For the past two weeks, can you count how many times you threw away the spoiled food and rotting leftovers stored inside your freezer? Learn how to organize your freezer using rectangular food storage containers so you can reduce organic waste, save money, and enjoy fresh and healthy meals daily.
Efficient kitchens have less food scraps. Just ask chefs. These people are one of the most organized professionals on earth. Chefs are not just good at cooking meals and inventing recipes to satisfy their customers. They are experts in organizing their kitchens.
Anyone who has worked in a restaurant will tell you chefs get angry when their kitchens are not organized. It makes food preparation longer and often leads to dissatisfied customers. Chefs don’t just stock their food products and ingredients inside their freezers. They plan their storage to save time, energy, and raw materials.
Ingredients that are part of today’s menu, for instance, cannot be placed behind or under the stack of containers needed for the next day. This practice reduces the damage of temperature changes on raw items, especially veggies and meat.
Even when you have a household helper in charge of running the kitchen, you still want to make sure everything in your home is organized. For sure, you don’t want to hear about raw ingredients and food products thrown into the garbage bin because they have been inside the freezer for more than a month and are starting to rot - never used in any of your meals. It is a waste of food. A squandering of money.
Every year, the amount of garbage produced in Australia tallies up to 67 million tonnes. Reports say that ten percent of these are raw food that decomposed because they were not stored properly.
A cluttered freezer is also an eyesore. Just look at how different a cluttered freezer looks compared to an organized one.
Organized freezers are, therefore, the key to reducing household rubbish. How will you do it using rectangular food storage containers?
It is best to use modular plastic storage containers with similar sizes. This makes it easy to store and stack containers over each other. Your freezer is mostly cluttered when its contents have different shapes and sizes. When you keep cooked food and raw materials in rectangular plastic containers and put them side-by-side with round containers, their differences in shape leads to a misuse of valuable space.
Here is a top-view illustration of how containers normally fit inside a freezer:
On the left side are containers of three different sizes. One is circular. The other two are rectangular but with different dimensions. As you can see, there are lots of wasted spaces between these containers. This leads to more clutter. When you need to store more food products in your freezer, you would normally end up putting other containers on top of the first level. The outcome is a highly disorganized and ugly freezer.
On the right side are rectangular containers with just one dimension. As the image shows, the containers are more organized. The space is utilized better. In case there is a need to stack more storage containers, it is not a problem because the containers have the same dimensions.
Not every ingredient inside your freezer needs cooking. There are those you can consume raw such as greens and fruits. These ingredients belong to the crisper. Others, such as meat, must be placed either in the freezer compartment or the meat keeper until it is time to use then in your cuisine.
But let us say you need to defrost meat prior to cooking. Where should you put it?
The rule is not to mix ingredients together in one food storage container. Another rule is to keep one container from contaminating another. Place those that should be served raw on top of the stack. Containers containing meat should be at the bottom so their drippings would not contaminate those containing the fresh ingredients. Here’s an example you can follow.
In case you need to stack storage containers filled with leftovers, it is best to place them under the raw vegetables and fruits. Just put a mark on your food containers indicating they have leftover food so you know what to reheat the next time you prepare a meal.
Another method to organize your freezer is to use the entry date. All food products you put in plastic containers and stacked inside the freezer earlier should be the first ones to get cooked. The later ones must be cooked later.
Let us say you brought home raw meat on Monday and you bought a pack of fish fillet on Wednesday. When you arrange your plastic containers, first put a mark on what date the ingredient went inside the freezer. Then place the items you bought last behind those you bought first. This way, you will consume all the meat you bought on Monday before you can touch the fish you bought on Wednesday.
Through this strategy, you will enjoy all the food products you bought and experience less food waste.
Using clear plastic storage will help you know what is inside your food containers. As mentioned above, ingredients inside your freezer cannot contaminate each other. Therefore, you should place the meat at the bottom. But it is equally important to keep the food storage containers sealed until it is time to use their contents.
Now, this will not work once the plastic container is translucent because you have to open it in order to know what is inside. Storing food requires air-tight containers. Thus, a clear plastic container is best because it will tell you its food contents even if you do not open its lid.
There are plenty of ways to organize your freezer but these four techniques are ideal for any household. As the chef of your home, storing food in modular plastic containers is a great way to avoid unnecessary waste. At Packware, we have rectangular containers made from clear plastic. They come in different sizes that can stack well inside your freezer. These are non-toxic, high-grade plastic designed to keep your food safe. Check this link to know if our plastic containers have the right dimensions that fit your freezer.