When you’re stocking your freezer with foods to last all year round, you have to think about more than just shelf life and nutritional value. You also have to consider how long each food will keep until it can be eaten. Unless you want to be eating ice cream every night for a month straight, you’ll need to know how to freeze food properly.
There are many different ways of keeping your foods fresh so that they won’t go bad too soon. Depending on the type of food that you’re storing, there are different steps and techniques for making sure everything stays good until you’re ready to eat it again. Luckily, freezing foods is a simple process once you know exactly how to do it.
There are lots of different tips and tricks that can make keeping your foods last longer much easier. Here are some helpful ideas on How To Freeze Food
Anyone who cooks and eats meat knows that there are certain dangers lurking it. When you peek through the microscope, there is a good chance that you will see millions of microbes in the meat that multiplies at a very fast level. These microbes can wreak havoc to our digestive system, where some of it can even cause death. Some of the most feared microbes are botulism, E.coli, salmonella, and listeria.
There may be parasites, bacteria, and molds as well as yeasts which can cause meats to decay and people who consume them to get sick. This is why it is important that you know how to properly store meat in order to prevent it from decaying.
One of the most popular ways to preserve the freshness of meat and prevent them from decaying is through freezing. By freezing meat, you will be able to store meat at a longer amount of time and consume them later.
Meat in room temperature cannot even last 24 hours until it gets rotten or spoiled. However, frozen meat can last longer than a week. This is the benefit of freezing food, especially meat.
It is important that you know how to freeze food in order for you to still enjoy it when you prepare it for later consumption. By knowing how to freeze food properly, you will be able to save food from spoilage and at the same time avoid affecting the quality of the food when you prepare it.
For vegetables, you should choose the ones that are at their peak of flavor and texture. This means that you should avoid freezing vegetables that are over-matured and ones that already have damage on them.
To start preparing vegetables for freezing, you should first wash them under cold running water. You can purchase fresh produce and rinse them to remove dirt, bacteria and even pesticide residue which might be in your vegetables. Then pat them dry.
After washing, you have to slice the vegetables to the desired size. After that, you can now start blanching the vegetables in a large covered stockpot of boiling water. You have to keep in mind that different vegetable means that you have to blanch them in different times. For example, cabbage needs 3 minutes while beans and green peas needs 2 minutes.
After blanching the vegetables, the next step is to cool them to stop the cooking process. You can do this by placing or plunging them in ice water. Then put them in the freezer bag and put them in the freezer. As you can see, it is quite simple to freeze vegetables.
When freezing meat, it is a good idea to repack them from store packaging. You have to remember that although freezing meat will not necessarily kill bacteria, it will slow down their growth by forcing them in to dormancy. Although some parasites can be killed in sub-zero temperatures, keep in mind that home freezing cannot really guarantee this.
Some people experience freezer burns when they freeze meat. This can really affect the quality of meat. This is why it is important that you put the meat you plan on freezing gin freezer bags. If you are planning to store meat for a long time, then you should keep the meat in a separate freezer unit. This is because home refrigerators are constantly opened, which affects the temperature inside the fridge. By putting meat on another freezer unit, you will be able to achieve optimum temperature and preserve meat at a much longer period of time.
Different meats or cuts of meat have different shelf life when storing in the freezer. For bacons and sausages, it can last for two months. Ham, hot dogs or cold cuts can last two to three months. Raw roasts, steaks, or chops can last four to twelve months in the freezer.
If you are going to freeze cooked meats, you will find that it can last two to three months. Poultry can still be edible after a month or two in the freezer.
Raw or wild game can last eight to twelve months.
As you can see, it is relatively easy to freeze food. By following the correct method of freezing food, you can be sure that you will be able to preserve food for later consumption and do so without affecting the overall quality of the food.
Freezing Fruits and Vegetables
We have been preserving food for many years. In the past, we needed to know how to preserve food in order to survive. Thanks to modern technology, we can now preserve food easily. Freezing food is a fantastic way to preserve food if you don’t want to try canning it. However, although this is easier than canning food, it really doesn’t keep as long compared to canning.
This is because freezing food only makes the bacteria and other organisms in the food that causes spoilage inactive. As long as the food is frozen, the bacteria will not grow or it will only grow slowly. However, once you thaw the food, the bacteria will start to grow back again.
If you want to preserve your fruits and vegetables through freezing, you have to keep in mind that there will be some changes which will occur on your produce. You have to expect that the fruits and vegetables you freeze will become mushy. The reason for this is ice crystals that damage the cells of the food.
Another factor which you need to remember is that when you freeze fruits and vegetables for a long period of time and you kept it in an inadequate container, it will eventually get freezer burn, which will eventually affect the color and taste of the food. Although the food will be safe to eat with freezer burn, it’s really not that appealing to eat and the taste is not that good when it is fresh.
You will not experience getting these things if you follow the right procedure when freezing fruits and vegetables.
For starters, you don’t really have to have a lot of equipment. Freezing is fairly simple and you will find that this is one of the simplest forms of food preservation. What you need is a freezer and containers that you should put your food in to freeze in.
You can use pretty much any containers you have in your home but it is highly recommended that you use freezer bags. If you don’t want to buy freezer bags, you can always use canning jars, plastic containers, cardboard boxes, and even in aluminum foil and plastic wrap or freezer paper. If you plan on using plastic bags, try to use thick ones or double up on thin ones.
Always keep in mind that no matter what container you use, food will always expand when it is frozen. Always leave ample room in the container so the food can expand in it.
Most fruits, such as the apple will darken after they are cut. You may want to prevent this by using an anti-darkening agent. You can use commercial anti-darkening agents or you can use the home made version, which is a solution of water and bottled lemon juice. Both offer great results when it comes to preventing the darkening of fruits.
You can add sugar to the fruit in order to retain its color and enhance the taste. You can either add sugar to the fruit directly or you can mix sugar and water to form syrup which you can pour over the fruit.
When freezing vegetables, you can freeze them like in fruits but you wouldn’t be adding any sugar on the product. Instead of sugar and anti-darkening agents, you have to blanch the vegetables before you put them inside the freezer. Blanching will kill the enzymes that age the vegetables.
Each type of vegetable will have a different blanching period. Besides, blanching will mean submerging the vegetables in to boiling water for a short period of time. If you don’t follow the proper blanching time for a specific type of vegetable, you will end up with cooked vegetables or vegetables that weren’t blanched enough.
Always keep in mind that the goal for blanching is not to cook the vegetables but to kill the enzymes that causes the vegetables to age.
Freezing fruits and vegetables is quite easy to do. If you want to preserve your excess produce, you may want to try freezing them. It is easy to do and it doesn’t take up a lot of your time. Remember these tips and you can be sure that you will be able to enjoy great and high quality preserved food.
If you are planning to freeze large quantities of meat in your home, then you may want to know how to do it properly and know about the basics of freezing meat. You have to remember that although freezing meat is relatively simple, there is a process which you need to follow in order for you to avoid freezer burns, deterioration and even rancidity.
Today, most people purchases pre-packaged cut meat, such as steaks and chops. We buy them from the supermarket and in most cases, people just toss them in the freezer once they arrive home without even labeling them or over-wrap them.
You have to remember that over-wrapping the meat is important in order to avoid freezer burn. Labeling is important in order for you to know the contents of the wrap or container and avoid taking out the wrong piece of meat for you to prepare.
You should put the date on the label on when you purchased the meat and when you placed it in the freezer. By doing so, you will be able to avoid losing it in the freezer or forget about it, which causes deterioration and even rancidity.
When you purchase meat in the supermarket, you will often find that the packaging consists of a polystyrene tray with plastic film cover. This can be great for storing in the freezer and it will be able to freeze the meat well for several months.
You have to consider the fact that people buy lots of meat especially when it is on sale. They think that stocking up on meat is necessary in order for them to save money. This is true for some people but unfortunately, a lot of people waste more money than they should just because they didn’t follow the right procedure when freezing meat.
If you are going to store large quantities of meat in your chest freezer and you want to store them for long periods of time, then it is highly advisable that you over wrap the packages with cling film or heavy duty aluminum. By doing so, you will be able to prevent air from entering the package. Air can cause freezer burn and it will also cause the meat to dry out, which will eventually force the meat to lose its color, texture, and flavor.
You should try dividing the meat in to convenient sized portions for your needs. This will avoid forcing you to defrost the entire meat, which will eventually shorten the life of the meat. By dividing them in to portions, you will only defrost the meat that you need to prepare.
You have to remember that all packaging should be moisture-vapor resistant. It should be heavy duty and clean as well as air tight.
You may want to keep in mind that right after you purchase the meat from your local butcher or supermarket, you need to freeze it as soon as possible. This will ensure the quality of meat as well as the freshness and food safety. You need to keep in mind that fresh meat is highly perishable, which is why you shouldn’t leave it out of the refrigerator or freezer longer than 2 hours.
You need to remember that meat products are susceptible to bacteria, which cause food poisoning and other food-borne illnesses. This is why you have to handle raw meat properly and know how to freeze them properly.
Keep in mind that although meat can be stored inside the freezer for many months, it will eventually get spoiled or turn rancid and it will need to be discarded. The storage duration of meat in the freezer will depend on the type of meat as well as the amount of fat it contains. The more fat the meat has, the lesser the duration of freshness.
To prolong freezer life of the meat and ensure that spoilage doesn’t occur quickly, you have to trim off excess fat. Always keep in mind that fat speed up rancidity.
These are the things that you have to remember when you are planning to store meat in your freezer. Always remember that you need to keep the packaging air tight and you have to trim off excess fat in order to prolong freezer life.
Freezing Supplies and Equipment
When it comes to preserving food, we have come a very long way in to developing the best methods to do so. From using salt to preserve meat, we now have the convenience of refrigerators and freezers which allow us to preserve food easily.
We purchase our meat, vegetables, and fruit from supermarkets. This means that we basically have everything that we need in the market, which in turn means that we no longer have to grow our own vegetables and livestock in order for us to survive.
To preserve food properly by freezing, you have to have the right supplies and equipments in order for you to do it right. You have to remember that not freezing food properly can eventually shorten the life of the food in the freezer. For example, the piece of meat you freeze can last 2 or 3 months in the frozen state. But, because you didn’t do it properly, it only lasted a month or so.
You have to remember that freezer burns can happen. Although this does not pose as a health hazard, freezer burns will affect the food in terms of overall quality. This means that the taste, texture, and color will be affected in a very bad way.
In fact, foods that have been affected by freezer burns are considered to be inedible.
These are just some of the reasons why you have to have the proper supplies and equipments when freezing food. So, just what are these supplies and equipments that you need in order for you to freeze food properly?
For starters, you obviously need a freezer unit. If you are planning to freeze large amount of meat and vegetables for a long period of time, it is highly recommended that you get a large chest freezer, which you will not constantly open and close. Home refrigerators are constantly opened and closed, which will eventually make the temperature inside the freezer erratic, which is not good for preserving food.
Once you have the unit where you will freeze your food or freezer, the next step is to have the proper equipments or supplies which will help you properly freeze food. Always keep in mind that air is a no-no when it comes to freezing food. You should avoid putting the food in direct contact with the freezer. This means that you need to place the food in a container when you freeze it. This will avoid freezer burn and it will lengthen the life of the food.
When freezing meat, it is highly recommended that you repack meat in significant portions. This will help avoid defrosting the entire meat and freezing them again, which causes premature spoilage of meat. By dividing the meat in convenient portions, you will only defrost what you need or what you need to prepare.
For this, you may want to use a freezer bag. Freezer bags are perfect for ground meat, vegetables, and small food portions. However, if you are going to freeze large slices of meat, such as steaks and chops, you will need to us freezer paper or wrap to package the meat.
You can either use drugstore or butcher wrap. When you purchase meat from grocery stores, you may find that it may already be packed. However, this is not really enough. Wrap it for additional protection.
You should remember to label each of the food you pack and freeze. Labeling will tell you when you put the meat in the freezer and when you bought it from the market. Through labeling, you will be able to know which food you have to consume in order to avoid spoilage and waste.
These are the supplies and equipments you need when freezing food. As you can see, freezing supplies and equipments are not that expensive. You will find that freezing food is one of the most convenient forms of food preservation as you don’t have to follow a lot of process in order for you to preserve food properly.
Always keep in mind that whenever you freeze food, keep the packaging air tight to prevent premature spoilage. Also, when packing and freezing meat, make sure that you trim off excess fat in order to lengthen the storage time of the meat.
Remember these tips and you will be well on your way in to preserving food properly through freezing.