Freezing food for dummies

MrsCadbury

Full Member
S: 14st11lb G: 10st0lb
Please share your totally obvious, only an idiot wouldn't know, tips for freezing meals. :D

Are there any foods that are good for freezing or others that haven't worked out so well?

I was nosing around the diaries and I'm sure someone said they freeze their meals in foil containers. I'd never have thought of this and it's so obvious!

Someone else also talked about freezer burn. Had no clue that was even a thing.
 
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SlimmingKitchen

Gold Member
S: 9st11.5lb C: 8st12lb G: 8st10lb BMI: 22.7 Loss: 0st13.5lb(9.82%)
Hi hun

When I make batches of homemade soup I put them into strong freezer bags as this saves up loads of room in my freezer and I just write on the bag what flavour soup it is.

I also freeze things like leftover chilli, Bolognese, curry to eat at another time like the times when hubby is working nights and I have to have dinner alone.

Whenever I open tins of kidney beans or Sweetcorn I always find there is loads leftover so I mix them together in a freezer bag and freeze them for next time I make chilli or a broth.

I also freeze my bread as I don't eat much of it and that way it doesn't go off as I will just take a couple of slices out when I want them.

I looked up freezer burn for you as I didn't know what it was either and I got this....
Freezer burn, which produces dry spots on food, is the result of moisture loss and exposure to air. So be sure to wrap foods tightly, pressing out any excess air. (Cut any freezer-burned portions away before or after cooking).

Hope this helps.
Stacey xxxx
 

SlimmingKitchen

Gold Member
S: 9st11.5lb C: 8st12lb G: 8st10lb BMI: 22.7 Loss: 0st13.5lb(9.82%)
Also you may find this helpful.....

Don't Freeze These Foods
• Salad greens and crisp raw vegetables to be used in salads and sandwiches — such as celery, onions, and sweet peppers — will lose their crispness and become limp after freezing.
• Eggs in the shell will expand and crack the shell. Hard cooked egg whites will become tough and rubbery.
• Creamed cottage cheese will change texture, becoming grainy. Freeze only uncreamed or dry-curd cottage cheese.
• Sour cream will separate when frozen and thawed.
• Heavy or whipping cream will not whip high after freezing.
• Potatoes become mushy if frozen raw, and watery and tough if boiled and then frozen.

What cooked food is good to freeze?


Pasta sauces. You can take advantage of in season veggies to make pasta sauces in bulk.
Soups and Stews. Freeze these as meals as well as individual portions for work lunches. Stock is also perfect to freeze - either in ice cube trays or in 2-3 cup portions.
Meatballs, rissoles and patties.
Pies and sausage rolls. Great for unexpected visitors or an anytime snack.
Cooked Chicken. Can be used again on its own or in a sauce, soup or stew.
Cooked cakes, biscuits, bread and muffins. Bake a little extra each time you bake and you'll always have some rescue cake on hand. Uncooked biscuit dough also freezes well.


Know before you Freeze


You must let hot food cool down before you freeze. Heat will not only affect the ability of the food to freeze uniformly but also could raise the temperature of your freezer.
Cool precooked dishes as quickly as possible before they are placed in the freezer.
For fastest cooling, place the pot of hot food in an ice water bath - either in the sink or in a larger pan. If you're cooling a soup, stew or sauce, stir occasionally to help it cool evenly.
Once the dish is cooled, portion it into meal-sized containers. Label and date the containers so you're never left wondering 'What IS this?'. Place them in a single layer in the coldest area of your freezer until completely frozen. Rearrange as necessary later.


Freezing Tips


Poorly wrapped foods run the risk of developing freezer burn and unpleasant odors from other foods in the freezer. Follow these simple wrapping and container tips to ensure the quality and safety of your food:
If you can, use freezer bags or wrap; they will be stronger and more odor proof.
When freezing liquids in containers, allow a small amount of head room for expansion. When using freezer bags, be sure to remove as much air as possible before closing.
Wrap solid foods like meat and cakes tightly in alfoil before you bag them.
In most cases, raw meat wrapped by the butcher should be fine to freeze as is. However, supermarket meat in plastic trays should be bagged or wrapped out of the tray.
Freeze in small containers with no more than a 1-litre capacity to ensure that freezing takes place within four hours. Food that is 5cm thick will take about two hours to freeze completely.
When storing foods long-term, the freezer should be set at -18 degrees C.


How long can I freeze food for?


Tomato / vegetable sauces 6 months
Soups and stews 2 to 3 months
Lasagne and pasta bakes 6 months
Meatloaf, meatballs and patties 6 months
Pies and sausage rolls 6 months
Poultry (cooked, no gravy or sauce) 3 months
Poultry (cooked, with gravy or sauce) 5 to 6 months
Uncooked pizza dough 3 to 4 weeks
Bread and muffins 2 to 3 months
Un-iced cakes 6 months
Iced cakes 3 months
Raw meat 1 year
Cured meat 1 month


Thawing frozen food


With the exception of muffins, cakes and other baked goods, don't thaw food at room temperature. Bacteria can grow in the thawed portion of prepared food, potentially making it unsafe to eat even after cooking.


An exception here is frozen stock - you can put that straight into the pot in which you are cooking the soup, stew, risotto liquid or whatever you are using it for. To ensure that your food is safe to eat, follow one of these thawing techniques:


In the refrigerator: This is the slowest but safest thawing technique. Small frozen items might thaw in a few hours, while larger items will take significantly longer - overnight or longer.


In cold water: Place the frozen food in a leak-proof bag and place in a large container or sink of cold water.


In a microwave on the defrost setting: Plan to cook the food immediately after it has thawed in a microwave, because some areas of the food might have begun cooking during the defrost cycle.
 

MrsCadbury

Full Member
S: 14st11lb G: 10st0lb
Hi hun

When I make batches of homemade soup I put them into strong freezer bags as this saves up loads of room in my freezer and I just write on the bag what flavour soup it is.

I also freeze things like leftover chilli, Bolognese, curry to eat at another time like the times when hubby is working nights and I have to have dinner alone.

Whenever I open tins of kidney beans or Sweetcorn I always find there is loads leftover so I mix them together in a freezer bag and freeze them for next time I make chilli or a broth.

I also freeze my bread as I don't eat much of it and that way it doesn't go off as I will just take a couple of slices out when I want them.

I looked up freezer burn for you as I didn't know what it was either and I got this....
Freezer burn, which produces dry spots on food, is the result of moisture loss and exposure to air. So be sure to wrap foods tightly, pressing out any excess air. (Cut any freezer-burned portions away before or after cooking).

Hope this helps.
Stacey xxxx

Thanks very much.

Quick question about freezing bread. Do you put the whole loaf in the freezer in he bag it comes in? Is that easy to pick out a couple of slices? Or are you putting a couple of slices in individual freeze bags?
 

SlimmingKitchen

Gold Member
S: 9st11.5lb C: 8st12lb G: 8st10lb BMI: 22.7 Loss: 0st13.5lb(9.82%)
Thanks very much.

Quick question about freezing bread. Do you put the whole loaf in the freezer in he bag it comes in? Is that easy to pick out a couple of slices? Or are you putting a couple of slices in individual freeze bags?

I just put the whole loaf in the freezer. Usually I can snap a slice from it and sometimes a bash over the worktop helps too if it is a little stuck together lol xxx
 

xJoanneJJx

Gold Member
S: 16st6.0lb C: 13st5.5lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 30.3 Loss: 3st0.5lb(18.48%)
We freeze bread (full loaves in original packaging for other people in my house) I seperate my small loaves into 3 and just freeze them in carrier bags! I often freeze leftovers such as paella, curry, spag bol, meatballs in sauces, pasta bakes etc :) I either put them in small foil containers or small plastic tubs xx
 

MrsCadbury

Full Member
S: 14st11lb G: 10st0lb
Thanks for the replies. Very helpful.

Another bread question. When you take your bread out the freezer, do you take it out in the morning to eat that night or night before to eat in the morning? Do you leave it in a bag on the counter to defrost? Does it defrost well in the microwave?

I must sound really dumb. I remember when I first attempted poached eggs. Big sis and wee sis can both cook. I asked big sis how long to leave the egg in the water. She said "a few minutes until it looks ready". I gave her a blank look and wee sis said "she needs instructions down to how many seconds!". So embarrassing. I was about 25 at the time. :/
 

xJoanneJJx

Gold Member
S: 16st6.0lb C: 13st5.5lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 30.3 Loss: 3st0.5lb(18.48%)
Thanks for the replies. Very helpful.

Another bread question. When you take your bread out the freezer, do you take it out in the morning to eat that night or night before to eat in the morning? Do you leave it in a bag on the counter to defrost? Does it defrost well in the microwave?

I must sound really dumb. I remember when I first attempted poached eggs. Big sis and wee sis can both cook. I asked big sis how long to leave the egg in the water. She said "a few minutes until it looks ready". I gave her a blank look and wee sis said "she needs instructions down to how many seconds!". So embarrassing. I was about 25 at the time. :/


We just get it out whenever it's needed really! Generally, I'd say we get it out on an evening so that it's ready for the next day. I leave it to defrost in the packaging / bag. If it's needed urgently, it defrosts just fine in the microwave- just however many slices are required though :) xx
 

MrsCadbury

Full Member
S: 14st11lb G: 10st0lb
We just get it out whenever it's needed really! Generally, I'd say we get it out on an evening so that it's ready for the next day. I leave it to defrost in the packaging / bag. If it's needed urgently, it defrosts just fine in the microwave- just however many slices are required though :) xx

Brilliant. Thanks Joanne. Is it ok to freeze a couple of days after you've bought bread, before the use by date or do you think it should go in the freezer as soon as you've bought it?

Lately I feel like I have to use my HXb on bread as I've got to use it before it goes off. I will try freezing and defrosting. DH is quite picky with things like that though. I'll pull a sneaky and not tell him, see if he notices.
 

xJoanneJJx

Gold Member
S: 16st6.0lb C: 13st5.5lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 30.3 Loss: 3st0.5lb(18.48%)
Brilliant. Thanks Joanne. Is it ok to freeze a couple of days after you've bought bread, before the use by date or do you think it should go in the freezer as soon as you've bought it?

Lately I feel like I have to use my HXb on bread as I've got to use it before it goes off. I will try freezing and defrosting. DH is quite picky with things like that though. I'll pull a sneaky and not tell him, see if he notices.

I'm not sure on the proper answer but I always freeze bread on the day of purchase :) Maybes try seperating your HEXB amount of bread, then you have just the right amount when you want it! xx
 

SlimmingKitchen

Gold Member
S: 9st11.5lb C: 8st12lb G: 8st10lb BMI: 22.7 Loss: 0st13.5lb(9.82%)
Mum had a 'what is this?' moment over Easter. I took out something from her freezer that looked a bit like icecream - that had gone weird - a bit like clotted cream in texture. Anyway we defrosted it only to find it was mashed potato!!!!

Oh I do love a freezer surprise lol. I've done that many times where I've forgot to label stuff and didn't know if it was chilli, Bolognese or curry lol xxx
 

xJoanneJJx

Gold Member
S: 16st6.0lb C: 13st5.5lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 30.3 Loss: 3st0.5lb(18.48%)
Oh I do love a freezer surprise lol. I've done that many times where I've forgot to label stuff and didn't know if it was chilli, Bolognese or curry lol xxx

Freezer Roulette is what we call it at home! :D xx
 




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