Frozen sampler items in a box

How to Freeze Better at Home

Sarah Mickey All Recipes, Culinary Tips & Techniques Leave a Comment

HOW TO FREEZE BETTER AT HOME

Whether you are freezing pre-cooked foods, fruits, vegetables, fresh seafood or raw cuts of meat, freezing food should be done as fast as possible. The slower food freezes, the larger the ice crystals formed by internal water become. Larger ice crystals literally poke holes in cell walls, allowing moisture to evaporate, taking flavor with it and compromising the food’s texture.

Avoid refreezing food. This both preserves quality and guards your safety. Except for some liquids, thawing and refreezing food can damage its flavor and texture. (For tips on how to best defrost your frozen treasures, please see Safely Defrosting Frozen Food for Maximum Flavor.)

Here are more steps and tips to keep in mind for best results when freezing food.

1

Put a sheet pan (or baking/cookie sheet) in the freezer, while you refrigerate the items to be frozen. Get them as cold as possible prior to moving them to the freezer. The sheet tray’s stored cold will help them to freeze faster.
2

Arrange the items individually on the sheet tray in the freezer and close the door. If you’re concerned about the food sticking (shouldn’t be a problem unless the food has surface moisture), put a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper on the tray first.
3

Once the items are frozen, move them from the tray into a zip-top bag or vacuum pouch. Seal with as little air as possible.
4

Label each container with the name of the item & the date it was frozen.
5

Store your frozen food in the freezer proper, not in the door. Items in the door tend to fluctuate in temperature more as the freezer is opened and closed.
6

Always use older frozen items before newer versions of the same item.
7

Always take only what you need out of the freezer. As mentioned above, frequent defrosting and refreezing (even if only a little bit) can negatively affect food’s quality.
8

Believe it or not, your freezer will actually function better the more full and tightly packed it is.
Do remember to leave room for a sheet pan, as mentioned above, in case you want to do more individual freezing.

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