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The rules for properly freezing food

Frozen foods

Many times you have happened to freeze some leftovers, so you have something quick for lunch: here are the tips to properly store food in the freezer.

Often for convenience we prepare larger portions to freeze them and always have something ready for a meal on the fly, or we put away leftovers so as not to waste food. But are you sure you are doing it right? It is in fact very important to follow some simple rules to better preserve the foods we freeze and not to alter their nutritional properties.

Freezing of food

The freezing process consists of bringing the food to a temperature of around -15 ° C in a rather long period of time, close to 24 hours. Unlike freezing, which is instead an industrial process, the act of freezing food allows the formation of ice macrocrystals that break the cellular structure of food, with consequent loss of its nutritional properties.

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To minimize this risk, just follow a few tips. First of all, there are foods that cannot be frozen : those that are too rich in water or fat lose their consistency and even their flavor. Green leafy vegetables, cucumbers, tomatoes , watermelon and melon are some of the foods that are best eaten fresh. Watch out for eggs too : they explode in the freezer!

How to freeze meat and fish

With the exception of foods with a high water content, fruits and vegetables can be safely frozen. For meat and fish, however, some extra attention must be paid. If you want to freeze steaks , for example, you should first degrease them and avoid them being too thick. The meat can be kept in the freezer for a period ranging from 3 months (minced meat) to 6 months (poultry).

The fish must be very fresh at the time of freezing, because otherwise it risks being contaminated with dangerous bacteria. Furthermore, it must be well cleaned and eviscerated, washed with running water and dried. Fish can be kept for up to 6 months , while molluscs should be consumed within 3 months.

Even the bread is often frozen: in this case it is better to wrap it in aluminum foil, to ensure its freshness. The fresh pasta instead should be put in the classic freezer bags, using flour or semolina to prevent it from sticking.

Freeze cooked food

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Of course, you can also freeze already cooked food, so that you only have to reheat it as needed. It is important first of all not to use ingredients that have been frozen in their turn, but only fresh products. Arrange the cooked dishes in special glass or plastic containers, or in disposable aluminum trays.

Remember also not to put hot food in the freezer : in fact they lower the surrounding temperature and risk compromising the shelf life of the other foods already present. Before freezing, wait until the food is at room temperature . Cooked products keep longer, up to about 12 months.

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