Meal Planning 101: How to Use Your Freezer

berries-919006_960_720

Your fridge is the heart of your kitchen, keeping it alive with all sorts of delicious foods. And opening those fridge doors to see food piled upon food can feel like heaven (unless you forgot to go grocery shopping again, oops!).

And then there’s that other door that perhaps you haven’t explored quite enough: the freezer. The freezer is sacred, preserving your food for long periods of time, while still keeping it fresh. Of course, there’s an art to freezing food, and not everybody knows the true secrets of how to use the freezer. Here, we’ll give you the rundown of just how to use your freezer to it’s fullest potential.

Don’t you hate when you open the fridge and see that the shelves are almost bare? What a bummer! Opening your freezer and seeing barely anything in there is a bummer too, but did you know that having too little in your freezer keeps the freezer, well, not freezing?  The more food that’s packed into your freezer, the colder the temperature will be. And that’s truly important, because certain foods need to be below freezing to maintain their freshness, as well as be safe to consume.

Making sure your freezer is set to the right temperature will help you keep your food fresher for longer. But remember, setting the freezer too low isn’t good, because pesky freezer burn could come into the picture. Try to keep your freezer no than zero degrees.  Any higher will allow bacteria to flourish and food to spoil.

You wouldn’t take a slice of pizza and just throw it in the freezer without wrapping it, would you? Good, because it would do more harm than good. One of the key things to remember when storing food in your freezer is to make sure that food is wrapped up tightly. Why can’t you just throw leftover steak in there without wrapping it? It all goes back to that pesky freezer burn.  Make sure that everything is wrapped up air tight, including your meats and breads, so they’ll stay fresher for longer. Some types of freezer packaging to consider are wraps (tin or plastic), and plastic bags with all the air squeezed out. Remember, the tighter the food is wrapped, the fresher it will be!

And remember that even in the freezer, food has an expiration date. Keeping food in the freezer too long will allow it to lose its delicious taste and it will basically taste like — a freezer.  And no one wants to eat a slice of pizza that tastes like a freezer. If you have a tendency to put stuff in the freezer and forget how long you left it in there, the best way to keep track is to date your food. Simply write the date you wrapped it up in permanent marker on the wrapped food, put it in the freezer, and take it out the next time you want to eat it, checking the date first. Of course, all foods vary on their freezer times. If you’re not sure how long something should be in the freezer, use this chart as a reference.

During the week, your freezer can become your best friend! Hectic weeknights shouldn’t stand between you and delicious meals. Throw your favorite fruits such as bananas, strawberries, and mango along with some greens into a bag and freeze them to enjoy your favorite smoothie during the week. You can also make and freeze these delicious twice-baked bacon-cheddar potatoes for an amazing app anytime and these manicottis will stay fresh for up to three months when properly frozen!

With all that yummy food in the freezer we can’t blame you for wanting to dig in,, but don’t just take it out of the freezer and let it sit in the open. When defrosting frozen food, there are a few things to keep in mind, because if food isn’t defrosted the right way, it might become unsafe to consume.  One way to defrost your food safely is to take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge. Remember, the freezer is below freezing, while the fridge is just above freezing. Keeping the food in a cold, yet not freezing place will let it thaw out slowly and safely! Another method to try is putting your food in cold water (still wrapped of course!) and keeping it there until it eventually defrosts.

Now, it’s time for you to master the art of freezing foods. Go forth and freeze those leftovers and make-ahead meals like a pro!

H&H Appliance Center offers endless options for easy kitchen clean-up with the latest and greatest in appliance technology. Visit us at our showroom today to speak to an expert!

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s