The following is a guest post from Ana.
Ten Simple Ways to Organize the Freezer
1. Sort the items you want to freeze. One way of grouping them is according to the type of food: vegetables, meats, soups/sauces, deserts… Whatever makes sense to you. Choose a section in your freezer for each of these groups.
2. Pack all your cooked food into waterproof packages. They can be plastic containers, freezer bags, aluminum foil, ice cube trays, etc. Ice cube trays can be really good for baby food size portions, or for any small portions you need. When frozen, you can remove the ice cubes and put them in a container or freezer bag.
3. Make sure there is no air in food packages. Squeeze out all excess air from the bags, foils, wrappings, etc. Air in food in the freezer causes freezer burn which doesn’t make the food dangerous to eat, but does make it inedible.
4. Pack the food in serving sizes. That way you can take one serving size out when you want to eat it, without thawing large quantities of food that might go bad before you have time to use it.
5. Label each food package with appropriate labels that can withstand freezing conditions. The information on the label should contain the name of the food, the date it was frozen, possibly the latest date you should use it by, and any additional information you might want to write down (the amount of that particular serving size, any special ingredients, etc.).
6. Put the oldest food up front. Any new food you add should be stored behind the older food. That way food is not likely to go beyond its “use by” date.
7. Make sure your freezer is set to 0°F.
8. Never put warm food inside the freezer. Make sure it’s completely cold, because warm food may raise the temperature inside the freezer, partially thawing and damaging other food that’s already frozen.
9. Slowly thaw inside the refrigerator. I’d recommend you take out your next meal the night before, so that way it has time to thaw evenly, retaining all the nutrients, moisture, texture and taste it had at the time of freezing.
10. Keep an inventory list of your freezer stuck to your freezer door. Write down where each section or group of food is located, what kind of food you have in each section/group, how many items of that particular food you have, and the latest date you have to use it by. Check off each package as you take it out of the freezer to use it. That way you always know what you have inside, and you don’t waste any more time planning.
For more freezer inspiration check out:
- Organized the Freezer with Recycled Containers
- Organize the Freezer With Wire Shelves
- Dry Erase Freezer Inventory
Ana Brady is a working mom of two, and a member of a creative group that recently finished their freezer label project. Ana likes to write about nutrition, healthy living, family life, and similar topics.
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stacey @ www.gettingthroughtheday.com says
This is great! Thanks! I do a lot of freezer cooking and can have a messy pile of frozen meals in there! I am guilty of not labeling and I know it’s going to bite me one day! This is good motivation