When it comes to making dinner on busy weeknights, the freezer is my not-so-secret weapon. I use the weekend to blanch and freeze greens
or make extra batches of grains and beans
that I store in the freezer. So I'm probably way too excited about the Washington Post's tremendously helpful one-page guide on safely and effectively freezing, storing, and thawing foods.The guide includes information on everything from the best way to package foods before they go in the freezer to the various temperatures at which different foods freeze. The guide is thoughtfully laid out, packing in a lot of information without feeling overwhelming. Here are a few facts I learned:
• During a power outage, food stored in the freezer will last about 2 days (with the door shut). The guide also lays out what is safe to refreeze and what should be tossed once the power comes back on.
• The faster foods freeze, the better. Foods that are frozen slowly form larger ice crystals, which damage cellular structures and lead to a more watery product once thawed.
• Foods thawed in the refrigerator are safe to refreeze. All other thawing methods require that you cook the food soon after it has thawed.
Download the guide as a PDF and keep it as a reference — I'm printing it out and taping it to the freezer!
• Read more & download the guide: The big chill: A freezer guide at The Washington Post
Do you have any tips for better freezing?
Related: Make-Ahead Meal Idea: Freezer Burritos
(Image: Nicholas Piccillo/Shutterstock)