frozen food storage tips

Freezing food will keep it from spoiling, but the quality will still deteriorate over time.

Essentially, no food benefits from storage.

Be sure to properly package steak, fish, burgers, and chicken if you plan to marinate and freeze them. Plan to use frozen foods as soon as possible.

Here are some general guidelines for frozen food storage success.

Frozen Food Storage Tips for Success

For best results, package foods for freezing in bags or containers designed for freezers, or wrap food in foil or plastic bags.

Note that it is unsafe to freeze foods in cans or glass. Freeze only fresh foods, and don't refreeze foods. 

When preparing foods for the freezer, always make the fitting as airtight as possible around the item you're freezing.

When using freezer bags, push the air out slowly, starting at the bottom of the bag, and pushing your way up to the zipper.

Do not freeze meats in their supermarket wraps. These wraps are designed to breathe.

Remember, proper packaging prevents that icky freezer burn. It looks gross, but if you cut away the dry ("burned") areas, it's usually safe to eat.

Get in the habit of writing the date on your bags or containers and always try to use the oldest first. And remember to check your freezer temperature regularly to make sure it's between 0 F and 5 F. Don't rely on the little freezer gauge (1-5). Get a freezer thermometer instead. 

Freeze-Frame Foods: What's Safe, What's Not

Freezing foods helps keep them fresh, but they still won't last forever. Here are some general guidelines for frozen food storage:

  • Bread:                                         2 months
  • Butter:                                          9 months
  • French fries:                                 6 months
  • Fruits:                                           4 months
  • Ground beef:                                2 months
  • Guacamole:                                  3 months
  • Chicken:                                       6 months
  • Fish and shellfish:                         6 months
  • Ice cream:                                     2 months
  • Pancakes and waffles:                  2 months
  • Breakfast entrees:                         3 months
  • Vegetables:                                    8 months

Tips for Safely Defrosting Dinner

  • In the refrigerator: Thaw frozen meat overnight; large cuts may take longer.
  • On the countertop: Place meat in a watertight plastic bag and submerge in a bowl of cold water. Leave just until thawed, changing the water every 30 minutes. Cook or refrigerate promptly.
  • In the microwave: Use the defrost setting, then finish cooking immediately.
  • Place stews and soups, still sealed in a plastic bag, in a bowl or sink filled with hot water for 5- to 10 minutes or until it can be broken into pieces. 
  • Open the bag or container and put the pieces into a saucepan for stovetop heating, or in a microwave-safe bowl.
  • When reheating a frozen item, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water to the saucepan to prevent scorching.
  • Cover and heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring frequently. Bring to a boil for one minute to make sure it is thoroughly heated.

You might like these:

  • Fridge Odor Removal Tips

    Whether the sushi went south last month or you simply need to neutralize fridge odors, here's how to bring back a fresh, clean smell to your refrigerator.

  • Food Storage Tips

    Used correctly, your refrigerator provides safe food storage. Used incorrectly, it could cause big trouble. These refrigerator storage tips can help.

  • Food Shelf Life Guide: How Long Foods Last

    You know when the food in your fridge has turned: The lettuce is more brown than green. But what about other items? This guide to food shelf life can help.

  • Food Safety Tips

    Safe food handling can stop most germs and bacteria from multiplying to levels that can make you and your family ill.These food safety tips can help.

  • Deciphering A Food Label

    What does the "sell by" date on a food label really mean? How long is it good after that date? Here's help for deciphering the labels.

  • Kitchen Decorating Ideas

    Amid the congestion of the fridge and the stove, table and chairs, kitchens usually have little space for decorative touches. These decorating ideas can help.

  • A Clean Kitchen in 7 Easy Steps

    Kitchens are a potluck of dirt, grease, and germs. This 7-step method to a clean kitchen begins with decluttering, and ends with mopping your way out the door.

  • Kitchen Study Room Ideas

    These study room ideas can help you create a functional, efficient space for your child's homework efforts, whether that is in the kitchen, or elsewhere in your home.

  • Cleaning Small Kitchen Appliances

    You keep a nice clean house. But how long has it been since you cleaned your coffee maker - or any other small kitchen appliances?

  1. Clean Home
  2. Kitchen Sync
  3. Frozen Food Storage Tips


Have your say about what you just read!