Here are Some Tips to Easily Cook up
Your Delicious Meals for Your Family.
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– Eliminate air from bags before freezing, but leave some room for liquids to expand.
– Place the rectangular foil pans on the shelf first, then put zip top freezer bags on top of them.
– Keep your freezer at 0°F or lower. This is the optimal temperature for retaining nutritional content, flavor and texture.
– For best results, store frozen meals for no more than 60 days.
– Don’t freeze 2-3 of your meals. Keep them in the refrigerator to have this week.
– For best results, thaw in the refrigerator for 1-3 days.
– Do not go directly from freezer to oven, unless cooking instructions specifically call for this.
– Never thaw dishes on the counter top. This supports bacterial growth and can lead to food borne illnesses.
Quick Thawing Methods
Here are two safe and quick thawing methods:
Cold Water Bath
Immerse wrapped meat, fish or poultry in cold water (leave it in the Ziploc bag) and change the water after 30 minutes if it needs more defrosting time.
You can quickly defrost meat, fish and poultry in the microwave by removing the store wrap, then placing the item on a microwave-safe dish or container. Follow your microwave’s instructions for defrosting time, but check occasionally since individual ovens vary.
Choose a dinner with many small meat portions, such as chicken breasts, tilapia, or pork chops. Every 10 minutes or so, massage the package to bring the still-frozen sides to the outside of the package.
While you're thinking about it, grab a dinner for tomorrow night and place it in the refrigerator to thaw.
– Follow cooking instructions as provided. Internal temperature of all foods need to reach at least 165°F. See below if you need an extra copy.
– Take this opportunity to check the spice level and add a dash of spice or salt if needed.
– Give it a good stir. Gravies and sauces may separate during freezing.
– Do not cook or microwave food in the Ziploc freezer bag.