Freezer burn is one of the worst things that can happen to your meals stored in the freezer. Freezer burn occurs when thousands of tiny water molecules turn into ice crystals within the food. This causes the food to lose moisture and to have the “parched” look. Not only does the water escape and freeze, but also, oxygen gets into the pores of your food, causing the once-bright color to fade and the flavor to dissipate. Proper storage containers made for the freezer will help to reduce the amount of freezer burn your foods endure as well as save you money because less will need to be thrown out.
No matter where your container is going, whether it is on your kitchen counter, in your pantry or in the icebox, there are a few basic rules to follow in choosing the correct storage container for your needs. Important things to look for in the proper freezer containers:
- Air tight – Make sure your container has a good locking system and/or a rubber gasket that goes around the top in order to seal out air and moisture. This will slow the process of spoiling and also keep the contents inside fresh for a longer period of time because it locks air out of the container.
- Different sizes – The more sizes you have, the less space you waste. By filling a container up as much as possible, there is less room for air inside the container, which is what aids in the breakdown process. Not to mention, having different sizes, makes it convenient to stack, store and save different products; there is no reason to keep a cup of chicken broth in a container meant to hold a family portion of spaghetti.
- Easy marking surface – A surface that is easy to mark, erase, and mark again is extremely important. Having a good writing surface makes it easy to label what is in each container, especially if the containers are not translucent. This also aids in organizing your pantry and freezer since you can put like items together and even alphabetize them if you would like. If you can’t find a good surface to write on, you can use a streak of chalkboard paint around the container to make marking easier. I also lay one or two pieces of tape on the lid or side and will label with a sharpie. It’s very inexpensive and I can always add more tape if I need a wider surface for writing.
- Stacking ability – Many containers these days have locking lids, which means your foods will stack more safely as you lock the bottom of one container into the lid of the other. This is a great way to keep foods together and also keep your freezer from becoming a jungle of mangled frozen foods.
- Cooking with it – This one can be a little more pricey but it’s so convenient and also means less dish washing. I love my tupperware containers that I can take from the freezer, thaw in the microwave and then also reheat. My top love is a set that can even go in the oven, not sure they even sell it anymore. lol There are some glass sets that work great for freezing and then cooking. I don’t think anyone can go wrong by choosing the Pyrex 12-Piece Glass Bake Serve-N-Store Set. They have airtight lids and are microwave and oven safe (lids are not oven safe).
A good freezer container makes all of the difference when storing your food. If you don’t have a set of decent quality containers, go to the local store and pick some up, just remember, they don’t have to be expensive in order to meet all of the above criteria. Also remember to hit discount stores where you can buy many top quality brands for 50-75% less.
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