The growth of bacteria in food is halted at temperatures less than zero. This means that we can store all types of food for longer periods of time if we make use of our freezer. Contrary to popular belief, all types of frozen food are safe. Some many not taste right when you eat it, but it will not harm you in any way. The only exceptions to the ‘freezing’ rule are that you are unable to freeze eggs that are in shells or canned goods. The main reason for this is that water expands when it is frozen, it will therefore cause the egg or the can to expand, and this of course isn’t a pleasant experience. So here’s a look on how to freeze.
Why Should People Freeze?
The answer is simple, it saves money. Think about all those meals you prepare for your family, wouldn’t it be a shame to see it all go to waste? Why not throw the left overs in your deep freeze and have it at a later date. There are plenty of freezer recipes out there. Many people also freeze spaghetti sauce so that they always have a quick meal to hand if they so wish. All you need to do is add your spaghetti and mince, these sauces can be cooked up in large batches at a very low cost which of course makes them ideal for freezing. Why not also try and freeze items such as bread which has a very low shelf life?
What Not To Freeze
You can freeze cooked food, although it is not ideal, especially in the case of meats. The reason is that what you are actually freezing is the water within the food, cooked food loses some of its water content and therefore is incredibly difficult to freeze effectively, although that’s not to say that it can’t be done however.
Freezing is incredibly simple to do. You should be able to freeze foods at any stage before they start to turn. The best foods to freeze however are those that are at the top of the game quality wise, these will taste a lot better once they have thawed out. It is worth noting that freezing does not kill bacteria within the foods and merely makes it dormant. You therefore need to handle thawed food with great care as those bacteria will become active as soon as the food unfreezes.
Where To Freeze
If your freezer has a quick freeze shelf then I suggest you use it. The reason for this is because it stops ‘crystals’ forming on the frozen products which will impair the taste once it is unfrozen. If the freezer door is regularly opened then I suggest you only store the food for short periods of time. If you are looking to get into freezing a bit more then you can do no better than purchasing a deep freeze. If you only access this whenever you need to then your food will stay better for much longer.
When the time comes to use your food you will need to plan well in advance. Many foods will thaw out over-night whilst others will need a few days. You should never defrost items in exposed areas. The only three acceptable ways to thaw food are:
- The microwave
- The refrigerator
If you are using the microwave then you will need to cook as soon as possible after as the bacteria will begin rapidly expanding due to the heat. You should be able to gauge whether food has been frozen for too long based on the look and smell of the food, it may be safe to eat but in these cases I suggest discarding it, you could however use it to make a lovely stew or hearty soup.
Freezing is one of the best methods for saving money in this day and age you will be surprised at the amount of savings you can make by cooking up large batches of food at one time and freezing half.
This is part 1 of a 10 part series called How to Freeze. Coming up next….. How Long Can It Keep in The Freezer?