Freezer storage?

Frank writes:

I know you like the Lock and Lock stuff.

What I need is some sort of container that I can store food in the freezer for longer than, say, 3 weeks without them getting burned, longer the better. I am pretty sure you use them… do you use them for this purpose, and if so, do you find them acceptable for use this way? Trying for convenience here.. i have a vacuum sealer but its expensive and not so convenient to use often (unpack and repack), and Freezer bags dont work well for things that are not 100% solid, or a well defined shape.

Thoughts? I know you are busy and stuff… A word or 2 at your convenience would be much appreciated, as I find myself trusting your judgment on such things.

PS.. this question brought to you by Home.Woot, where these popped up today.

Frank is right, I do love the Lock & Lock stuff. And that Home.Woot set is a great one I’d definitely recommend. But you know I can’t resist a few words about food storage, because I’m a geek like that. Come with me….

The first thing I’ll tell you is that I primarily use Lock & Lock for packing lunches for my family—I like that it’s BPA-free plastic, leak-free, and easy to open. Basically it meets all of my “portability” requirements when trying to get my kids to eat something other than leftover pizza at lunchtime.

The second thing I’ll say is that for most of my in-house food storage, I’ve been switching over to glass. It makes me feel less squicky about unwanted substances leeching in my food.

But the third thing I’ll say is a direct contradiction to the second one, and it’s this: In the summer when I’m doing a lot of gardening/freezing of food, I mostly use Ziploc freezer bags. I know. But they’re cheap and easy and I find I can approximate FoodSaver-esque air removal by sucking the remaining air out of the bag with a straw (just zip the bag all the way, except for the straw at the edge), which means the food stays fresh for longer. [To your “shape” issue with bags, I’d suggest making anything you store in a bag as flat as possible once the bag is filled. I do this with everything from green beans to spaghetti sauce, and as long as you have something flat in the freezer to lay it on while it freezes (I like having a frozen pizza in a box on hand for this!), it works like a charm. Then you just stack up your flat-packs as you accumulate them.]

Having said all that, I’ll confess that I have used the Lock & Lock containers in the freezer on occasion, and they’re fine, but if I plan to store that way for a long time, I’m likely to wrap the food in some Press ‘n’ Seal or something beforehand. And now that I’ve admitted that I do that, I realize that’s really dumb. I should just use a Ziploc.

Clear as mud, right, Frank? Bottom line: That may not be the ideal set for longevity of freezing food, but it’s a nice set for general short-term storage.

3 Responses to “Freezer storage?”

  1. 1
    shifra April 2, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    I use Natural Value brand plastic bags bc they are BPA free. Just a thought….

  2. 2
    Amelia April 2, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    The flat Ziplock thing is what I use most often for freezer storage. (And if you don’t have a straw, you can submerge the whole bag in water, leaving a tiny corner of the bag unzipped and above the waterline. The water will push against the sides of the bag and force the air out.) But if you do want a specific shape, you can put the food in a ziplock, put the ziplock in the dish you plan to use later (a casserole, say, or even a soup pot), freeze it in that shape, pop the food-filled bag out of the dish, and then it’ll be ready to go later. You can also line the destination dish with plastic wrap or aluminum, put the food in, and freeze…then pop the whole thing out and put it in a bag or whatever. Not that any one asked me. I’m just over here offering my opinion, PER MY USUAL. 🙂

  3. 3
    mar April 2, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    Another plus to the Ziploc flat storage method is that items frozen that way defrost faster than some thing that is in a big solid chunk.

    You know, if you tend to forget to take items out of the freezer in timely manner … not that I ever have that problem …. noooooo …..