When I first started freezing food, I used Ziploc sandwich bags. However, I quickly found that I was spending a lot on sandwich bags, and throwing out a lot of bags after use.
I then experimented with a more eco-friendly option – using containers. However, I found that some foods do not freeze well in containers (think freezer burn and ice crystals) and stained the containers. Some containers also cracked easily even though they were labeled freezer-safe.
After much trial and error, here are the things I currently use for freezing food:
- Ziploc bags – I use both the normal and freezer variety. The freezer variety works better but is also more expensive. I buy them in bulk at Costco. Sizes I use include: snack, quart, and gallon. In general, I use these bags to freeze meat, cheese and certain sauces. I prefer to freeze other things in containers as they stack easily and can be reused. I know people say you can save space by freezing things flat in a Ziploc bag and stacking it, but I have found that it doesn’t work out super well for my freezer space.
- Sandwich bags with fold top – these are much cheaper than Ziploc bags and are great for freezing individual portions of fish or meat. I then place all the portions in either a gallon size Ziploc bag or a freezer-safe container.
- Freezer-safe containers with a thinner, softer plastic – I’ve found that the freezer safe containers that have a thicker, harder plastic tend to crack more easily. As such, I prefer the containers that have a thinner, softer plastic. I usually buy them in sizes that are good for freezing portions of leftovers and stock. Be careful not to overfill the containers with food as liquids expand when frozen. I also do not reheat food in these containers as I do not want to stain them. As such, I usually thaw the food either in the fridge or bowl of water till the food can be popped out of the container to be reheated. The containers are also great as they stack nicely in the freezer. They are also cheap and easy to find at your local grocery store.
- Round freezer-safe plastic containers – these containers have a harder, thicker plastic. I’m not a huge fan of them as they have cracked before in the freezer. However, I still use them to
freeze things like stock, sauces and leftovers.
Labeling frozen food:
In general, I use a permanent black marker to label Ziploc bags. Since I reuse containers, using a permanent marker isn’t the best idea. I have tried sticking masking tape but sometimes the tape peels off. As such, use freezer tape. I also use Crayola’s Dry Erase Crayons. They stay on and wipe off easily when you wash it. The only problem is sometimes they can be hard to see on the container.