Up next in Food Safety & Freshness (34 videos)
Prevent food poisoning and food-borne illnesses with the advice in this Howcast video series.
You Will Need
- Masking tape
- Permanent marker
- Freezer-safe plastic bags and containers
- Heavy-duty aluminum foil
- Cookie sheets
- A vacuum-sealing machine
Label foods before freezing so you will always know how old they are. Write the contents and date on a piece of masking tape with a permanent marker.
Know what not to freeze
Don’t freeze lettuce, soft cheeses, puddings, sour cream, yogurt, or anything with mayonnaise. They’re perfectly safe to eat, but their taste and texture deteriorate too much to be appetizing. Raw egg whites can be frozen, but yolks tend to become thick, making it difficult to blend them with whites.
Freeze leftovers with care
Put leftover pasta in a freezer bag and squeeze out all the air. For soup, line a bowl with foil, pour in the soup, cover and freeze it, and then remove it from the bowl and put it in a freezer bag. For one-dish meals like stews or casseroles, put them in a glass, plastic, or foil container. To really keep them fresh, cover the container in plastic wrap, and then wrap the whole thing in foil.
Blanch vegetables before freezing
Boil raw vegetables for a couple of minutes before freezing to stop enzymes from discoloring them and compromising their flavor. Consult a cookbook or recipe web site for boiling times for specific vegetables. Drain, place in freezer bags or containers, and freeze.
With berries, rinse, pat dry, spread them on a cookie sheet, and freeze. Once they’re frozen, transfer them to freezer-safe bags.
Freeze tomatoes as-is
Tomatoes can be frozen as-is—just rinse and dry them first. When you’re ready to use them, hold them under hot running water while they’re still frozen. The skin will fall right off.
Keep meat fresh
Freeze meat and poultry in their supermarket wrappers if you’re planning to consume them within a month or two. If you want to save them for longer, protect them in their packaging with an extra layer of heavy-duty foil.
Keep fish on ice
Put fresh fish in a freezer-safe bag or container, fill with water until the fish is just covered, and freeze.
Store nuts by double-bagging them.
If you freeze a lot of foods, consider investing in a vacuum-sealing machine, which extends their life by removing air from the packaging.