Start Freezing Food Today
Freezing food is a great way to preserve it and lock in both its freshness and flavor. Buying fresher and higher quality products will freeze better and for longer than mediocre quality ingredients. Below are some great ways to ensure a healthy and organized freezing process.
Dry it off!
Make sure your food is cool and dry before you freeze it. This allows it to freeze faster, reducing the amount of condensation and drip loss during defrosting. When defrosting make sure to have your food in a container especially if it’s a protein like chicken so any moisture collects in the pan and can be cleaned to prevent cross contamination and to ensure a healthy work space. A small fan can speed up the process of drying your food, paper towels work well also.
Cool it down!
Before you start freezing food that you’ve cooked, it’s important to cool it down quickly and as fast as you can so bacteria don’t grow. A great way to do this is to place the containers of warm food into an ice bath, or another container filled with ice cubes and water. Wedge the containers into the ice and keep stirring the food occasionally.
Stirring ensures that the center of the food cools as well. As the mixture cools, a great way to find out the temperature is to use a thermometer. This is the best way you know exactly when it gets to the right temperature to be wrapped labeled and placed in a freezer.
Label and Wrap!
When freezing food make sure to wrap it up well or put it in a freezer safe container. The goal is to isolate the food from the atmosphere of the freezer, sealing the wrapping tightly around the food to keep out as much air as possible. Normal plastic wrap is very thin and can crack in the freezer, so use more if you have to. Heavy duty.
Microwave plastic wrap, and freezer safe containers can be used in a microwave can also be great for protecting your food. When packaging your food make sure you get rid of as much air as you can and make sure you label everything with what it is, and the date you put it in the freezer along with the date it goes bad. It’s common to assume 7 days out is a sufficient number for expiration.
For liquids, or semi-liquid foods, use freezer jars or plastic containers that are freezer friendly. Remember that liquids can expand by over 10 percent when it freezes, so leave up to one full inch of headroom when you are packaging and freezing soups, stews, purees, or anything like that. After the food has cold, place a later of plastic wrap directly on the surface and then put the top on the container.