Freezer Food Storage Tips, Temperatures and Timelines
Freezer food storage is the simplest method of preserving food.
It's not like canning where you have to learn a whole ton of rules to make sure you don't end up with food poisoning, or drying which drastically changes the texture and takes a lot of time.
You can start using your freezer for food storage right now, I'll bet you've got everything you need already sitting in your kitchen.
That said you still need to learn and follow some tips to help yourself get the best results possible.
First and foremost, make sure your only storing foods that freeze well. Most meats and carbs freeze well, fruits and vegetables will be softer in texture and dairy can be frozen but changes in texture too.
Next use proper freezer quality food storage containers to prevent freezer oxidation and freezer burn. Don't cheap out on containers, these are what keep your food appetizing.
I also recommend a freezer inventory sheet to help you keep track of what's buried in those frigid depths.
Proper organization is essential if you live somewhere with frequent power outs like the rolling black outs in California, hurricane ally or the weekly bird that must have hit the line somewhere within a forty square mile radius of Maidstone Sk (totally over it-I moved). It's also helpful when you're trying to find dinner and know it's in there.
Now make sure you freezer is set to the proper temperature. O F (-18 C) is perfect for long term storage. Use a thermometer too, don't just hope it's cold enough. Every 5 F degrees above 0 cuts your freezer food storage time in half!
Also know how long you can rely on freezer food storage. I use three simple rules of thumb to guide me with freezer food storage times.
Nothing over one year, if you haven't eaten it yet you probably won't. And if it's more than you'll need in a year share your abundance with others.
Second, anything that looks freezer burnt (if it looks it it is, no need to taste it) I throw out. Freezer burnt food won't make you sick, it's just not appetizing. And anything that smells wrong I throw out too. Another good reason to use proper storage containers, you don't want chocolate chip cookies that smell and taste like chicken curry.
Third I don't freeze more meals than I can use in three months, this keeps me cycling through my freezer inventory.
Learn more about the different make ahead meals techniques available and pick the one that's right for you.
Got questions? Ask me your freezer cooking questions and get answers.
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