Until you actually eat nothing however takeout, there’ll come a time when you will have to make use of your freezer to retailer further meals. And so simple as it might appear to toss a package deal of hen or a bathtub of soup in there to protect its longevity, leftovers can sadly wind up froze or forensically unrecognizable if not frozen correctly.
Nevertheless it doesn’t should be this manner. With the correct containers, you possibly can rework your freezer right into a frosty wonderland, filled with well-preserved elements and ready-to-eat meals. The precise containers will maximize your freezer area and, crucially, defend your meals from freezer burn and bizarre odors. After numerous trial and error, we’ve discovered that these containers work effectively in just about any freezer state of affairs.
For soups, inventory, and different liquidy meals: plastic deli containers
Plastic deli containers are the unsung heroes of the restaurant business, used for all the pieces from mid-shift drinks to storing prepped elements. They’re additionally a worthwhile addition to your property kitchen, within the freezer and elsewhere. They’re nice for freezing soups, stews, and beans as a result of they’re sturdy sufficient to face as much as the icy temperatures of the freezer and are simple to stack in neat rows. Use a everlasting marker to label your containers, and ensure to not overfill them: Liquids develop as they freeze, and an overfilled deli container can crack.
There isn’t a transparent model chief in the case of deli containers, however there are many totally different choices on Amazon, together with multi-packs with a number of totally different sizes and a hulking pack of fifty pint containers with lids for lower than $20.
For cooked rice, meats, and different “dry” eats: Ziploc freezer baggage
Positive, you possibly can retailer your leftover cooked rice in a deli container, however the humble freezer bag is a way more space-efficient choice. Scoop parts of cooked rice, shredded hen, or roasted veggies into quart-size baggage, then press them flat to allow them to be simply stacked on the shelf in your freezer. In my expertise, it’s value splurging on the name-brand Ziploc baggage, that are thicker, boast sturdier double zippers, and appear to do a greater job of avoiding freezer burn than their generic counterparts.
However in case you merely can’t abdomen the thought of all these Ziplocs ending up within the landfill, Stasher’s reusable silicone stand-up baggage can be found in a number of sizes and performance in the identical method as Ziplocs. Over time, although, you could discover that they tackle the odors of particularly pungent meals, like garlicky pasta sauce or Spanish rice.
(An vital notice: It’s an unlucky proven fact that most of the finest containers for freezer storage are made out of plastic. Many are additionally billed as single use, however there’s nothing stopping you from rinsing out a deli container or a Ziploc bag and utilizing it once more, as long as it’s in good condition. And, as all the time, recycle when attainable.)
When you actually desire glass containers: mason jars
There are a ton of glass freezer containers available on the market, however few are extra utilitarian (or cheap) than ol’ mason jar. Mason jars can be utilized to retailer virtually something within the freezer, and they are often reused again and again with out degrading or beginning to scent bizarre. They’re additionally hermetic, which makes them nice for storing meals that profit from being saved within the freezer however shouldn’t be uncovered to moisture, like nuts, espresso, and spices.
That is one other a type of situations the place title model is finest. Mason jars made by firms like Ball and Quattro Stagioni are sturdy sufficient to face as much as your freezer’s chilly temperatures — simply bear in mind to make use of jars which can be straight sided — however repurposed pasta jars and knockoffs most likely aren’t (they’re extra prone to thermal shock). Take into account it an funding in your future meal-planning success.
Marylu E. Herrera (she/her) is a Chicago-based Chicana collage, print media, craft, and fiber artist. Her collage work has been featured within the Lower, the Los Angeles Occasions, Bitch Media, Eater, and Punch.