Tips to store your batch cooked meals
According to research, 40% of people batch cook in order to make their lives easier but when you’re eating food that’s been frozen, you need to take the proper health and safety precautions, so you don’t wind up eating undercooked or bacteria laden food, or spoiling all your hard work.
Along with the tips we’ve previously listed, there are a number of other things you should know to refrigerate or freeze meals and store them optimally. Read on and discover our essential tips to keep in mind when cooling or freezing batches of cooked food.
Tips for storing batch cooked food in the fridge
Always cover your dishes
Fridges maintain a low temperature and because of this storing food in them can cause meals to lose moisture. To prevent this from happening, you should always cover any food you refrigerate, whether that’s with cling film or the lid of a container, otherwise you’ll end up with dried out dishes that won’t taste good and will defeat your best culinary efforts!
Use shallow containers – and check expiry dates
Did you know that deeper containers mean it will take much longer for your food to refrigerate? Use the shallowest containers you can whenever you’ll be popping meals in the fridge, so they cool down quickly and stay fresher for longer. Depending on the type of food you’re refrigerating, you’ll only be able to keep it for between 1-2 days before it goes bad, so check the use by times of any meals you do cook, as well as the best before of any ingredients too.
Refrigerate within 2 hours
If you’ve just whipped up a batch of dishes and you need to store them in the fridge, make sure you do so within 2 hours of cooking, otherwise you’ll be encouraging nasty bacteria to grow. When it comes to refrigeration but not freezing, even if your dishes aren’t totally cold, it’s fine to pop them in the fridge – provided they’ve cooled to room temperature and you’ve left them to stand for at least 30 minutes.
Check the temperature of your fridge
The temperature of your fridge is of the utmost importance – to preserve food without spoiling, it needs to be at or below 5 degrees Celsius or 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s any higher, it will allow bacteria to thrive in your food and spoil it, so do check with a fridge thermometer to make sure the environment is optimum.