Freezing your food is one of the best ways to preserve your food for a long time preserving its nutrients and quality if stored correctly.
While foods that are continuously stored at 0 ° F or below They can be kept indefinitely, after a certain time they diminish their quality.
According to Food Safety, bacon, cold cuts and sausages retain their quality for 1 to 2 months; hamburgers and ground beef or chicken 3 to 4 months old; fresh red meat from 4 to 12 months; whole chicken or turkey for 1 years, chicken or turkey pieces for 9 months; soups and stews from 2 to 3 months; and leftover red or white meat cooked for 2 to 6 months.
Worst mistakes you make when freezing your food
1. You don’t use airtight containers
Proper packaging helps maintain quality and prevent freezer burns. Storing your food in containers or bags suitable for freezing that have airtight seal will prevent your food from being burned, dehydrated and oxidized in contact with air.
2. You do not leave free space in the container
You should leave enough clearance of at least one inch for the food to expand.
3. You put glass jars directly in the freezer
Glass in jars can break when the temperature changes too quickly. Place the food in the refrigerator overnight before transferring it to the freezer.
4. Do not blanch vegetables
Blanching vegetables in boiling or steaming water for a short time is essential so nearly all vegetables are frozen, according to the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
The blanching process stops the actions of enzymes that can cause loss of flavor, color, and texture. Bleaching cleans the surface of dirt and organisms and helps slow the loss of vitamins. Blanching time varies depending on the vegetable and its size.
5. Freeze defrosted meat
Re-freezing meat that you have thawed is only safe in some cases. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) notes that raw or cooked foods that are thawed in the refrigerator are safe to refreeze.
6. You wait too long to freeze food
You shouldn’t wait too long to freeze your food. Bacteria can multiply rapidly at room temperature or in the “Danger Zone” between 40 ° F and 140 ° F. Do not freeze any food left out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours or 1 hour in warm temperatures (above 90 ° F).
7. Don’t label the food
If you do not label your foods with the names and the dates they were frozen, it will be difficult for you to identify the foods that you should consume next or that can wait according to their quality time.
8. Freeze in large portions
Large portions of food take longer to freeze and then thaw and prepare. Freezing food as quickly as possible helps maintain its quality. It prevents large ice crystals from forming in the product, which damage cells and dissolve emulsions during thawing.
Separate foods into meal-size portions. Ideally, a 2-inch-thick food should freeze in about 2 hours.
9. You don’t check the temperature of your freezer
Your freezer should be at 0 ° F or below for the safe storage of your frozen foods. Sometimes the refrigerator may not be set to the required temperature, other times the refrigerator temperature gauges may not be accurate.
Check the refrigerator temperature with an inexpensive standalone appliance thermometer. You can buy it at online stores or at home supply stores.
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