Freezing is essential for making sure nothing goes to waste. Whether you want to wait before eating leftovers, or find yourself unable to make do with all your ingredients before they spoil, it’s good to be aware of what you can freeze and how to do it best.
So, freezer burn got you down? Upset at tasteless fruit after thawing? Here’s some freezer do’s and don’ts to ensure your food stays fresh for longer.
1. Do keep the temperature level.
When your freezer is full, it will require less energy to maintain. This means when you’re running low on food to store, you’ll want to keep the freezer packed for better efficiency. Fill some plastic–not glass!–bottles or jugs with water to take up any empty space to help maintain the temperature.
2. Do use a proper wrapping technique.
Of course, freezing keeps food edible far into the future–but whenever you freeze meat, you run the risk of freezer burn. Most are unaware how to wrap meat in a way so it remains airtight. Following this tutorial for wrapping meat will keep your meat deli-fresh and in good quality.
3. You can freeze herbs.
Save those fresh herbs! All you need to do is place them in an ice cube tray with a little bit of water or oil. Leave them frozen until you’re ready to use them–they’ll be good as new upon defrosting!
4. Don’t freeze watery produce.
This means your citrus fruits, cucumbers and the like. Watery produce will end up mushy and lose its taste, so you’ll want to eat those fresh.
For all other produce, be sure to prepare it properly: fruit should be cut up before freezing, and vegetables will do well after blanching.
5. Save the rinds!
You don’t want to freeze citrus, but you can certainly freeze the rinds for future use. Wrap them up and put them in the freezer for whenever you need a little zest for a recipe.
6. Do freeze eggs (but so so properly)!
Yes, you can freeze eggs! But don’t leave them in the shell, or they will break when frozen. Simply crack them open, placing their contents in an ice cube tray. Note that cooked egg whites can be tough or rubbery after they thaw, but raw eggs can be frozen and used afterwards.
7. Do freeze rice.
It can be a hassle to prepare rice, so you don’t want to waste any extra. All you need to do is spread it out o a baking sheet to freeze, then throw into a container for storage once frozen.
8. Plan an easy breakfast.
Take advantage of your freezer for a simple breakfast every day: cook up a week of pancakes or waffles, then freeze them on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, put them in a freezer bag. Now you’ve got a ready-made, microwavable breakfast for the whole week!
9. Don’t deal with spoiled milk ever again.
How many times have you bought more milk than you were able to use before it spoiled? Worry no longer–it can be frozen! Put it in a plastic jug (if it doesn’t already come in one) and stick it in the freezer. Before you drink it, shake the thawed milk well so that any solid portions can mix properly.
10. Freeze that leftover wine.
Didn’t finish the bottle? Pour the rest into ice cube trays! Frozen wine is great for cooking with, as you can just throw it in a recipe and use as normal.
Bonus tip: Whenever you’re freezing, don’t use whatever foil or paper you have on-hand. Your average foil or wrapping paper isn’t designed for freezing, and could be porous. Check your local store for heavy-duty foil, freezing wrap or bags designed for freezing food to ensure that anything you freeze stays edible!