Your freezer is among the greatest tools available for use in your kitchen. You can store food here for extremely long amounts of time; food that you can really use on a rainy day.
Especially popular for meat and other animal products, freezing is a go to preservation method for many. But freezing is not for all kinds of food because some foods can bring health concerns when put in a freezer or can make a mess in the freezer.
Some people might have placed some of the food we are about to list below in the freezer before without any after effects but it is important to note that they are best kept out. It is best for you and your freezer.
1. Milk and yoghurt
Milk separates into water and white milk chunks when placed in extremely low temperatures in a freezer. This makes milk lose its point. Your milk should stay stable and consistent to enable it to be consumed comfortably or added to your tea or coffee.
Yoghurt on the other hand loses its creamy characteristic when placed in a freezer. The beauty of yoghurt lies in its creamy property and so should this property be stripped off; your yoghurt is as good as useless. Other dairy products might also have the same effects when placed in a freezer so avoid them as well.
2. Green vegetables and fresh fruits
Green fresh vegetables and fruits turn into a slimy mess when frozen. They also have a bitter and unpleasant taste when frozen.This is because once the water in the vegetables or fruits freezes, there is a permanent separation which cannot be reversed by defrosting.
On defrosting therefore, the plant fibers which are devoid of their moisture look messy, soggy and slimy. You can alternatively dry the vegetables (if they can be dried) before freezing them or buy them already frozen.
3. Defrosted food
Freezing preserves food by maintaining extremely low temperatures that hamper the survival of bacteria. Food once taken out of the freezer is likely to attract harmful bacteria faster than food that has not been in the freezer before.
It can also lose moisture making it tough to cook and eat. The defrosted but uncooked food can also spread the bacteria it absorbs in its time out of the freezer to the rest of the food in the freezer.
It is advisable to cook and consume the whole portion you take out of the freezer to avoid rebuild of bacteria. It is also safe to put food back in the freezer after thoroughly cooking it. Ground meat is especially notorious and should never be pulled out and back into the freezer at all costs.
4. Fried food
Fried food is a no-no to the freezer. They lose their crunch when put in a freezer. It is this crunch that has always led to our desire for fried foods such as fries, chicken wings and crisps.
Freezing fried foods means that they lose this delicious property and they become mushy, soggy and soft. Of course, they are safe to eat but the whole point of frying them is lost. Fried foods do not reheat well after being taken out of the freezer.
5. Whole eggs in their shells
Whole eggs in their shells are also some of the foods that should never be put in a freezer. The eggs are prone to expanding when placed in a freezer as the liquids inside expand on freezing. The egg insides will therefore make a mess in your freezer.
As well as having a dirty freezer to clean, you will also have lost precious eggs that you should have preserved for later. If you have to freeze eggs, you can shell and beat them before placing them in the freezer. This way you can have your eggs last longer and comfortably in the freezer.
Raw potatoes have a high moisture content and therefore should not be put in the freezer. They will turn grainy when taken out of the freezer and are essentially a waste as they cannot be consumed.
Cooked potatoes are however fairly safe to freeze but proper care should be taken as you freeze them. Again, do not freeze potato fries and crisps. Potatoes may also lose their nutrient value as starch does not freeze well.
7. Coffee beans
Coffee beans are best kept dry. This statement leads me to my point right away as placing coffee beans in a freezer will result into them absorbing moisture and that will render them unusable. The beans will become damp as well as smelly.
Apart from absorbing moisture, coffee beans also absorb odors and flavors and considering that your freezer has various types of food, it is endless the possible flavors coffee beans placed in the freezer can absorb.
Cheese should not be placed in a freezer for the same reasons as milk and other dairy products. Soft cheese is especially a big NO as it disintegrates into water and curds after defrosting.
Again, cheese is safe for consumption in this from but no one really wants that. Needless to say, frozen cheese loses its usability quality e.g. you cannot grate it or chop it into fine pieces if it has already disintegrated into liquid and solid chunks.
9. Canned food
Canning is a great preservation method. See my point? Canned food is already preserved and can last a very long time and at any temperatures. That’s why the army chooses it as their go to method of preserving food when they are out on the field.
Canned food often contains a lot of moisture and as we have said before, any food with moisture expands on freezing. That’s science. Should the canned food expand inside the can, it will explode causing a mess inside your freezer as well as being a waste of your hard earned cash; cash that you used to buy the canned food in the first place.
10. Liquid in sealed containers
Most food and drink contains liquid and in most cases, this liquid is water. Placing drinks with high water content in them and in sealed containers will result in explosions as a result of expansion in a confined space. Liquids such as juices you wish to store in a freezer should be placed in cautiously.
Leave enough space in their storage containers for comfortable expansion and that way there is a lesser chance of creating a mess in your freezer. Alcoholic drinks with high alcohol content can be comfortably put in a freezer but care should be taken with those with fairly low alcohol content as most of their content is water. Soft drinks are majorly safe to put in a freezer as manufacturers usually add antifreeze (under the radar) in their drinks.