Storage /Packaging — Freezing Part 2: Don’t Touch The Neighbors!

May 8, 2022

Don’t let the neighbors touch each other at the beginning.  Otherwise, you will find yourself in big trouble – soon.

Before you know it, they will get stuck. And, it will take forever to separate them, and it could ruin them all.  Not good.

I’m talking about freezing food.  Things like bacon, extra gyoza dumplings, those chicken breasts and drumsticks you bought on sale, but can’t finish.

One idea is to wrap them individually with plastic wrap, but there’s an easier trick, one especially helpful for things that are difficult to wrap.

It really is a pain to handle all the food stuck together.  Pretty much the only choice is to thaw the entire thing, and the rest often ends up in the garbage. Unless you manage to cut it off or smash it off, which takes a lot of time and frustration.  Not good.

With a little planning, you can avoid all that, and create a happy neighborhood in Freezerville.

Lay all of the individual pieces to be frozen on a cookie sheet, lined with a sheet of parchment paper or a silicon pad, making sure that they are not touching each other.  Otherwise, unlike human neighbors, you can guarantee these food neighbors will get stuck really badly, especially if they have moisture on them.

Once they are partially frozen, you can take them off the cookie sheet, and put them in a Ziploc bag. Be sure to label the bag with the content and date.

Then when you need to use them, all you need to do is grab whatever you need, no more, no less and thaw.

One exception is things like herbs, or chopped green onions.  Make sure to dry them well first, then put them directly into a Ziploc bag.  Their surface is small and thin, so it won’t become solid even when they are frozen, and even if they get stuck, it’s easy to break them up.  I grab some frozen parsley leaves, and mince them and add to food… They are so thin, it thaws while you are chopping.

With this rule, everyone will be happy in Freezerville.

Technorati Tags: Freezing,tip,easy,cooking,freezer,silpat,exopat,silicon pad,parchment paper,cookie sheet,ziploc bag,herb,parsley,gyoza,chicken,stuck

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brenda June 16, 2022 at 11:10 am

I don’t have the freezer space for a cookie sheet to lay flat. Last time I froze banana slices, I put the slices in an ice cube tray. It worked great and I could stack them for extra room.

2 Mari @ Secrets of a Kitchen Wizard June 16, 2022 at 2:46 pm

Hey Brenda, thanks for the tip. Ice cube tray is a great idea — you can even keep them in until you are ready to use. (Or how about nice cold banana juice with them! Yum!) For things that are larger (gyoza, burgers, etc.), you can use anything flat that can go into the freezer, ex. a plate, tupperware lid, etc. You can even use the top of the ice cream box lined with a sheet of foil/wrap/parchment paper. Be sure to set the timer at 2-3 hours, and put them in the freezer bag when partially frozen.

3 Chris June 18, 2022 at 12:04 am

Great idea about not touching the neighbors! At first I thought you were talking about me! Just kidding… I like the idea of partially freezing first, especially the parsley and other herbs. I always use a tiny bit of my parsley bunch and end up throwing the rest of the bunch in the compost. Brilliant idea!

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