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Freezing food

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Freezing food

Post  CCgirl75 on 4/9/2012, 5:24 pm

I'm considering buying a new vacuum sealer to freeze food, even though I hated my last one. Anyone have any recommendations? Or do freezer bags work just as well?


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Re: Freezing food

Post  Cincinnati on 4/9/2012, 5:35 pm

@CCgirl75 wrote:I'm considering buying a new vacuum sealer to freeze food, even though I hated my last one. Anyone have any recommendations? Or do freezer bags work just as well?


What did you hate about the last one?

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Re: Freezing food

Post  plantoid on 4/9/2012, 5:48 pm

I've had a cheapie BIFFINET one for several years it helps if the bag of food is almost level with the sealler strip for they tend to get a wrinkle across the heat seal if it is not . ..I made a small platform to lift bags up to this height .

Normal tie top /self seal freezer bags do not work too well as the plastic is not heat seal grade plastic , they tend to get holes across the heat seal area.

Always hold the sealed bag up to the light to see that the seal is complete right across the bag , if it is not an even colour just make another seal an inch above the last one this usually cures the likleihood of a bad seel.

If it is holed on or below the line of seal , reseal in another bag straight away ensuring the air has beencompletely extracted from both bags , otherwise you'll get a freezer burn on the contents.



The bags I now use slightly heavier grade bags that have a tiny diamond shaped mesh pattern embossed on the inside of one side of the bag , these are much stronger than the rolls of self making bag that came with the machine .

The embossing patttern gives a path for quicker & more effective air extraction .

If you want to seal liquids like stock or sloppy stuff like soups , gravy's and watery mushes , 2/3 fill a bag or three , stand them in a small box upright unsealed in the freezer and freeze them.

Once frozen bring them out the freezer and seal them asap . This stops the liquid spewing out when you lay the 2/3 filled bag flat. Mark up and put back in a freezer

Write on the top strip with a water proof permanant marker the contents and the date sealed .. we initiall had several mystery packs of ????? which turned out to be chicken & veg with a mild curry flavour due to the paper ticket falling off when frozen or the non water proof marker writing getting rubbed off etc. whilst in the freezer.

Lots of self stick adhesive labels also come off in the freezer.

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Re: Freezing food

Post  CCgirl75 on 4/9/2012, 9:34 pm

Cincinnati ~ I had a Food Saver, not a very expensive one. It wouldn't always seal and sometimes took forever to vacuum the air out and sometimes never did. I felt like the ones that were airtight, ended up getting air and freezer burn in the freezer.


plantoid ~ I had never heard of that brand and did a 'quick' search and wonder if I can ever get it in the US. I appreciate the tips on using the sealer. I'll probably end up getting one.

Thanks!

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Re: Freezing food

Post  Cincinnati on 4/9/2012, 9:49 pm

@plantoid wrote:I've had a cheapie BIFFINET one for several years...Lots of self stick adhesive labels also come off in the freezer.

I have a FoodSaver. It works like a charm. I like the rolls of bag materials where I seal an end and cut the tube to length then seal the back end. I use a Sharpie to write on the white strips on the bags. these too are heavy duty bags with a Diamond embossed pattern that assists the evacuation of air.

Thanks for the tip on freezing liquids first.


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Re: Freezing food

Post  sanderson on 3/11/2016, 3:24 am

This is an old thread but I thought I would re-purpose it. Very Happy I'm thinking about getting a mini freezer for putting up frozen veggies this fall. It looks like a manual defrosting chest is the most economical type to buy. It would be in the garage. Okay, now the part I was wanting help on is the organization. Plastic mini crates? Cardboard dividers? Anyone want to take a photo of how you organize? I know, weird question. I've never had a freezer except the side-by-side with a refrigerator.

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Re: Freezing food

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/11/2016, 7:25 am

We have a chest freezer. We call it "the coffin."

We've got dividers in there, but doesn't work very well. Everything ends up getting all jumbled together...

Next freezer will be a standing one with shelves so that I can separate everything. Even if it means getting TWO of them!

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Re: Freezing food

Post  herblover on 3/11/2016, 9:08 am

I agree about upright vs. chest freezer.  I have a full size upright and a small (dishwasher) size chest freezer.  Even though I have my food in wire baskets it is a pain to lift them in and out looking for what I want.  If you haven't yet purchased it, go with the upright.

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Re: Freezing food

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/11/2016, 10:38 am

You'll be happy with an upright!  Smile I looked into the matter and thought about the difficulty of digging down to reach packages on the bottom.

I ended up with a small upright, and am now considering a small upright fridge only to put in the garage for storing seeds and root crops.

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Re: Freezing food

Post  mapspringer on 3/11/2016, 11:01 am

I vote Upright cheers also.  My suggestion it to start with a search on Craigslist. I found one for $100. Sure, the power had gone out while the seller's family was out of town and all their frozen beef thawed and leaked all over the inside.  But, two good scrubbings with bleach water and 7 years later, it still runs strong!!

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Re: Freezing food

Post  sanderson on 3/11/2016, 1:04 pm

Wow, thanks folks. So upright it will be. The chests were cheaper but you've sold me.

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Re: Freezing food

Post  Kelejan on 3/11/2016, 1:22 pm

I inherited my chest freezer from my late MIL and I find it a great pain most times.
So hard to organize, with everything on top of everything else. Every now and them take all the contents out and put them back in an orderly manner.

Somehow it doesn't work as good as when I was a filing clerk in an office. One of my temporary jobs when my DH worked as a Work Study Engineer and was on contract jobs and I went around the country with him.  Great memories there.

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Re: Freezing food

Post  sanderson on 3/11/2016, 1:43 pm

@Kelejan wrote:Somehow it doesn't work as good as when I was a filing clerk in an office. One of my temporary jobs when my DH worked as a Work Study Engineer and was on contract jobs and I went around the country with him.  Great memories there.
Very Happy

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Re: Freezing food

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/11/2016, 3:16 pm

Once the coffin dies, we'll certainly get upright. If we get 2, one will be for meat & other protein. The other will be veggies, bread, etc.

Each meat will get it's own shelf. That way I can see exactly how much of what we've got instead of playing hide & seek, lol.

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Re: Freezing food

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/11/2016, 4:00 pm

I like your idea of segregating by food types.  I do much the same thing in the freezer compartment of my fridge.

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Re: Freezing food

Post  yolos on 3/11/2016, 6:06 pm

We first bought a behemoth chest type freezer.  It has since died and we bought an upright.  I much prefer the upright.  The chest type was not too bad because it had two layers of sliding baskets which helped a lot in organization.  But the stuff way down on the bottom was hardly ever touched.  So if you do go with a chest type, baskets are a necessity in my opinion.

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Re: Freezing food

Post  plantoid on 3/12/2016, 12:19 pm

Our chest freexer is about 4 l x 3h x 2 foot 6 w has a split top that you can slide to either side. much like the ones you see in some shops.

Previous to this we had two of the continuous self defrosting up right 6 foot tall 6 drawer types.
 

Reason for changing ...every time you open the door to look for things the cold air drops out the bottom and the freezer has to come back on to its duty cycle till the minus 21 oC safe working temperature  was attained.

 When one of the freezers died I did an exercise  ..I made a wooden frame to the same rough dimension as a domestic chest freezer , then  set it on a 6 " thick slab of insulation , insulated the sides and made a lid for it using more of the same quality foil backed foam insulation .

The idea being swap the good freezer contents out into the insulated box , put the dead freezers contents into the good freezer to keep or enhance them being frozen ,  allowing me time to hunt  for a new bring home on the truck freezer from the city some 25 miles away.

 I was quite amazed at the smaller volume  of the frozen stuff in the insulated box. 

So had a quick chat with Alison , showed her the difference and then we talked about the benefit of having just one modern energy efficient chest freezer instead of two  side by side uprights .We could also set a plywood table top on the chest freezer  if needed  thus giving us extra work space as well as a bit more light due to the reduce height .

 We found that the chest freezer was cheaper than a new continuous defrosting upright one ..so plumbed  for one as it was also in stock in store .. an upright would take five days to be delivered .

Once back home we moved the remaining up right out of it's position inserted the new chest in place and switched it on to let it chill for 5 hours .
 The contents of the upright were now frozen enough to put on top of the frozen food in the insulated box .

 By about 22.00 hrs everything was set for change over .. Alison made a list of everything that went back into the chest freezer and annotated it left right or centre , so we knew where to look for it.
  At then end of the restock  both of the uprights contents  fitted into the chest freezer with plenty of room to spare , plus I could now freeze stuff on 2 x 1.5 foot domestic,  kitchen plastic trays  where as before I was reduced to a  sheet of food grade plastic about 15 x 15 inches .

 Over the next few months we searched for & got some strong freezer safe open topped boxes that would just fit in the freezer one  across two in length but to also allow a little movement left to right . We ended up with two thick food grade plastic boxes 18 x 18 x 15" deep similar to the heavy duty Tupperware freezer safe boxes ,
  That allowed us to easily & quickly move the top layer to get at the stuff underneath if the case arose.

Of late we have found that our use of pressure canning to preserve/save food  has led to a big reduction  as to what is kept in the freezer .
( Yeah ! It's cheaper easier storage in the long term & there is no defrosting time to allow for ) .

 Realising that it costs a lot of money to freeze an empty space in a freezer (  drawer or chest ) I cut up a slab of 4 " thick foil backed insulation foam (A  Craig's  list type score )  into two slabs and laid them in the freezer bottom foil side up then put the food back in and the full plastic boxes back on top of th bottom layer . 
This also helps to  bring up the floor of the freezer for the vertically challenged as well Wink

 It works very well indeed , but you need to  be really strict in keeping your contents list bang up to date , I know , for last year(  2014 )   we had  to throw several packs of peas out that were picked , packed & deep  frozen in 2011 Embarassed

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Re: Freezing food

Post  plantoid on 3/12/2016, 12:45 pm

@CCgirl75 wrote:Cincinnati ~ I had a Food Saver, not a very expensive one. It wouldn't always seal and sometimes took forever to vacuum the air out and sometimes never did. I felt like the ones that were airtight, ended up getting air and freezer burn in the freezer.


plantoid ~ I had never heard of that brand and did a 'quick' search and wonder if I can ever get it in the US. I appreciate the tips on using the sealer. I'll probably end up getting one.

Thanks!
 I know the thread is old ...however using the best quality thicker diamond embossed plastic bags/tube  is a major improvement in getting the bags into the sealer and well sealed .

 Every time you seal a bag  hold the sealed end up to a light source , you should see a neat continuous clear uninterrupted line of melted bag plastic with no wrinkles , bubbles or air gaps in the line.  If you do see a fault sometimes you can quickly reseal it a few tenths of an inch up towards the opening again check the new seal has full integrity .
 Never attempt to reseal a faulty bag much more than ten minutes after you first tried to seal it &  never  put the contents in a new bag & seal it  after those first few minutes for   you could end up giving yourself food poisoning big time .

 You'll also need to store your bags flat when laid down  in a protective box / sleeve of strong cardboard so that there is no chance of the bags becoming  miss-shapen , . deeply scratched or punctured  as  has happened to us on occasions .Same with the rolls of  bagging ..always protect them when they're not actively in use .

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Re: Freezing food

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