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7 common mistakes people make when using a freezer.

7 common mistakes people make when using a freezer.
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Whether you have a big family or not, a freezer is handy and a must for many people. We simply can't do without it. It allows you to store a multitude of foods for longer, prepare meals for later, etc.

But to get the most out of this appliance, you have to know how to use it well.

Here are the mistakes to avoid when freezing your food, according to Protégez-vous, who asked nutritionist Stéphanie Côté about it.

1. Overcrowding the freezer

Having trouble closing the appliance door or praying that nothing falls on you when you open it is a bad sign. If the freezer is too full, it will lose efficiency. It is then not functioning to its full potential.

According to the nutritionist interviewed, the device is most effective when it is 3/4 full, because cold air must circulate to maintain the right temperature.

It is recommended to freeze several small dishes instead of one large one when storing leftovers. 

2. Freeze food in original packaging

The packaging from the grocery store lets in too much air in. It is better to turn to containers designed for freezing, such as plastic bags, plastic dishes or even aluminum foil.

Note that yogurt pots with the recycling symbol 2 and 5 and glass dishes can also do the trick. On the other hand, with glass, you have to be careful with the shock of temperatures when defrosting (so that they do not crack).

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3. Fill the dishes to the edge

To freeze soup, for example, do not fill the container to the edge. Otherwise, during freezing, liquids, which expand, may break the containers due to lack of space, especially with glass. 

4. Freeze hot dishes

It would be a mistake to rush to put a sauce or a soup that are still hot in containers and immediately put them in the freezer.

This will decrease the efficiency of your appliance, so it is best to wait until the food has cooled.

Still with the example of soup, let it cool in the pot, before transferring it to the freezer containers. But it should not stay more than two hours at room temperature.

In addition, one should avoid freezing food twice, as this can be conducive to the formation of bacteria. On the other hand, a meat thawed and then cooked, may find a place in the freezer again.

5. Defrost on the counter

Thawing frozen items on the counter is not recommended as bacteria can grow. However, you can do this with foods that can be stored at room temperature, such as bread or muffins.

The safest way to proceed is to put the dish in the refrigerator. You can do it in cold water, but the fridge is ideal.

As a last resort, you can use the microwave. Most microwaves have a defrost function, but this can dry out or partially cook food.

However, frozen meals, such as lasagna or chicken, can be put in the oven straight away, as long as the cooking time is adjusted accordingly.

6. Don't follow up on frozen foods

When it comes to eating a frozen meal, you should go with the one that's been in there the longest.

Ideally, food is stored for one to two months in the refrigerator's freezer and three to four months in a deep freezer. Longer, there is a risk of loss of flavor and texture.

The temperature maintained in a refrigerator freezer should be -4 0C to -10 0C and -18 0C to -24 0C in a domestic freezer.

When placing a new food in the freezer, you should put it in the bottom and advance the ones that are already there. It is best to identify dishes by indicating the date of freezing with a Sharpie pen or label. You can also draw up an inventory on a sheet posted nearby.

7. Not defrosting the freezer

If a freezer does not have the automatic defrost option, it should be defrosted once or twice a year. Because, over time, frost and snow form and this compromises the operation of the appliance and therefore the preservation of the food it hosts.

You must remove the food, unplug the appliance and remove the ice with a scraper or hot water. Then do a deep cleaning and put the food back in place.

Are you already following all of these tips?

Source: Protégez-vous · Photo Credit: Adobe Stock

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