CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Do you know the secrets behind properly freezing your food? Chef Secrets is Personal Chef Bill Collins from ChefBill.com, showed us the right way to do it!
Common Freezer Mistakes
When freezing anything, DO NOT:
Use only plastic (Saran) wrap or aluminum foil
Store meats in the styrofoam tray and pads they come in from the store
Freeze warm or hot foods…harmful bacteria can form
Freezing berries in a baggie, freeze individually before placing in a bag.
Poorly wrapping foods. That’s how crystals and freezer burn happen.
Tips: Freezing Fresh Produce
Not all produce freezes well. Vegetables often doesn’t freeze well. Peas and beans freeze well.
Fruit can (and does!). Strawberry season is here. Rinse your berries, and let them dry. Freeze them on a sheet pan, and not in a clump in a baggie. Once they’re frozen, you can then transfer them to a plastic bag (a Ziploc works well), and they’ll keep for up to a year.
When freezing foods, it’s more important HOW you wrap foods than for how long you freeze them. Use heavy-duty plastic bags, storage containers, etc.
Tips: Freezing Meats/Seafood/Poultry
Can you re-freeze raw meats after freezing once?
Technically, yes. You won’t get sick from this. But the quality can/will seriously degrade
NEVER thaw foods on your counter top.
Bacteria can and will develop. Thaw overnight in fridge.
Never keep cooked foods out for more than two hours. Bacteria can and will develop.
Freezer Storage Times
Breads & Desserts
Baked bread and cookies 3 months
Cakes, pastries & doughnuts 3 months
Muffins and quick breads 3 months
Pancakes and waffles 3 months
Cookie or bread dough 1 month
Fruits 1 year
Juices 1 year
Vegetables 8 months
Nuts 3 months
Dairy & Eggs
Ice cream 2 months
Butter 9 months
Cheese 3 months
Eggs (raw, not in shells) 1 year
Milk 1 month
Ground beef, pork & stew meats 4 months
Other beef (i.e., roasts, steaks) 1 year
Lamb and veal 9 months
Ham 2 months
Pork chops 4 months
Pork roast or loin 8 months
Bacon and sausage 1 month
Chicken and turkey (whole) 1 year
Chicken and turkey (cuts) 6 months
Ground turkey or chicken 4 months
Fatty fish (i.e., mackerel, trout) 3 months
Lean fish (i.e., cod, flounder) 6 months
Crab 10 months
Lobster 1 year
Shrimp and scallops (unbreaded) 1 year
Casseroles (cooked) 3 months
Pasta and rice (cooked) 3 months
Soups and stews 2 months