spicy to start with.
10) Pastas continue to absorb liquid during freezing, so undercook pasta meals slightly before freezing so they are not gooey mush when you reheat them.
Check out the entire Freezer Series HERE to see what you missed!