A chest freezer is an effective way to store large amounts of food for later use, but, unfortunately, their size can make them rather hard to get around in and it can be even harder to find what you want. This does not have to be the case. Using a few simple aids and a little bit of logic, you can easily organize your chest freezer and have no trouble finding your food when you're ready to prepare it.
Things You'll Need
- Permanent marker
- Freezer baskets
Make good use of freezer baskets. The main limitation of the chest freezer is that you are going to be stacking everything together because there are no shelves. Purchasing a series of freezer baskets do not only allow you to group similar items together, but also to remove large amounts of them in one simple step instead of having to dig one item at a time all the way to the bottom until you find what you need.
Stack food products according to type. Further divide your freezer baskets to maximize how organized your freezer is. For example, in the meat drawer, stack roasts on one side and steaks on the other. You can even divide by what type of meat it is, such as having beef in one stack and pork in another. The idea is to keep similar items together so you always know where everything is.
Label everything. Most items will be wrapped with freezer paper or foil, which can make it difficult to tell exactly what you are looking at. Any time you add something to your chest freezer, take the time to label the outside with a permanent marker for easy identification later. Include the date as food quality deteriorates in three to 12 months, depending on the food.This removes any guesswork and reduces your time down in the freezer.
Keep the strengths of the chest freezer in mind. Because of their nature, they are innately difficult to move around in. The best way to make the most efficient use out of it is to use it for long term storage, then pull out the meats and other items that you are going to use immediately to store in the refrigerator freezer. That minimizes the amount of time and effort necessary for you to find things.
Tips & Warnings
- Chest freezers function much more efficiently when they are full. If you find that you have a great deal of extra space, fill some milk jugs about three-quarters full with water to use it up.
- Use only freezer-quality plastics and heavy-duty foil or freezer containers.
- Don't purchase a freezer that is too big for your needs.
- Photo Credit Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images
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