Freezing is one of the best ways to preserve food, however, done improperly, and your food will get freezer burn, not be preserved well, and taste bad. Here are some do’s and don’ts of freezing so that your food will last:
Choose the right containers: this is the most important part of properly freezing food. The wrong containers let in air, crack, or have other problems that make food taste poorly and get freezer burn. The right containers have been specifically designed to withstand cold temperatures, be durable, odorless and tasteless, and not absorb oil, grease or water. Thus, they keep your food tasting as good as it does when it is fresh from the market. So, look for containers specifically designed for freezing, and be sure that you don’t ruin or alter them in any way that would make them ineffective. If the lids are no longer air tight, or the seals have been cracked, toss them and find something else to freeze your food in.
Air tight: The next step to having good frozen food is to make sure that if you freeze in a bag that or container that it is air tight, and that you take the time to squeeze or suction excess air out. Air will add to the freezer burn of your food. So, while you need to leave some room in the containers for the expansion that happens naturally when freezing, you also need to rid yourself of any air that you can.
Moisture-vapor-resistant: Don’t just freeze in any bags or containers. Choose bags designed for freezing that have moisture and vapor resistant materials. These will help you to keep your food protected so that when you defrost it and prepare the food it tastes great and you won’t even be able to tell that it was frozen. Just be sure to check the specifications on your packaging to know how long something can be frozen for when contained in that. For example, heavy duty aluminum foil can protect for up to eight weeks.
Easy to handle, seal, label, stack and take as little room as possible: this way you can fit more in your freezer and keep track of what you have and when it went in the freezer.
Use just any paper or plastic: Certain papers and plastics are designed specifically for freezing. Don’t just take plastic wrap or wax paper and assume it will do the job. Even butcher paper is not always going to work unless it is the type designed for freezing foods.
Don’t freeze vegetables without blanching them first. It does not work, and they will not taste very good.
Don’t try to use things like cool whip containers or sour cream containers for freezing. They are porous, and are not air tight, and your food will not be well protected.