It was a tradition to keep all the things in a freezer for years. It is time when you just look at your freezer and must throw all the things which are not going to be used for six months. Like say a trout which was brought some 3 years back and a loaf of bread which was brought from sale last year (the one will ice crystals all the way).
You can surely be getting some surprises once you have sorted the newly brought items, after going in deep. But is not that pretty, on opening a freezer, it is possible that you may find a melted and refrozen syrupy juicy bars and a bag of peas was spoilt long ago.
We are in need of all the freezer space as it is possible that a freezer may get overflow on any day of the week. It can have ice packs locked and loaded stored for sports injury, some fruits and vegetables for the time when fresh ones are not available; frozen entrees for the time when it should itself become a lunch, and frozen desserts or appetizers when your friends can come unexpectedly.
So what needs to be thrown out? It is said by FDA as the food can be kept in a freezer is safe for a longer period, that does not mean that it is still tasty and have good texture. Any food which is no longer identifiable, or something which you or your kids may find “ew!” or “that’s gross”-needs to go out of your freezer.
Some golden rules for freezing a meal:
To avoid those unpleasant discoveries in the freezer, one must know how to freeze food wisely. You must keep some things in mind before freezing a food is.
- Preventing a freezer burn.
- Preventing moisture loss.
- Use the excellent freezer to make your food fresh ( Universalreview’s chest freezer review )
- Prevent transferring a smell from one food to another.
- Prevent your chilled food from poisoning.
It is important to do things like, proper wrapping and storing of your meal is important. Some golden rules are:
- You must use freezer bags and freezer safe containers to remove as much air as possible before you seal them that contain the food you want to freeze.
- A foil must be used to wrap meats and baked goods before placing them in a freezer bag. It is not good to store packaged meat directly from the store as it does not go well with your freezer temperatures. They are good to use just for a month or so.
- Make use of smaller containers as to avoid it from producing bacteria- with a capacity of only 4 quarts. The food inside should be 3 inches thicker inside the container.
- You must quickly cool your hot food by placing a pan in an ice water and stir it regularly. If you want to cool something with larger quantity like a saucepan, and then make its smaller section into smaller containers.
- Try placing dates and label them properly, even if that food is going to be used within a week or two.
- Food items must be stored in the coolest part of the freezer until they are totally frozen.
- It is ok to thaw for some food like muffins, bread and other baked items to work at room temperature. Or else “Thaw” setting on the microwave can be used for the same.
- Try to make a use of your frozen food within 2-3 months.
- When freezing dairy items. You must keep in mind that it can be separated some when thawed. Cheeses with hard or semi-hard can be frozen with 8 to 16 ounces blocks that need to be wrapped in plastic, before keeping it in the freezer. After thawing also cheese will contain its characteristic and will get little crumbly and tastes the best on using it in cooked dishes. Some cheeses like cottage cheese and cream cheese are worst worked on storing. As blue cheese normally gets crumbly.
How long should a frozen food be kept?
What is the time span to keep the food fresh without making it icky to use? You must check the use- by date for foods that were purchased already frozen. The below is the FDA recommended timetable for other commonly frozen foods to maintain it optimum quality.
- Sausage and Bacon: 1-2 months
- Cooked Poultry: 4 months
- Uncooked Poultry parts: 9 months
- Uncooked whole poultry: 12months
- Uncooked ground meat: 3-4 months
- Uncooked Roasts: 4-12 months
- Frozen dinners and entrees: 3-4 months
- Soups and stews: 2 months
- Casseroles: 2-3 months
For that unlisted food, defrost it first and then check its quality. And smell it, food with some”off” smell should go out, as FDA. If it is not that good as it used to look but otherwise seems ok, then you can try it in soups or stews. In the case of raw foods, cook them first and if you taste it ok then you can use it.
More frozen facts:
Some facts those are unknown about frozen foods:
- Freezing a food at 0 degrees F makes the microbes inactive, but it does not kill them. On thawing, they may get active and multiply, under certain conditions.
- We all know water expands on freezing, fruits and vegetables with higher water contents cause their cell walls to break as the water inside expands. As a result, some thawed food contains a mushy structure.
- On turning off electricity, the door of the freezer should be closed. A totally loaded freezer has to keep a food fresh and frozen for 2 days without opening its door.
- There are many vegetables those can be cooked right away from the freezer, corn and cod are the exceptions, which needs to be half defrosted before.