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How to Freeze Food

Freezing is a quick, easy way of storing foods for future use. As handy as freezing is, however, it is a good idea to take some care in preparing foods for freezing to minimize and slow down the deterioration in the quality of food. The finished quality of the prepared food will depend on the original quality before freezing, the care the food receives during freezing, and the techniques and times used for defrosting. Select fresh, good quality food and freeze as soon as possible after purchasing.

Heavy duty plastic bags and freezer wrap are suitable for use in the freezer. Meats may also be frozen in their store packaging for short periods of time. When wrapping for freezing, instead of stacking them up, arrange meat, poultry, fish and seafood in thin uniform layers to ensure uniform and faster freezing. Bear in mind that f oods that freeze faster will keep better . Package minced meat in 2.5 to 5cm thick rectangular, square or round shapes. Remove giblets from fresh whole poultry (the giblets may be frozen separately, if desired). Clean and dry poultry; and tie legs and wings with string.

Remove as much air as possible when wrapping foods for freezing. This it to prevent moisture from getting in which might cause "freezer burn" when the moisture evaporates from the surface of the food. As the result, foods will become dry, unappetizing and taste funky. One method to remove air from a zip-lock bag is to immerse it in a basin of water. Air will be forced out creating a semi-vacuum condition in the zip-lock back as the result of water pressure in the basin. Seal the bag before removing it from the basin of water.

Label package using a masking tape with type and cut of meat, date and weight, if desired.

Freeze food in a freezer which is maintained at -18°C or lower. In these temperatures, food is considered thoroughly frozen after 24 hours.

As early as 600 BC in the province of Shanxi, China, food are refrigerated by putting it within blocks of ice in underground pits.


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Last Modified: 11/28/11.