Freezing - Part I - General Tips
Whether or not you can freeze certain foods, and what their freezer life expectancy is, ranks high among day to day questions. By using these freezing suggestions, you will preserve your food safely, and you discover along the way some money saving ideas!
Here are some general considerations:
1. Food is not improved by the amount of time it spends in the freezer. The chill impedes the degradation of food, but does not stop it or reverse it. You may also take measures to insure food tastes just as good as it did at the time it was frozen.
2. You must carefully process, package and then, thaw, the food that is to be frozen. Ensure it is not stored frozen longer than the recommended time.
3. Purchase the best quality food (freezing does not improve quality).
4. Specific foods that you should not freeze: mayonnaise, cottage cheese, lettuce, whole uncooked tomatoes, whole uncooked onions, whole uncooked cucumbers, whole uncooked celery and most fried foods.
5. Never put warm food in the freezer or the refrigerator. It is completely a temperature thing, placing warm foods, over 65 degrees Fahrenheit, increases the temperature inside the entire freezer or refrigator. This puts the other foods already there in danger of becoming unhealthy to eat.
6. Food that is to be frozen should be handled as efficiently and expediently as possible.
7. Use bags, boxes and other containers specifically designed for freezing foods. Food will see freezer burn if the correct packaging materials are not used. Consider in your purchase containers that can also be used for defrosting and reheating in the microwave. Butchers paper, plastic wrap, cellophane, and waxed paper are not recommended for use in freezing, as food deterioration will result. (Waxed paper can be used to separate foods, however.) Good choices include foil (molds closely to awkward shaped foods), some glass containers, or ice cube trays (freeze food first, then put cubes into a freezer container).
8. Freeze in smaller, usable servings and never refreeze leftover frozen foods.
9. Raw meats may be cooked and refrozen.
10. Dont forget to label and date your frozen foods!