The key to avoiding freezer burn is minimizing the moisture loss from your freezer meals.
It’s the age-old struggle of working adults everywhere; balancing a job, family life, and trying to eat healthy in the process. For those of us who want to try and save time and money by meal prepping, make-ahead freezer meals is a great choice! However, it can also be very intimidating if you’re not sure how to do it correctly. After all, no one wants freezer burn on their food!
Fear not; with a few simple tips, you can easily freeze hearty casseroles, meatballs, and mac and cheese without freezer burn. Make your meal prep process easier than ever.
Preparing Your Food to Avoid Freezer Burn
Before you start, you’re going to need some recipes. We have a great database of easy freezer meal recipes for you. Sign up to get full access to our recipe database and more!)
The key to avoiding freezer burn is properly preparing your food before putting it in the freezer.
Prepare each dish according to its recipe instructions, then portion them out into servings before freezing them. For the best freezer meals, make sure to use high-quality freezer bags or airtight containers; this will prevent any food from going bad during storage in the freezer!
Make sure you wrap individuals foods tightly. This will prevent moisture from escaping and drying out your food too quickly. You should also double check that any containers you use have lids or covers that fit snugly so no air can get in while they’re stored in the freezer.
Choosing Containers That Preserve Freshness
Choosing the right containers for storing the freezer meals you have prepared is also important for preserving freshness and preventing freezer burn. For the best freezer meals, make sure to use high-quality gallon-sized freezer bags or airtight containers; this will prevent any food from going bad during storage in the freezer! Plastic storage containers are generally a safe bet because they are airtight and don’t allow moisture to escape from inside the container (which could lead to freezer burn). Glass containers are also an option if you’d like; just make sure they have tight-fitting lids so your freezer meals stay fresh while they’re stored in the freezer.
Labeling Your Frozen Meals
Labeling your frozen meals is another important step in preserving freshness and avoiding freezer burn. Make sure you label each container with the date it was frozen, as well as any other important information such as what it is and how to cook it when removed from the freezer.
I recommend printing these labels on computer paper or water-resistant stickers and taping/attaching them to your bags PRIOR to meal prep. To ensure the best results when reheating later on down the line, label each container with the name of the dish and reheating instructions so that there is no guesswork involved later on!
Freezing Your Food Quickly & Efficiently
Another great way to prevent freezer burn is by freezing your food quickly and efficiently. When freezing meals for later use, if you put them into individual portions they will freeze faster. This helps lock in flavor and nutrients better than if they were just placed into a larger container. You should also try not to overload your freezer; this could cause temperatures inside the appliance to drop too low, which could lead to freezer burn on certain foods (and possibly even cause them to spoil).
Defrosting Your Frozen Meals Properly
When defrosting frozen meals, make sure you take them out of their packaging first before placing them into a microwave-safe dish or bowl (if using a microwave) so they thaw evenly without any hot spots that could potentially lead to bacteria growth on certain foods (especially meats).
Also keep an eye on how long each item has been defrosting; some items may take longer than others depending on their size or composition so it’s best not leave any item defrosting for longer than necessary! Finally, always reheat cooked foods until steaming hot throughout before eating—this will ensure any bacteria present has been killed off during cooking/heating process which will help keep you safe from foodborne illnesses!
Storing Frozen Food Correctly
Once all of your meals are prepped and frozen properly, make sure you store them correctly too! The optimal temperature range for keeping frozen food at its freshest is between -4°F and -10°F, so try not to place anything below this temperature range—otherwise it might start getting freezer burn! Additionally, storing anything above -4°F could cause bacteria growth which could then lead to spoilage/food poisoning if consumed later down the line! Finally, make sure everything is sealed tightly before putting back into storage—this will help prevent moisture loss, which could contribute towards freezer burn if left unchecked!
Enjoying Home-Cooked Meals Anytime and Anywhere
Stock your freezer! By following these simple steps when prepping and freezing meals at home—namely preparing and labeling correctly beforehand as well as storing correctly afterwards—even if you’re busy, you can enjoy home-cooked meals anytime! And best of all? No more worrying about dreaded freezer burn ruining your delicious creations.