There are certain topics out there that we never think about. As my mother-in-law cleaned out her freezer this weekend, we all got a chuckle when she pulled out some ground beef with an expiration date of 2005. She swore it was still good because it was frozen the entire time. I swore that I may think twice before eating there on Thanksgiving.
Whether her meat was good or bad, it brings up an interesting and practical topic. How do you freeze food so it doesn't go to waste? Thankfully this topic was covered in great detail at a blog named, Former Fat Guy Blog.
I will share his section entitled, "The Basics of Freezing" but there is a ton more to consider and he goes through it all in a series of two full articles.
So that is probably 1/20th of the information included in The Ultimate Guide to Freezing Food at Former Fat Guy Blog.
- Freezing can retain quality, but not increase it. Begin with good quality food.
- Try to prevent air coming in contact with the food, and moisture from escaping. Both of these will dry things out, and can ‘burn‘ them in many cases.
- Freeze foods as quickly as possible. This will minimise the size of ice crystals that will form, limiting the damage to the food when thawed.
- Foods should be slightly undercooked when frozen if they are to be reheated when thawed.
- Only put as much food in the freezer as will freeze within the next 24 hours or so (usually about 2-3lb per cubic foot).
- Rather than freezing spices, add them just prior to serving a meal. They can change colour and flavour when frozen.
- Label things so you know when they were frozen, and when to take them out.