Our freezers are lifesavers. They’ve made it possible for us to store food for longer periods, without the fear of it going bad. Moreover, they have brought a lot of convenience to our lives. Today, you can easily stock up your freezer, and stay for weeks without visiting the grocery store again. However, did you know that most of us don’t know how to use our freezers properly? The following tips will allow you to get the best out of your freezer.
Don’t let your freezer run when empty
There’s one thing you should know about freezers—they use less energy when stocked up. The main reason behind this is that a full freezer can retain cold temperatures better compared to an empty one. However, you should never over pack your freezer.
You should leave some space for air to circulate in your freezer in order to keep everything frozen. Moreover, the frozen food assists in maintaining the cold temperatures when you open the freezer—meaning the freezer won’t work so hard to keep the temperatures optimal.
Know the items that you can freeze
It’s always important to know the food that you can freeze, and food that you can’t. There are certain foodstuffs that cannot survive being frozen. Fruits and veggies with high moisture levels, such as watermelon and lettuce, fried foods, and dairy products such as yogurt are examples of items that you should never freeze.
However, other foods like waffles, pancakes, berries, nuts, stocks and broths, muffins, fish, meats, chili, shrimp, and stews can be frozen. These items are more likely to come out of the freezer intact.
Freeze your food in usable rations
At times, you can be tempted to throw a whole piece of steak into your freezer. However, this is not the best way to do it, especially if you will be needing a portion of the steak every one and then—yet the entire piece is frozen. In case you want to cook some portion, you will have to thaw the entire portion, cut the needed amount, and then throw back the entire piece into the freezer—which is not recommendable.
Rather, just take some time, and portion out your food into small and usable rations. Then, proceed to freeze each portion in an individual freezer bag or container. This way, you will be able to take the amount that you need and defrost the right quantity.
If you don’t have enough containers or freezing bags, consider freezing the items individually, and then combine the frozen items into one container or bag. Doing this prevents the items from sticking together when freezing. Moreover, you will be able to pick the right amount whenever you need to cook.
Freeze items when in a flat position
Whenever possible, keep items flat in your freezer. For instance, you put leftover chili in a freezer bag or container and then put it flat in the freezer until the chili is frozen. You should note that it’s much easier to freeze flat items with even thickness or items organized upright in a freezer container.
Store your food in containers of the right size
When freezing food, you should understand that allowing air to circulate around frozen foodstuffs can cause freezer burn. Therefore, the best thing to do is to use a container of the right size of the things that you’d like to freeze.
If you opt to use plastic bags, use thick one, recommended for freezing. Then, press the bags to remove all the air before freezing the food. If you use foil, ensure that you double-wrap the food tightly before throwing it into the freezer. By doing this, you will be able to keep air out and also maximize freezer space.
Always keep your freezer neat and organized
When you keep your freezer organized, you won’t have to spend a lot of time when taking food out of the freezer. This means the freezer door won’t stay open for long. At the end of the day, you will be able to save time, and also maintain the efficiency of your freezer.
Here are a few tips to follow when organizing your freezer:
- Meat, fish, and poultry products – always keep raw poultry and meat in clean and sealed freezer bags or containers on the bottom part of your freezer.
- Fruits and veggies – these should also be kept in sealed containers or freezer bags. When freezing bananas, make sure that you peel them since the skins are affected by freezing temperatures.
- Pastry, chips, and bread – the first thing that you should do is to separate them into small portions as this allows you to pick what you need to cook easily. If you want to freeze leftovers, make sure that they are cooled before putting them into the freezer.
Use the right container
If you use containers to store food in your freezer, make sure that they are freezer-friendly. Certain containers like sandwich bags or flimsy wraps are not ideal for storing food in the freezer since they cannot protect it from freezer burn. You should use air-tight containers, which can lock in the moisture of whatever you are preserving in your freezer. This ensures that your food doesn’t get spoilt quickly.
There are different options to consider when selecting a container for freezing your food. Strong plastic wraps are idea for solid foodstuffs like bread, meat, and other related items. Plastic containers and plastic zipper bags, on the other hand, are ideal when you want to preserve food for a short period of time.
You can use zipper bags to store foodstuffs like soups and smoothie mixes. If you want to store food for a longer period of time, consider using glass containers or jars. However, if you consider to use glass, ensure that you pack the food property as this will prevent the container from cracking. The best thing to do is to leave some space in the glass container, and then place it in the fridge before freezing.
Make sure that you set the temperature right
You should note that different foodstuffs freeze at different temperatures. Moreover, the freezing point of your food can different with your freezer’s temperature. That’s why you should know the right temperature settings for your freezer—even when it seems like it’s working efficiently.
It’s recommended that you store your food at -18 degrees C if you want to store it for a longer period. So, if you are not sure about the temperature of your freezer, consider buying a freezer thermometer. Keep this thermometer in a place where you can read it easily, and check the temperature at least once every week.
These tips will make sure that your freezer runs efficiently, and your food is preserved well. However, you should understand that your freezer needs to be in good condition for it to run efficiently. If you notice that your freezer isn’t running efficiently, let an expert from Tampa Appliance Repair by Hartman’s check whether your freezer has some underlying issues.