Cooking Tips - Freezing
Any true freezer maintains zero degrees or lower, for fast freezing and proper low-temperature storage of foods.
Frostless freezers eliminate the messy, tedious core of defrosting, and frost doesn't build up on food packages.
Regardless of the type of freezer you select, it should be placed in a convenient, cool, dry, and well-ventilated place.
The temperature should be held at zero or lower at all times. Keeping the temperature at -10o F. will help keep the temperature below 0o F. when unfrozen food is placed in the freezer. It's good insurance to use a freezer thermometer and check it often.
Defrost once each year (if not frostless) or as often as ice on the sides reaches a thickness of three-quarters of an inch. Defrosting is accomplished by turning off the current, opening the door or lid, removing all the food from the freezer (protecting food by covering with a blanket or quilt), and turning an electric fan on the interior of the freezer for a few minutes. Or, place pans of hot water inside. The ice loosens and then may be scraped off.
After thawing, wash the inside with a warm baking soda solution (three tablespoons baking soda with one quart of water). Wipe dry and turn on electricity. Replace food.
Frostless freezers do not need defrosting. However, a freezer should be cleaned at least once a year in the same way as above.
If odors develop in freezer, place charcoal on paper in freezer for several days.
- Loading the Freezer
- Put no more unfrozen food into a food freezer then will freeze within twenty-four hours (est. 2 or 3 pounds of food per cubic foot of capacity).
Overloading slows down the rate of freezing and foods that freeze too slowly may lose quality or spoil. Overloading can raise the temperature above 0o F. and this affect the quality of the food already in the freezer.
Place each package in direct contact with a refrigerated surface and leave a little space between. The original fresh flavor, color, texture, and nutritive value of the frozen product will reach the table if it stored properly.
- If you suspect a power loss, set the freezer control at its coldest setting right away. The lower temperature of freezer and food will delay thawing if power does go out.
If normal operation of power will not be resumed before the food will thaw, use dry ice to keep the food cold or transfer the food in insulated boxes to a freezer plant or other low-temperature storage space.
A fully loaded freezer at 0o F. usually will stay cold enough to keep foods frozen for a couple of days; in one with half a load, food may not stay frozen for more then a day.
If dry ice is put in the freezer soon after power goes out, 50 lbs. should keep the temperature of food in a 20-cubic foot freezer below freezing for 3 - 4 days; in a freezer with half a load or less, for 2 or 3 days. Keep a note handy with a local dry ice provider for emergencies.
Work quickly when you add the dry ice. Place it on thick cardboard or boards on top of the frozen food or on shelves - not directly on packages. Handle dry ice with care. Be sure the room is well ventilated when you use it. Never touch it with bare hands.
Do not open the freezer door while the freezer is not operating, except as part of food-saving procedures.
If in doubt about any thawed foods, it is better not to take any chances with them. Eating spoiled food can be very dangerous. Extreme cold retards growth of micro-organism and slows down enzyme activity and oxidation. Freezing does not sterilize food.
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