Even though freezing food is an easy kitchen function, it is still not quite fool proof. Here are a few things to keep in mind when freezing meals.
- Setting the temperature in your freezer too high. Zero degrees or even lower is the best temperature for long term frozen food storage. So make sure you set your freezer as low as it will go.
- Keeping the freezer nearly empty. A full freezer retains cold better than en empty one. The frozen food will help keep in the cold, and your unit won’t have to work as hard.
- Not wrapping your food tightly. Whether you use Ziplock baggies, aluminum foil, or plastic wrap, make sure to remove air by smoothing the wrap around the food. If you are using freezer containers, fill them almost to the top to protect the food from freezer burn.
- Freezing food too long. Even frozen foods will eventually deteriorate in taste and texture. Make sure to write dates on bags and containers. You can visit FoodSafety.gov for more information on the lifespan of frozen foods.
- Waiting too long to freeze. While freezing will restore food, it won’t restore foods freshness. Meat that was frozen right after being cooked will taste better then meat that was frozen days later.
- Defrosting food at room temperature. If you thaw meats, poultry, and seafood on your countertop, bacteria may grow on their surfaces before they are fully defrosted. Instead, thaw in the microwave or fridge.