Freezing food is a great tool. It’s a very effective way of storing food and extending its lifespan. However, it is only a great tool when used properly. There are many mistakes that people make when using their freezer, that you can avoid. Check out some of the main mistakes people make.
Set the Temperature Far Too High
It is best to keep your freezer set to 0-degrees when storing food. Set it as low as it will go and if you are worried about ice cream becoming too frozen and hard to scoop, store it in the door or close to the door, as this is where the temperature is highest.
Not Keeping it Full
A freezer that is full will maintain the cold temperature better than one that is nearly empty. Even when you open the freezer door, that mass of food will keep it all cold and stop the heat from affecting it. However, avoid jamming it full, as the air needs to circulate.
Not Wrapping Items Up Too Tightly
It doesn’t matter whether you use heavy-duty plastic wrapping, aluminium foil or freezer bags with zipper closure, make sure you remove as much air as possible by smoothing it off around the items. If you are using storage containers, fill them as close to the top as possible and don’t if you don’t cook items inside packages, toss them into a smaller container.
Freezing food For Far Too Long
Even when food is frozen it can still deteriorate in taste and texture, so be sure to write dates on containers and bags. Think about rotating items so that the oldest are always at the front, so they are used first.
Freezing food In a Giant Clump
Place any small items such as cookies, hamburgers and strawberries on baking sheets and let them harder first before you put them into a container or bag. Then, you will avoid them from freezing up altogether in a hard to use clump, making it easier to take as much as you need.
Leaving it too Long to Freeze
When you are freezing food to preserve it, you need to realise that it won’t actually restore the freshness. So, freeze it as soon as you can, to keep it as fresh as possible. For example, meat that was chopped and froze on the day you bought it will taste much fresher than if you left freezing it until a few days after it was in your fridge. Similarly, muffins and cakes that are frozen immediately after they’ve been frozen will taste much better than if they are left a day or two.
It is much better to defrost frozen food, especially fresh meat, poultry and seafood in the microwave or fridge rather than on the countertop. The countertop may have unseen bacteria that can affect the food while they are defrosting.
Opening the freezer when there’s a power cut
When there is a power cut, you need to keep the freezer door shut, because it will ensure that the food stays frozen for as long as possible. Anything that is frozen still when the electricity switches back on will be safe remaining in the freezer. Any items that defrost too much, even if they are still reasonably icy and cold, should be properly prepared and then eaten as soon as possible.
If you have any doubts about any of the food, it is always best to just throw it away. There is no point in being thrifty if it means you or members of your household will get ill.