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Quality freezer containers are the best investment you can make to keep your frozen food fresh.
There’s nothing worse than spending time and money on freezer cooking to cheapen out on containers and have to toss all that food in the trash when it gets freezer burned or oxidized.
The good news is that not all freezer safe containers are
expensive and you probably already have some, like aluminum foil or
freezer bags, on hand.
Containers for the freezer absolutely need to be moisture and vapor proof. The moisture-vapor barrier stops freezer burn, and keeps odors from spreading and stops oxidation by blocking oxygen that can cause meats to go rancid or fruit and vegetables to lose nutrients.
Look for items that say “freezer quality” or "freezer safe."
Containers should also be odorless, tasteless, grease-proof, water-proof, durable, resistant to low temperatures as well as being easy to seal, label and clean.
Try to keep both study, rigid containers, like plastic containers or metal pans, and flexible containers, such as freezer bags and aluminum foil, on hand for different types of foods.
It also helps to have some disposable bakeware that's freezer quality on hand for easy clean up and for gift giving.
Vacuum sealers are great for long term storage. They come with bags and you use the vacuum sealer to suck the air out of the package and get a nice tight wrap. They also allow you to see what is inside the package. These are ideal for anyone buying meat and produce in bulk to store in the freezer.
Silicone pans are relatively new on the market. They can
withstand very high and low temperature and are suitable for freezing
food and can go straight in the oven. They are very easy to use and
clean but can also be wobbly, a cookie sheet helps with this sort of
Because silicone pans are flexible you can pop out your frozen dish to store in a freezer bag and reuse your pan.
are the most versatile type of freezer container and can be used for practically anything. These are cheap, flexible and can be given away. Do not use freezer bags with sharp items such as the cut end on bones.
Glass bakeware containers must be freezer grade. Some types of glass can crack in the freezer. Properly graded glass containers can go from the freezer straight to the oven. These are also heavy and break easily, but are reusable and environmentally friendly.
Metal pans like those used for baking do ok in the freezer but it can be expensive getting a full set to cook with and to leave in the freezer. Can go straight into the oven without thawing your food. Line the pan with aluminum foil before adding your freezer meal and remove the pan during storage.
Rigid plastic containers range in quality and price but are good for freezing liquids. Choose the proper sizes for individual and family portions so that there is not excess air in the container with your food. Good plastic containers can go from the freezer to the microwave and are dishwasher safe.
Now there is also a brand of plastic bakeware that's safe for the oven too.
that are disposable freezer containers and a great option for meals you
plan to give away. Aluminum pans tend to be wobbly so use a cookie
sheet under the pan to give it stability when filling and moving to the
freezer. These are cheap enough to give away or throw away. They can also be reused if your budget is super tight. Plus, you can get foil lids for storage.
Aluminum foil is perfect for covering pans or wrapping something oddly shaped. My preference is to use it as an outer layer with plastic wrap inside to hold any juices or crumbs and as an extra layer in case the foil tears. Aluminum foil can be reused and recycled when it’s torn. This is one of the most versatile freezer containers and should in be every kitchen.
Freezer paper is like butcher or kraft paper but has a thin, flexible plastic side. This is great for wrapping sturdy things or anything that is awkardly sized and allows a nice tight wrap. Freezer paper is often used by butchers.
Remember, a good storage container keeps your food fresh and preserves nutrients. Not everything is suitable for storage.
Do not use regular waxed paper, plastic wrap or plastic bags for freezer storage. The plastic bags that breads come in and the stryofoam container wraped in plastic that meat is sold in at most grocery stores will not protect your food from freezer burn.
The better the freezer container, the longer food can stay in the freezer without loosing quality.
Think of containers for the freezer as an investment and slowly build up a large collection of the type that meets your personal needs.
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