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best way to freeze and label things

a
Aimee Mar 15, 2007 05:34 AM

I'm getting ready to do a big cook and freeze. Normally my freezer is full of odd-shaped containers and I have no idea what tends to be in them. I tried to buy freezer tape but that didn't seem to stick. Does anyone do this more efficiently?

  1. MMRuth Mar 15, 2007 05:53 AM

    If I'm freezing things in zip lock bags, I use a Sharpie pen that I keep in the kitchen to mark it. Usually when I freeze things in containers, I then put the containers into large ziplocs, and then do the same.

    1. Den Mar 15, 2007 06:59 AM

      I use the half and full quart deli containers and write on the lid with a Sharpie

      4 Replies
      1. re: Den
        MMRuth Mar 15, 2007 07:00 AM

        I'm curious - do you use new ones - I've read somewhere that they shouldn't be reused - though I don't remember why.

        1. re: MMRuth
          Den Mar 15, 2007 11:19 AM

          Because of the business license I have which includes food service, I'm able to buy at restaurant supply houses and I usually buy 250 plastic quart containers at a time with lids. It's around $30 or about 12 cents per container. If you want to go the deli container route, check with your grocery store and they'll probably sell them to you.

          1. re: Den
            MMRuth Mar 15, 2007 11:42 AM

            Thanks!

          2. re: MMRuth
            SweetPea Mar 16, 2007 04:53 AM

            Uh-oh. I reuse mine all the time. Am I hurting myself?

        2. n
          Nyleve Mar 15, 2007 07:41 AM

          I know this is going to sound unhealthily anal, but a year or so ago I bought one of those label-maker-thingies on a whim. It's actually pretty great for freezer storage because the adhesive sticks in the freezer and everything is VERY clearly labelled. Also, if you re-use the container, just peel off the label and replace it. And the fact that I always know where it is - on a shelf in the kitchen - is a big plus because I can NEVER find a package of labels when I need them.

          1. c
            cheryl_h Mar 15, 2007 08:11 AM

            We use the labels that are meant for printers - they come on sheets of about 50 and peel off. They last long enough that we don't have too many mystery packages. A lot of the stuff we freeze goes into freezer bags for easy stacking. We also use freezer containers for lumpy foods like chicken pieces. We put labels on these too. We have a big upright freezer which is full almost all the time, both with cooked and uncooked food, so we need a system that works.

            1. PeterL Mar 15, 2007 09:15 AM

              We just bought a Food Saver. Have been meaning to buy one for a long long time. Now I realize, why didn't I do this long ago? It's the greatest thing. The vacuum bags have a spot where you label the contents.

              7 Replies
              1. re: PeterL
                v
                valerie Mar 15, 2007 10:57 AM

                I've been thinking about getting one for a while. Which model do you have?

                1. re: valerie
                  Den Mar 15, 2007 11:21 AM

                  I also have a Tilia food saver, it's the biggest model. However, I do not use it for liquids, only meats, solids or things that are dry.

                  1. re: Den
                    PeterL Mar 15, 2007 01:15 PM

                    Does it come with an attachment whereby you can vacuum a bottle or other containers?

                    1. re: PeterL
                      Den Mar 15, 2007 02:01 PM

                      It did come with that but I've never used it.

                      1. re: Den
                        SweetPea Mar 16, 2007 04:52 AM

                        Me either. But lately I've been thinking I should and that once I do, it will be like the foodsaver itself - Why didn't I do this long ago?

                  2. re: valerie
                    PeterL Mar 15, 2007 01:14 PM

                    I don't actually have the Food Saver brand (just used the term in a generic sense, like Kleenex). It's an "off" brand that I found on sale for $30. Can't pass it up.

                  3. re: PeterL
                    l
                    Laurella Mar 16, 2007 10:49 AM

                    We love our Food Saver. However, we found that the Sharpie ink wasn't as permanent as we liked on the bags. In addition, we often don't use the entire contents of a package in one go (take bacon, for example, which we buy in bulk and then freeze in portioned stacks in a large bag). We had some painting masking tape lying around and it works well. I write on the masking tape and stick that in the labeling space. Then, when we re-close the bag, I can just re-stick the same label on instead of having to write on the bag again.

                  4. g
                    gourmanda Mar 15, 2007 11:46 AM

                    For solid foods I write the contents and any reheating instructions on a piece of note paper and stick it in the bag after the contents are frozen. Otherwise, the good ol' Sharpie on the Ziploc bag or, for a glass container, I put a piece of tape on the lid and then write on that. That way I can reuse the container by just peeling off the tape and putting a new piece on w/ the new ingredient. IMO it's better than throwing out plastic containers all of the time.

                    1. k
                      Kagey Mar 16, 2007 06:38 AM

                      One tip is don't do the big cook-and-freeze when you already have a bunch of stuff in the freezer. Use up the old stuff first.

                      Also, I like to line plastic containers with freezer bags, fill, freeze, and then remove the container. The freezer bags have spaces for labeling. And I don't have to wash and keep loads of containers.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Kagey
                        MMRuth Mar 16, 2007 07:29 AM

                        That's a great idea - thanks!

                      2. k
                        kate used to be 50 Mar 16, 2007 07:32 AM

                        I wrap meats and fish in wax paper than foil which I mark with a Sharpie. I date everything I put in my freezer so that I use the oldest first.

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