How to store: freezer

Storing in your freezer gives you flexibility and freedom and will help prevent wastage. If you are prepared to freeze you can cook less often, save more and eat well every day of the week.

Many people think frozen food tastes 'funny' or is inferior in some way. This is simply not true, but knowing what and how to freeze is important.

Use airtight packaging

Can I refreeze something?

How long will food last in the freezer?

Freezing do's and don'ts

Use airtight packaging

If you stick to airtight packaging you'll get a great result every time. This could include: airtight containers; sealed freezer bags; zip-lock bags or a combination of gladwrap or foil and sealed freezer bags. To find out how, visit packaging techniques.

Can I refreeze something?

In short – no. While in theory it's possible to refreeze something that has not defrosted completely it will lose quality and flavour.

Once you've defrosted something, leave it in your fridge and eat it up over the coming days. Remember you can keep a dish for three days after defrosting.

How long will food last in the freezer?

Frozen food will remain safe for years if it is held at a temperature between -15°C and -18°C. Make sure you check the temperature regularly.

Inside any freezer you'll find recommended storage times for bread, meat, poultry, fruit and vegetables ranging from 3-24 months. If you store food longer than these times the visual, textural and nutritional properties of the food will start to diminish but the food itself will still be safe.

Freezer burn is the most common sign of deterioration and can be identified by a dry surface on your food, sometimes with greyish spots of colour. It may occur over time due to a loss of moisture and while it isn't harmful, it does affect taste and texture. If your packaging is airtight freezer burn is unlikely to occur.

Freezing do's and don'ts

Almost any foodstuffs can be frozen. Some have to be prepared in a certain way (like blanching raw vegetables), a few change texture slightly on defrosting (like potato and some cheese) but most can go in and out of the freezer without any trouble.

Do not freeze:

Take care when freezing: