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    Kitchen Tips: Using Your Freezer

    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

    Kitchen Tips: Using Your Freezer - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats. Your freezer should be set at zero degrees fahrenheit or less, if possible. The reason why you want your freezers to be set that low is that you do not want any product to defrost and be in that danger zone- they call it a danger zone, anything that has an internal temperature of forty-one degrees to a hundred and thirty-five degrees, that is when bacteria will grow. So by putting something into a freezer, you are going to stop the growth of bacteria. You will not kill it, but it will keep your food safer for long term storage. So keep your freezer at thirty degrees fahrenheit or less, if possible. Ice cream freezes at five degrees, proteins like steaks will freeze at twenty degrees. So it is really critically important you check your freezer from time to time. You can buy a thermometer and keep it in there just to make sure that it is staying cold enough, and you can tell if you go in there and things start to soften up. And the purpose of a freezer is to keep things, food, safe longer. By freezing something, you are not killing the bacteria but you are having the bacteria stop growing, which keeps your food safe. But you do not want to have a freezer working that is empty. It is harder for your freezer to work, it costs more money to run your freezer if it is empty. So I would suggest if you find yourself not having a lot of things in your freezer, grab some water bottles, stick them in your freezer; they make great ice packs when you are going to go on a picnic, it is great for earthquakes to have some frozen water in your freezer, and that fills up that extra bit of space, so it makes your freezer work in an optimum way. One of the common mistakes people make when they put things into a freezer is they do not package it properly. If you want to put a steak in the freezer for say a month or so, it is really important that you seal it correctly. You want to get rid of all the excess moisture on the surface of your steak, because if you do not, that excess moisture is going to turn into freezer burn. Then you will pull that steak out a month from now and you are going to look at it and it is not going to look very good, and you are going to think it is going to be awful. It will have changed the flavor and texture of the steak slightly, so storing things in the freezer is very important. If it comes in a sealed original container, that should be fine. If you want to store bread, like an open package of bread that you have not finished, you want to make sure that you double seal it; wrap it in plastic, put it in a ziplock bag, squeeze out all that excess air so that when it goes into your freezer, you are not going to get freezer burn. Somebody recently said to me: "what about I make a big pan of soup, and I want to chill it down quickly, can I put that in my freezer?" No, not a good idea, because if you put that hot soup into your cold freezer, not only is it going to make the motor of your freezer work that much harder to keep it at that low temperature, but you are also going to raise the inside of the temperature in the freezer, and anything stored around it is going to get warmer.