Tips for storing batch cooked food in the freezer
Freeze individual components on a tray first
If you’re going to be freezing items like berries, cookies, or entrees such as canapes with creamy fillings, it’s a good idea to place them on a tray first, to let them freeze individually before transferring them to a container in the freezer. If you don’t do this, there’s a chance they could all combine together, ruining your efforts and causing you to have to try to separate them from each other before you can serve them.
Remove all the air from your storage containers before freezing
The containers you store frozen meals in must be airtight and this goes for freezer bags as much as it does for plastic containers. If you skip this step, your food will lose essential moisture and wind up with freezer burn – to avoid this happening squeeze out the air of any containers you’ll be using. If you won’t be filling up your bag or tub, it’s a good idea to place a piece of cling film or waxed paper over the top of your food, to prevent moisture escaping and minimise any exposure to the air.
Make sure your labels are freezer resistant – and note cooking instructions too
You’ll remember how we told you to label the batch of cooked food you store in your freezer – but you should also make sure the labels you use are frost and moisture resistant, or this will be a fruitless endeavour. It’s also a good idea to jot down the cooking instructions for when you come to heat meals up later, as this will save you a lot of time rifling through recipe cards or books.
Remember the golden rule – freezing once is good but freezing again is definitely not recommended. Not only does this degrade the freshness of your meals, it also encourages bacteria to form, which can mean you end up getting ill. To avoid this, make sure you portion correctly, allocating only as much as you will need to serve into one container. If you don’t do this, you’ll only wind up having to throw food away, which will defeat your time and money saving efforts.