6 storage tips for filling the super-useful freezer
We’re all guilty of throwing things in the freezer wherever we find space, only to have the frustrating experience of trying to dig and unearth it later. Looking into an organised freezer, on the other hand, will put you at ease – things are packed correctly so they last longer and won’t go to waste – and you know exactly where everything is. Here’s a few top tips to ensure you get the most out of your freezer storage:
1. Know what’s freezable
Avoid the urge to pop everything and anything in the freezer – you could destroy more than you preserve. Some foods just aren’t meant to be frozen. Fruits and vegetables with a high moisture content (lettuce, cucumber, apples and grapes) and dairy products are best kept out the freezer. Rather store them in the fridge and replace regularly. Bread, berries, nuts, fish and stews, on the other hand, are some of the more freezer-friendly products.
2. Freeze usable portions
After a long day of shopping it’s tempting to throw the whole packet of meat into the freezer, but you’ll regret the shortcut when you need just a few pieces and have to deal with thawing a giant frozen lump. Take the time to separate food into individual portions in containers or freezer bags. Separate bread slices into portions before freezing – rather than thawing a whole frozen loaf to get the slices you need.
3. Use the right material
It’s important to use containers and bags designed to survive the freezer – thick enough to preserve food while keeping the moisture in. Containers or bags should be durable to withstand the chill, and if you’re using glass, ensure it’s labelled for freezing. Find containers and bags just the right size for your portions to save space. Remember food can expand, so leave space in the container or bag.
4. Stash strategically
Remember to wait for hot food to cool down before freezing. Freeze things flat, like bags of stock or soup, as they’re easier to organise or stack upright. It’s advisable to leave space around containers in the freezer so cold air can circulate – it will also accelerate freezing.
5. Organise your freezer
Invest in tubs for each particular food and label accordingly, to make it easier to find food items. Re-organise your freezer regularly so the oldest items are on top. Frozen foods can be stacked but the piles will eventually get heavy and it’ll be harder to find what you’re looking for. You definitely don’t want frozen packages falling on your toes – ouch.
6. Labels make everything easier
If you label, you’ll never have to guess what’s inside. Avoid having to open up a ton of containers to sniff and find out what it is. Make things easier and save time with accurate labels and use-by dates.