Freezing food is an excellent way of preserving it and locking it in flavor and freshness. Buying higher quality and fresher products will freeze longer and better than ingredients of mediocre quality. The following are some of the ways to make sure you have an organized and healthy freezing process.
Cool it down
Before you can start freezing the food you have cooked, it is important that you cool it down quickly and very fast to prevent bacteria from growing. The best way of doing this is placing the containers of warm food inside an ice bath or a container full of ice cubes and water. Wedge the food containers into ice and keep stirring occasionally. Stirring makes sure that even the center of the food also cools. You will know the food is cool by using a thermometer to read the exact temperature of the food.
Dry it off
Before you freeze your food, make sure it is dry and cool. This will allow it to freeze faster, lower the amount of condensation as well as drip loss during defrosting. When defrosting ensure the food is in a container more so if it is proteins such as chicken. This ensures that any moisture collected in the pan is cleaned to prevent any cross-contamination and that the workspace is healthy. Paper towels work well when drying your food. Small fans can also speed up the process.
Label and wrap
When freezing food ensure you wrap it well or put it in a container that is freezer safe. The goal is to isolate your food from the freezer’s atmosphere, sealing the wrapping around to keep out air as much as possible. Plastic wraps are thin and can crack while in the freezer so use heavy duty ones when wrapping the food.
Freezing the food
Freezer containers and microwave plastic wraps used in microwaves are good for protecting your food. When packaging the food ensure you get rid of air and label everything with whatever it is and the date you start freezing it, and the date it goes bad. Most people assume seven days as sufficient for expiration.
For semi-liquid and liquid foods use freezer jars and freezer friendly containers. Liquids expand by over ten percent when they freeze, so leave a one-inch headroom when packaging and freezing purees, soups and stews. After your food has cooled, place a plastic wrap on the surface directly and put the top on the container.