Tuesday Tips: Make the most of your freezer

tips on how to use a freezer


Freezing and defrosting or making the most of your freezer

What would we do without our freezer? It is not only handy, but can save on labour too. Freezing leftover portions of food, until you have enough for everyone to have a cook-free night, makes huge sense. Great for always having some food in stock and for preserving fresh food, especially meats. Here are a few tips that may help in making the most of your freezer.

Things that don’t freeze

Most fruits don’t freeze too well. Even frozen fruit from the supermarkets, which have
been specially frozen, come out a bit mushy. Leafy veg and salad does not fare well. I find that freezing blocks of cheese causes them to loose flavour and become quite crumbly. Cream seems to change texture and go thick. Dishes containing cooked eggs become rubbery when reheated. Shellfish are OK to freeze when fresh, but not when cooked, and reheating them can be a bit dodgy.

Good things to freeze

  1. Make double portions of things like soups, Spag Bol, chilli, stews, etc.
  2. Spare container of milk, but not when in a glass bottle.
  3. Bargains from the supermarket. When I shop for meat and fish there is often an offer, such as£4.00 each or buy 3 for £10.00, which is worth going for and freezing the ones I don’t need. Even when shopping online you can press the ‘bargains’ button to see what’s on offer.
  4. All meats and fish survive the freezer well. Whole joints, or chickens, need longer to defrost but the flavours are not spoiled at all in the freezer.
  5. Leftover portions of meals, rather than someone eating more than they need. Just freeze the leftovers and use when there is enough for a good meal.
  6. If you have some leftover ends of bread, make them into breadcrumbs and pop them in a freezer bag for when you need them.
  7. Cakes and cookies. Some recipes allow for freezing cookie dough before it is cooked so that you can have fresh cookies whenever you want them. Not that cookies ever get stale in my house!
  8. Bread is great to freeze. If I have a sliced loaf, I just get out what I need for a particular meal and pop the rest back in the freezer. It defrosts very quickly in the microwave.

How to defrost your food.

Here are three ways to safely defrost food:

  1. The easiest way is to take the food out of the freezer the night before and leave it all night in the fridge.
  2. If you are in more of a hurry, then put the food in a plastic bag or keep in the covering it has been frozen in. Place in a large bowl of cold water, changing the water every hour or so until the food is defrosted.
  3. Defrost in the microwave on a defrost setting. I would not recommend this for whole chickens, or larger pieces of meat, as the outside of the food begins to cook in the microwave. For the same reason, if you do defrost in the microwave, cook the food immediately.






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