How to buy the best freezer containers
A freezer container buying guide
When you have leftovers and do not wish to throw them away, freezing them for another meal is ideal. As you buy freezer containers, it's important to consider the item that will be kept, the length of time it will be frozen and the space that you have in the freezer for containers. Finding the best freezer containers for the application is crucial to maintain the quality of each item being frozen. Some containers can maintain the integrity of an already cooked dish very well. The material that the container is made from is just as important as how well it seals and prevents freezer burn. The freezer container design is also crucial and has to work well with the available space in your freezer.
>> Consider the item you are freezing
The type of item that you're freezing is often the deciding factor for the container used. For instance, if you are freezing vegetables, a freezer bag is often best. Meats should be in a freezer bag or another air-proof container. It's okay to put casseroles and other cooked items into any vessel, whether it is a plastic container with a lid, a sealed glass container or a plastic bag. Liquids should be frozen in sealed containers as bags can leak upon thawing. The type of item being frozen, whether it is a meal or just a leftover piece of meat, often determines the freezer container design to be used.
>> What are the defrost methods?
Defrosting food items can be accomplished in a few ways. Using the best freezer containers aids in the defrosting process. Some people prefer microwaving while others may submerge a plastic bag in hot water. Still others prefer to use an oven on low heat for defrosting. Always read the safety instructions on the packaging, which indicate whether the freezer container is safe for oven and microwave use. Plastic containers should typically only be used for countertop thawing. Glass containers are generally acceptable for oven defrosting. Freezer bags should be used for countertop thawing and stovetop thawing in water.
>> Which materials are best?
The material that a freezer container is made from is important. For instance, a zipper-type freezer bag made of plastic is generally intended for temporary freezing, such as a week to ten days at the most. In most cases, plastic containers can be frozen for up to 30 days, and glass freezer containers, such as a baking dish, can often keep food safe to eat for up to 60 days.
Some of the most common materials used to make a top freezer container include freezer paper for meats, aluminum or metal for liquids, and silicone for dairy products or baked goods. The most popular types of freezer containers are plastic freezer bags, plus plastic and glass dishes and bowls. There are generally more freezer container sizes available in plastic options. Each material provides a secure resting place for foods while they are being stored for future consumption.
>> Styles of containers
The freezer container design or style is important for storage space usage. The ability to stack a variety of sizes or designs on top of one another is recommended for maximizing storage space in a freezer. When deciding on what are the best freezer containers to use, the more stackable a container, the more desirable it is in most cases.
Baking dishes often come with lids to store leftovers or bake items ahead of time and freeze for an upcoming occasion. Plastic bags require little storage space. Plastic food containers and containers made with other materials should be able to stack with others to conserve space.
>> How to judge a good seal
The type of seal on a freezer container is more significant than some may think. The tighter the seal, the better the food will be maintained until needed for another meal. With a plastic container, it's important to select new freezer containers that snap shut, completely tight all the way around. Glass containers often seal tightly with little effort. After you have finished closing the entire container, try to lift up a corner with just one finger. If it does not raise easily, the seal is strong.
When using a freezer bag, make sure that all the air is out of the bag. You can also double check the seal by turning the bag upside down. If it does not open or leak, the seal is secure and the food inside will be safe to freeze. Some cool freezer containers come in designer bag form. This design often helps to identify which item is inside without requiring labeling.
Freezer paper does make a tight seal for meats when properly folded. If you prefer vacuum seal food containers, which requires the purchase of additional supplies, this provides the most airtight seal possible around food. It also prolongs the time in which items can be frozen safely. For cereal storage containers, plastic options are ideal. They are often clear so that the type of cereal inside can easily be seen.
>> Types of containers
There are several types of freezer containers to consider from disposable to reusable. To find the best freezer containers, consider the materials along with how the integrity of the item inside will be maintained. Disposable items, such as plastic bags, freezer paper and some plastic containers, are convenience items. They ensure that new freezer containers are used every time and that clutter is reduced in kitchen cupboards.
Many reusable options, such as glass storage containers, can be put in the dishwasher safely. Some plastic containers should be hand washed. View the outside of the packaging for labeling stating whether the item is dishwasher safe. Buy freezer container options that can also be used as insulated lunch containers, ideal to keep food items cold and prevent bacteria growth. An item such as this is also ideal for transporting small portions of foods like dips and sauces to a gathering.
>> Consider labeling options
Labeling freezer containers with the date frozen as well as the contents makes the container an even more convenient item to have in the kitchen. Some of the best freezer containers include an area that can be written on or will hold labeling stickers, even while frozen. For some cooks, adding a label or a piece of masking tape is sufficient. Others find that the convenience of a labeling area dedicated to a marker pen is a better option.
With the information above, selecting the best freezer containers for a variety of applications should be easier. Consider the food item, seal, freezer container dimensions, container design and freezer container sizes prior to making a purchase. Each package should be labeled for microwave and/or oven safety. Keep these items in mind when shopping for freezer containers. You might even want to find a unique freezer container and use it unconventionally as a serving dish for the table.