The Basics of Freezing Food

Follow these tips to make your food storage more freezer-friendly.
86529611

86529611

Hands writing date on bag of food

Photo by: Jupiterimages

Jupiterimages

Hands writing date on bag of food

1. Let hot foods come to room temperature first. This will help to freeze food uniformly and prevent opportunities for spoilage. Hot foods may also warm and damage the other contents in the freezer.

2. Leave room for expansion in covered containers. This is particularly important in freezer-safe glass containers, which may explode or crack when used improperly. A general rule of thumb is to leave about an inch between the surface of the food and the lid. Never freeze glass that is not labeled as freezer safe.

3. Press out all the air when wrapping foods. Freezer burn is caused by air coming in contact with frozen food.

4. Invest in special freezer-specific wrappings for long-term storage. These products are designed to prevent freezer burn and the breakdown of food textures and flavors. However, for short-term storage, regular plastic wrap and bags will do.

5. Label and date your food. Use the oldest options in your freezer first, as the longer food has been frozen, the higher the chance of freezer burn.

6. Don't overload the freezer. Filling it to maximum capacity may prevent proper air circulation, making it difficult to maintain a temperature of at least zero degrees, which is necessary to keep contents frozen.

Freezer-friendly recipes:

Keep Reading

Next Up

100 Greatest Cooking Tips (of all time!)

Food Network Magazine asked top chefs across the country for their best advice.

How Long Food Lasts in Your Pantry

Consider this your essential guide to knowing what stays and what goes next time you clean out the pantry.

5 Ways You're Being Set Up by Your Supermarket

These sneaky tactics help supermarkets have consumers do their bidding.

5 Kitchen Tips You'll Never Forget

Up your game in the kitchen by putting these clever lessons into practice immediately.

What You Need to Know About Nonstick Cookware

Using coated pans means having a different set of cooking rules and expectations.

7 Habits of Smart Supermarket Shoppers

Practice these good habits to spend less time and money at the store.

The Dos and Don'ts of Shopping for Meat at the Supermarket

Follow these tips to be sure you're taking home a choice piece of meat.

5 Things To Know About Your Refrigerator

Foods like raw meat and dairy are only as good as the environment in which they're stored. A refrigerator in tip-top condition provides prime storage conditions for your perishables and stops odors and bacteria from flourishing.

At Your Disposal: How to Use Up Kitchen Waste

Chefs tell Food Network Magazine how they use perfectly good ingredients that the rest of us throw away.

How to Clean Any Stainless Steel Kitchen Countertop Appliance

Follow these easy steps for cleaning stainless steel kitchen appliances that sparkle like new.

Get Cooking