By Cat from Florence, SC
Air is deadly to freezer foods, exposing surfaces to eventual burn. A relative takes the air out of her foods before freezing by inserting the opened plastic freezer bags in a sinkful of water. Keeping the top slightly open, squeeze out as much air as possible using the water presure to help. Without getting water into the top of the bag, seal, and dry the outside of the bag before freezing. Works like a charm, and no expensive/electrical sealing machines needed!
It helps to use good quality plastic bags designed for the freezer. Don't bother using cheap thin ones. Nothing helps those.
Put freezer wrapped articles in a brown paper sack in the freezer. It really does the trick for me.
Use butcher paper to wrap them in. It is the paper that all meats, etc. used to come in from butcher shops, and it is the best way to prevent freezer burn on all things. You don't have to buy "special' tape, almost any will do. What I normally use is a huge tape of Walmart's duct tape which is the cheapest. Mainstays, I think it is called. These can actually be cut in two strips they are so wide, and makes it even more economical.
I am single, but buy family packs of meat as it's cheaper. I tear off pieces of paper, get the tape ready and put one edge on the oven "door opener," then I package a bunch at one time, mark what it is with sharpie and date it, and off to the freezer it goes!
The container should be air tight. There should be no open space around the product you have frozen. When I freeze single portions of food and put several into a ziplock bag, I wrap the portions in seram wrap before putting them into the ziplock.
Tips to help you prevent freezer burn. Post your ideas.
Eloise's idea of "residue" in the plastic bags is not something that I personally would worry about. The meat that I just froze in the plastic bag will be cooked and eaten later. There is too much to enjoy in this world without worrying about one little piece of "residue" in a reused plastic bag.
Items made with a sauce, soups, chilies, etc. are all items that will last for years in the freezer because air cannot get at the items. You can even put a layer of plastic wrap on the top of the soup/sauce before freezing to make it 100% air tight. (08/30/2005)
Now we buy the zip lock bags specifically made for freezing. They are much thicker and do a better job.
If you are going to freeze items for a very long time, place the item in the freezer zip lock bag, press out all of the air, then place that bag into another freezer zip lock bag, again press out all of the air. We do this with everything and we never have any freezer burned items. (09/15/2005)
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