Learning how to freeze cooked foods the right way is important especially if you are someone who always has a busy schedule during the week. This means you can cook your food during the weekend and place it in the freezer and each time you want to eat you can always reheat the food. If you are interested in knowing the right technique to use when freezing cooked foods simply check out the article below.
Method for freezing cooked foods
NB: carefully follow these steps for the best results when freezing your food.
The first step is to cool the foods at room temperature before placing them in the freezer. To do this start by transferring your cooked food from the pan into a bowl or plate. This will help to protect the cooked food from absorbing residual heat from the pan. If you have a lot of cooked food then simply divide it and transfer it into shallow bowls this will help it to cool down faster. If you are planning on freezing cooked foods that are in liquid form then you have to give them a quick stir from time to time this will help heat to dissipate quickly.
When the food has cooled down simply transfer it into freezer bags. This is because freezer bags do not take up a lot of space in the freezer as compared to containers. Make sure you divide the cooked when placing it in freezer bags so that you can just simply take out the portion of food you want to reheat at that particular time instead of defrosting the whole bag.
The next thing is to label the freezer bags with the name of the food and date in which you are placing the food in the freezer. This will help you to keep track of when exactly the cooked food can expire. You can also indicate the number of servings per bag so that when you are reheating the cooked food you know exactly how many people can eat it.
Take the packaged cooked food and place it in the freezer. It can last for months depending on the ingredients that you used to cook the food.
Tips for freezing cooked foods
- When cooling food make sure you do not leave it exposed for a long period of time as it can become exposed to bacteria.
- When placing cooked foods in the freezer do not place them close to things like raw meat or milk. This is because these products can contaminate your food which can ultimately lead to food poisoning.
- Do not place hot food into the freezer. This is because it will cause the temperatures of the freezer to change thus affecting all the other foods in the freezer.
- Before sealing the freezer bag always take out as much air as possible from the freezer bag and this air can actually affect the food during the freezing process.
- Make sure that when you are placing the cooked food in the freezer it has a thin flattened shape and it is not round. This is because frozen food that is stored and attains a round shape is very hard to thaw in the middle so if you would love to thaw your food in the future then it’s best to make sure that it has a flat shape when you store it.
- Do not stack freezer bags until the cooked food has frozen. This is because if you stack the freezer bags there is a high chance that your cooked food will take a longer period of time to freeze.
- Once you have defrosted cooked food do not place it back into the freezer as this can ruin the texture and flavour of the food.
Cooked foods that you can freeze
There are a number of cooked foods that you can store in the freezer and some of which include soups and gravies. However, it is important to know that gravy that is made using corn-starch is likely to separate when placed in the freezer so make sure that you are freezing a gravy or soup that doesn’t contain corn-starch. You can also freeze things like pasta and rice in your freeze. Cooked vegetables, meat, fish and eggs can also be kept in the freezer.
How to thaw cooked foods
When food has been placed in the freezer it is important to thaw it so that it can reheat evenly. To thaw cooked foods simply take it out of the freezer and place it into the refrigerator. This is because if you thaw it at room temperature it will become exposed to bacteria since bacteria breeds on food that ranges between 40F to 140F. If you thaw frozen cooked food in the microwave it is important to reheat it right away to avoid food poisoning.
How to reheat frozen foods
It is important to always reheat frozen cooked foods before eating them. This helps to prevent you from getting sick. To reheat frozen foods simply use the same method that was used to cook the food. If the food was cooked on a stove simply reheat it on a stove. However, if you feel like that could take you a lot of time, simply reheat the food in a microwave although the texture of the food might suffer a little bit. When you reheat your food make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 165F. Serve the food while hot for the best results.
Rules of reheating cooked foods
- Never reheat cooked foods more than once as this may affect the texture of the food also it can cause bacteria to build up on the food.
- When reheating cooked foods make sure you are using the right method because if you use the wrong method you can fail to preserve the texture and flavour of your food.
- Cooked food should be reheated until it is piping hot or until it reaches 165F. This will help to kill all unwanted bacteria.