Basic freezing equipment

Yield: 1 servings

Measure Ingredient


Except for the freezer and proper packaging materials, your kitchen is probably already supplied with most of the other pots, pans, and utensils you'll need for home freezing. Below is a guide to the tools and materials necessary for proper freezing of vegetables. And always remember that no matter how good your equipment, it must be spotlessly clean and sanitary while you work, to prevent bacterial contamination.

FREEZER CONTAINERS Preserving food by freezing is based on the principle that extreme cold halts the activity of microorganisms, enzymes, oxidation, and other changes that cause food spoilage.

Although it is not necessary that containers be hermetically sealed in freezing foods, the packages you use MUST be airtight, as well as moisture/vaporproof, odorless, tasteless, and grease proof.

The best package size for you depends on your freezer and your family. Pack food in containers that will take care of one meal. You can plan on two servings to a pint container; three or four servings from a quart size. It's quicker to thaw two single pint containers than one large container.

There are two kinds of freezer containers suitable for freezing foods at home. Rigid containers an flexible bags or wrappers. Some delicate vegetables like asparagus or broccoli might be damaged if packaged immediately after blanching. To protect them, these vegetables are tray frozen briefly before being packed in freezer containers.

RIGID CONTAINERS Rigid containers are best for vegetables or foods that are liquid or don't have a distinct shape. Rigid containers include plastic freezer containers with tight fitting lids or can-or-freeze jars with wide mouths and tight fitting lids. Square or rectangular containers use freezer space more efficiently than round containers or those with flared sides or raised bottoms. Freezer containers can be reused. Wash them and their lids in hot suds; then rinse, drain, and cool.

Can-or-freeze jars come in three sizes: ½ pint, 1 pint and 1-½ pints. Plastic freezer boxes come in 1 pint, 1-½ pint, 1 quart, and 2 quart sizes.

FREEZER BAGS AND POUCHES Bags made from polyethylene or heavy duty plastic or the new boilable pouches that can be heat sealed are also good for freezing vegetables. Liquid foods are safest in plastic bags that are then placed in protective cardboard boxes. Although bags aren't always easy to stack, they're great for tray frozen vegetables and bulky or odd shaped items.

Plastic freezer bags come in many sizes: 1 pint, 1-½ pints, 1 quart, 2 quarts, 1 gallon, and 2 gallons. You close these bags by pressing out the air, and either twisting the top and doubling it over, then wrapping the top several times with a twist tie; or by pressing out the air and pressing closed a zipper type top.

OTHER PACKAGING MATERIALS Never use empty plastic coated milk cartons or cottage cheese or ice cream containers for freezing since these aren't airtight enough to be reused as freezer containers.

Lightweight plastic wrap, butcher paper, and waxed paper aren't tough enough to protect food in the freezer either. Freezer wrap, specially laminated or coated freezer paper, heavy duty plastic wrap, or heavy duty aluminum foil, is seldom used for freezing vegetables. Save it for meats, fish, game, casseroles and cakes.

Source: Vegetable Gardening Encyclopedia Typos by Dorothy Flatman 1995 Submitted By DOROTHY FLATMAN On 09-28-95

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