While we’re doing our best to adjust to a new normal during these unprecedented and uncertain times, we can depend on the kitchen to empower, bring joy, and provide a sense of stability to our routines. Many of us are turning to our freezers now more than ever. With the additional use (and stress), it never hurts to explore how to make the most out of your freezer’s potential.
We wanted to take a moment to share a few important tips we have towards cleaning, organizing and maintaining your freezer.
You’ll find, as we do, that a clean freezer makes all the difference. Enjoy!
1. Clean it out!
Start by emptying everything out. Clearing out jam-packed clutter and frost will help your freezer run more efficiently so begin by throwing out items that are past their expiration date, or that have serious freezer burn. Store all the items that you’re going to keep in a cooler (if you don’t have one, in the sink with some ice will do).
Prep a simple cleaning solution of equal parts water and vinegar. Take out the shelves and give the interior a good wipe down. A toothbrush can come in handy to break down frosty stains or those difficult to reach areas around the door seal.
2. Take an inventory
Before you put things back, make a list of what you have and let it inspire upcoming meal plans. Missing anything? Now you know what to add to the next shopping list.
3. Keep foods safely frozen
When it comes to freezing foods, air (which will lead to freezer burn) is your worst enemy. Cadence Kitchen items are designed to keep safely in their original packaging, but other foods may require additional methods. Airtight containers or freezer bags will do the job. We also recommend film wrapping followed with an outer layer of foil.
Separating and portioning out fresh meats, leftovers, or other ingredients can be a game-changer. You’ll save time, energy and waste by taking only what you need when you need it.
Looking for some space-saving storage hacks? Ground meats and sauces, which would otherwise freeze into clumsy blobs, can be stored in a sandwich bag and rolled flat with a rolling pin or wine bottle. This will allow them to be stored efficiently like flat folders. Broths, stocks, juices and tomato pastes can be easily portioned when frozen with ice cube trays.
5. Get freezer happy
Prepped the right way, you can pretty much freeze anything! This includes fruits, cheeses, breads and most greens. The only things that don’t freeze well are vegetables with high water content (lettuces, cucumbers, bean sprouts, radishes), eggs, mayonnaise, sour cream, and cream cheese.
If you’re storing leftovers or cooked foods, be sure to cool before you freeze them. Putting hot foods straight into the freezer will increase the internal temp, which may affect other foods inside.
6. Check defrosting times
The best and safest way to effectively defrost frozen foods is in the refrigerator, so do your best to plan accordingly. If you’re strapped for time (we’ve been there!), take the item out of its packaging and run under room temperature water in the sink.
But remember that Cadence Kitchen items go straight from the freezer to the skillet!
7. Know how long your food has been frozen
Always check expiration dates when putting items into the freezer. Otherwise, label everything (a Sharpie is your best friend). This will not only help you keep track of what you have, but also prioritize the items that have been in there longer than others. Frozen foods can still go bad over time, it just takes longer.
8. Keep things clean
Every six months is a great standing rule for a proper freezer clean (might as well throw in the fridge while you’re at it!). Looking for more tips about hitting that reset button? We posted a thorough step-by-step post here.
These days, we can’t underestimate the satisfaction felt from a well-cleaned and organized freezer. We hope you enjoy these simple tips because even the little things go a long way in keeping us moving forward. Do you have any other routines or hacks that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you!
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