One of the best ways to save time in the kitchen is to cook big batches of food and freeze theleftovers. To do this successfully you need to store food properly and reheat it safely.
To help you with this endeavour here are some great tips for using your refrigerator and freezer wisely and reheating food in the best manner possible to preserve its flavour and texture.
Cool Foods Before Refrigerating or Freezing
It may sound obvious, but properly cooling leftover food is important. If the leftovers are too warm they can bring down the temperature of the refrigerator and compromise the freshness of other foods.
Placing the food in shallow dishes or adding ice cubes to soups or stews will help them cool quicker.
Use Airtight Containers
Not only will food stay fresher longer in airtight containers, but they help ward off freezer burn. Opt for glass containers that won't break when going from the freezer to the microwave or oven.
Don't overcrowd the refrigerator with leftover food. This will prevent the cold air from circulating, thus promoting spoilage. This rule applies to the freezer too.
Know The Shelf Life
Be sure to label all of your leftover food so you can keep track of its shelf life.
For instance, bread keeps well in the freezer for up to three months. So will most cakes, meats and soups.
Reheat Leftovers Properly
You could say there is an art to reheating leftover food. Here are a few golden rules:
Frozen foods should be thawed in the refrigerator and not on the countertop.
Most leftovers should be reheated to at least 165F (73.8C) to ensure safe consumption.
Add a little bit of water to soups reheated on the stovetop to prevent scorching.
Below are more essential tips for storing and reheating leftover food. Also, visit the USDA website for more leftover food safety.
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