Freeze it and Save. Tips and tricks for maintaining your freezer and saving money on your food budget. #freezermaintenance #freezingfood #freezertips #foodstorage
If you’re planning on purchasing a new freezer, here are a few tips to think about first.
- Decide where you will put the freezer.
- Decide what size of a freezer that you need.
- Decide what style of freezer you want, upright or chest.
- Decide on what special features you want. *My view is the more special features that you add, the more that can go wrong with it and the special features cost more.
- Decide on a budget. If you can’t afford a new one check the classifieds or craigslist.
- More efficient, cold doesn’t escape as easily.
- Food keeps longer, because it’s more efficient.
- They are more economically priced.
- More freezer capacity.
- Easy to store bulky items.
- Lower profile.
- Food is more difficult to get to.
- Takes up a lot of floor space.
- Most are manual defrost.
- Takes up less floor space.
- Easy to relocate
- Food is easy to get to.
- Most come with automatic defrost.
- Energy costs are higher.
- Food gets freezer burn more easily from the automatic defrost.
- They are generally priced higher than chest freezers.
Here are some of the things that I’ve done that have made my freezer last for over 20 years.
The ideal temperature for your freezer is 0°F
or lower. FDA
Keep a thermometer in the freezer. Check it regularly to make sure that it’s maintaining temperature.
The freezer should be kept on a level surface
away from heat. Optimally it should be in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place.
To keep energy costs low, keep your freezer fully stocked. When your
stock is running low fill the empty space with milk jugs filled with water. *Use
the water jugs in your coolers for those summer outings.
If you are moving, be sure to let the freezer
sit unplugged for at least 3 hours before plugging back in. This will lengthen
the life of your freezer.
To save your food during a power outage, wrap your freezer
in blankets and don’t open it. The food should keep for about 3-4 days.
If your freezer unexpectedly goes out, check the
circuit breaker and the plug. Many freezers have been discarded when it was just a simple fix.
These are a few tips that will help preserve the flavor of food and the length of time.
Keep a pen and some labels near your freezer for labeling
and dating food.
To avoid food from spoiling, be sure to rotate items by
- To avoid bacterial growth, cool cooked food in the
refrigerator before freezing.
Avoid freezing anything that
contains artificial sweeteners, the flavor tends to get a little bitter.
Blanch vegetables (except potatoes and squash)
Red potatoes that have been cooked completely freeze the best.
Freezing causes the flavor of salt to get stronger.
Cut back on what your recipe calls for if you plan on freezing.
Freezing causes the flavor of some herbs to weaken, so add
herbs to frozen meals after they have been re-heated.
Avoid adding salt to raw meat before freezing. When
the salt is combined with fat it shortens it’s freezer life.
Freezing causes the flavor of some spices like
garlic and vanilla to weaken. Be sure to add a little more to your recipe if
you’re planning on freezing it. You can always add more, if needed, after the
dish has been reheated.
Freezing causes the flavor of onions to get
stronger. Cut back on what your recipe calls for if you plan on freezing it.
Freeze cooked meat in sauces or gravies to avoid the
meat from drying out.
Store extra ice in a brown paper bag, it keeps the ice
from sticking together.
To freeze soups, stews and sauces, place them in freezer bags and
then place the bag in a square container. Once they are completely frozen remove
the bag. The new shape will save space in your freezer and stack neatly. The
freezer bags also help avoid a messy kitchen, just drop the bag into a pot of
boiling water to heat up.
To avoid meat from getting oxidized or becoming
rancid use a FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer, or try wrapping it in plastic wrap followed by freezer paper or aluminum foil.
- Remove as much air as possible from the container or freezer bag before
freezing to avoid freezer burn. Use a drinking straw to help suck out the air.
- Try to avoid buying meat on Monday’s, it’s not
the freshest. Meat deliveries are usually made late Monday or Tuesday’s. The
meat that you find on Monday is what hasn’t been sold throughout the week.
- To avoid individual portions from sticking together when
freezing, flash freeze them first. To flash freeze place unwrapped portions, in
a single layer, on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the freezer for 20-30
minutes. Take them out of the freezer, place them in freezer bags and return to
- Milk can be frozen, I wouldn’t suggest using it for drinking but it’s great to use for cooking.