03 March 2011

Get the best out of your Freezer

Want to get the best use from your freezer? Chill out with a coffee and read this energy and time saving tips:

• Organize your freezer into sections for meats, vegetables, etc and label the drawers. You’ll reduce time spent searching for foods – the longer the door is open, the more money it costs you in energy.

• Sick of bashing bags of food like home-frozen veg or burgers on the worktop to separate them? Try the loose pack method. Spread the food out on a flat baking sheet and freeze it until firm – roughly one to two hours. Then, quickly bag the food and return it to the freezer. This should stop food from sticking together.

• Don’t overload with unfrozen food. Too much unfrozen food added to the freezer at one time slows down freezing times, reduces the freezer’s efficiency and can even ruin the food.

• Speed up freezing times. Spread unfrozen food in a single layer at the coldest point of the freezer. Small size, flat packages freeze and thaw the fastest. If possible, try to avoid storing unfrozen produce directly on top of frozen items.

• Full freezers are more efficient freezers. Fill any excess freezer room with plastic drink bottles full of water. The frozen water will both fill unused space and help keep a level temperature.

• Flatten ‘lump’ foods like pre-made dough or minced meats into sealable freezer bags and divide the flattened food, into something like a chocolate bar looks, by using a chopstick. That way, the food is easier to store and you can break off a chunk at a time to defrost and use,

• Frozen foods lose moisture if not adequately protected so packaging materials should be airtight, moisture proof and non-porous. Aluminium foil and freezer-safe plastic wrap are great for unevenly shaped foods, as they mold easily. Remember, standard plastic wrap looses its cling at freezer temperatures, so use freezer-safe plastic wrap, freezer tape or a heat sealer to seal it.

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