Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Separating frozen foods, steel wool pads, and a freezer stacking tip

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

As I've been working on freezer meals, I thought of a few freezer tips to share. :)

Separating frozen foods:

Freeze foods in a stack with TWO LAYERS (of waxed paper or something) between each item in order to remove the items individually. I've learned this the hard way (no pun intended) when trying to separate frozen hamburgers that I had placed a single layer of waxed paper between.

Two layers = easy separation, peel off waxed paper. One layer = possibly impossible to separate.

The same goes for freezing casseroles in a dish and planning to remove the frozen casserole from the dish: put two layers in the dish before filling for easy removal. :)

Steel wool scouring pads:

Store your in-use steel wool scouring pad ("Brillo" pad) in a ziplock bag in the freezer between uses to slow rust. Also, don't rinse out the pad unless necessary (not at all if possible) because washing away the soap speeds rusting.

(For the record, I no longer use steel wool scouring pads; I use Bar Keeper's Friend on our stainless steel cookware.)

My freezer

Storing small or bagged items in the freezer:

For the little bags of nuts, dry yeast, ground flax seed, wheat germ, or other such items that are best stored in the freezer, use a wire or plastic mesh basket to hold all the odd shapes and sizes of things -- and keep them from falling out! :)

Stacking food in the freezer:

Maximize freezer space by stacking same-size items together.

When I'm stacking frozen fruits or veggies, I like to stack them in a "pattern" of sorts -- corn, green beans, peas; corn, green beans, peas. This prevents me from needing to move too many bags of food while trying to get to the kind that ended up all on the bottom! :)

Next week (January 24, 2012) Kitchen Tip Tuesdays will be hosted by Jessica at Good Cheap Eats.

To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:

Post a kitchen tip in your blog. Link to this post, and then leave your link here, so we know where to find YOU! :) No giveaways or non-tip posts, please!

In order to keep the kitchen tips more easily accessible, posts not adhering to these guidelines will be removed. We need to be able to easily find/see what your kitchen/cooking tip is. :) Thanks for your participation! :)

Leave your tip links in a comment. I'll manually add them to this post!

1. Dust-free KitchenAid mixer bowl + 8 more tips (Heather at Feel Good About Dinner)
2. Freezer food labeling tip (SnoWhite at Finding Joy in my Kitchen)
3. Tip for freezing grated cheese (Anne Jisca at Anne Jisca's Healthy Pursuits)
4. Spice organization (Liz & Doug at Pocket Change Gourmet)
5. Handmade pasta tips (The Local Cook)

Comments

Thank you for the double layer wax paper tip. Those simple steps help save a lot of frustration later. I need to do more freezer cooking and am tucking away all of these kinds of tips.:)

The tip I would like to share today is how to keep your Kitchen Aid mixer bowl from getting dusty on the counter plus 8 bonus tips. As always, thanks for sharing! http://www.feelgoodaboutdinner.com/2012/01/simple-kitchen-tip-plus-8.html

Great tip, Tammy!

I'm contributing a tip about easy freezer labeling of foods. Use a dry erase marker!

http://joyinmykitchen.blogspot.com/2012/01/labeling-foods.html

Hi Tammy!
Here's a Kitchen Tip for you to add on freezing grated cheese: http://annejisca.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/kitchen-tip-freezing-grated-cheese/

We would like to add our tips for organizing your spices
http://pocketchangegourmet.com/how-to-organize-your-spices/
Thanks much!

I made pasta for the first time by hand - here's my experience and tips: http://thelocalcook.com/2012/01/17/i-sure-as-am-not-rolling-enough-for-us-to-eat-pasta-tonight-dh/

Hi Tammy, I just wanted to let you know how I do my casseroles. I line the baking dish with 2 layers of aluminum foil (one long one facing one direction, and another long one the other direction in a 't' shape). Then I fill the dish with the casserole. I fold over the sides of the aluminum foil on the bottom, and put one last piece of aluminum foil on top, labeled with whats inside and cooking directions. I found that you almost have to label before it goes to the freezer because the permanent marker (and tape) will rub/fall off of a cold piece of foil. After it is frozen, I take it out of the baking dish (recover with the top piece of foil) and put it into a ziploc freezer bag. Since the casserole is contained in the foil, the bag remains clean (it just puts off freezer burn a little longer). I can then reuse the bags later after I use that casserole.

That sounds like a great method, Mariel! Thanks for sharing!

I agree -- double-wrapping really helps things stay fresh in the freezer longer, too. I am usually really "stingy" with my use of freezer Ziplocks (and even foil, or freezer paper) but I am not stingy with it when it comes to freezer meals because I want us to really LOVE the freezer meal (after all the work of making it)!! :)

Hi Tammy, I'm a long time reader, non-commenter. Always enjoy your recipes and have many that I use often (especially pizza) anyway, I have to share my kitchen tip after you mentioned that you use Bar Keeper's friend on stainless cookware. It never really worked for me. For years I have been using a bar of Lava soap on stainless cookware. It is like magic! It gets all the grime off of pans (inside and on the bottom). Just thought you might like to try this very inexpensive idea sometime. Keep up the great posts!

Blessings,
Rachelle in NM

Thanks, Rachelle! :) And thanks for commenting -- I love hearing from readers. :)

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