Proper packaging is essential to protect and maintain the flavor, moisture content, color and nutritional value of food that is frozen. Select your container based on what is to be frozen, what is available and what works best for your. Vegetables and fruits should be frozen in smaller containers, no larger than one-half gallon. The larger the container the slower the freezing process, this can adversely affect the quality of the food.

The packaging you use should be:

  • Leak-proof
  • Durable
  • Moisture vapor resistant
  • Maintain its integrity at low temperatures
  • Prevent the absorption of odors
  • Resistant to grease/oil and water
  • Seal easily
  • Easy to mark

The two most popular and readily available home packaging materials are flexible bags/wrap and rigid containers.

Flexible Bags/Wrap

Freezer bags or plastic wrap work well for dry packed goods that have little to no liquid. In addition to plastic wrap, freezer paper and heavy duty aluminum foil are also suitable for this type of freezing. This method is perfect for irregular shaped foods, as the packaging can be as large or small to completely wrap the food. When purchasing bags or wrap be sure they are moisture/vapor resistant and are rated for low/freezing temperatures.

Freezer bags may also be used for liquids, but care must be taken when filling the bags. A variety of sizes are available with different closure types, the most popular being a zip style closure. When packing bags be sure to squeeze out as much of the air as possible.

Rigid Containers

Plastic and glass containers are also available for freezing and work better than flexible packing for liquids. Rigid containers are also reusable, thus more environmentally friendly. Containers that have smooth straight sides make the removal of frozen foods very easy. Be sure to use containers with snug fitting lids.

When choosing glass containers be sure to select those rated for freezing. Glass jars rated for freezing have been tempered to withstand freezing temperatures. If you are unable to find the tempered jars and opt to use standard canning jars, be sure to leave extra head space to allow for the expansion of the freezing contents. Ignoring this can lead to breakage and loss of your food.

Filed under: Freeze Fresh Tips

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