Food Freezing Basics

April 7, 2020

As we continue to shelter in place, the idea of cooking larger amounts of food and freezing it for later use is becoming more of the norm. It can save time and money – plus keeping food longer by freezing it is a no-brainer to minimize trips to the grocery store where some food items can be out of stock. If you want to make the most of your cooking, or simply need to make food last longer, consider these food freezing basics to help you stock your freezer like a pro.

Let hot food come to room temperature first. This will help freeze food uniformly and prevent opportunities for spoilage. Foods that are still hot may also warm and damage the other contents in the freezer.

Leave room for expansion in covered containers. This is particularly important in freezer-safe glass containers, which may explode or crack when used improperly. A general rule of thumb is to leave about an inch between the surface of the food and the lid. Never freeze glass that is not labeled as freezer safe.

Press out all the air when wrapping foods. Freezer burn is caused by air coming in contact with frozen food.

Invest in special freezer-specific wrappings for long-term storage. These products are designed to prevent freezer burn and the breakdown of food textures and flavors. However, for short-term storage, regular plastic wrap and bags will do.

Label and date your food. Use the oldest options in your freezer first, as the longer food has been frozen, the higher the chance of freezer burn.

Don’t overload the freezer. Filling it to maximum capacity may prevent proper air circulation, making it difficult to maintain a temperature of at least zero degrees, which is necessary to keep contents frozen.