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Thu Jan 5, 2017, 11:35 AM

I'm getting my first freezer

From Sears. I wanted the upright kind and frost-free for sure.
Any and all tips you can give me about how to best take advantage of this resource? How to best store stuff, markers that work for the freezer, things I can freeze that I might not know about. I already read that ice cream shouldn't be kept in the door (that warms up quickest when it's opened).

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply I'm getting my first freezer (Original post)
PennyK Jan 2017 OP
Kali Jan 2017 #1
TreasonousBastard Jan 2017 #2
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2017 #3
PennyK Jan 2017 #4
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2017 #5
PennyK Jan 2017 #6
PennyK Jan 2017 #7
Lars39 Jan 2017 #8
PennyK Jan 2017 #9
PennyK Jan 2017 #10
PennyK Jan 2017 #11
NMDemDist2 Feb 2017 #12

Response to PennyK (Original post)

Thu Jan 5, 2017, 11:44 AM

1. use ziplocks to seal everything - frost free isn't the perfect feature many think it is

it tends to suck all moisture out of things and cause freezer burn worse than regular glacier forming freezers.

whatever labeling system you use, make an effort every year to spend a few weeks using up all that stuff you got on sale and haven't used yet. otherwise the more full you keep it the better it works - use jugs of water to fill space when your stock of food is lower.

dedicate the coldest spot to freezing new stuff, meat or food you have cooked. don't crowd that until it is good and frozen.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Thu Jan 5, 2017, 12:11 PM

2. Well, you don't really want your ice cream rock hard when you...

want to eat it, do you? The doors are a little warmer than deep inside, but unless that ice cream is going to be around for years, well, something has to go in those doors...

Frost free means the sides heat up to melt the ice. that means anything touching the hot spots warms up, too. think about that when loading the thing. Most of the time nothing happens, but I have had strange spots on chicken thighs and boxes of spinach.

I have a chest freezer for long term storage, and it works great. Freeze the veggies I've been buying or growing all summer. Meats on sale. Frozen veggies on sale... Bread! Bagels! Cake!

Keeping it as full as possible, including water jugs when you don't have enough real stuff is always a good idea. However, calculating how much you spend in electricity freezing those jugs compared to how much on cold air flowing out of an unfilled freezer is guaranteed frustration. If the thing is normally full, I wouldn't throw jugs of water in there for a few days, but if it's normally half full, yes, fill it up with jugs. And remember that in the summer you can pull them out and as they melt you have ice water all day. You can also store bags of ice in there-- forget the refrigerator icemakers that break all the time.

Have fun with it-- it's just more options



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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Thu Jan 5, 2017, 01:54 PM

3. Everything in teh 2 replies above

plus you will, or should, be getting a manual with the freezer that gives good tips.

I have had chest freezers for years. But got one I have to defrost because the frost free is exactly what Treasonous said...it sucks moisture out of the food and you have to use the food much sooner.
an upright is much more handy that the chest that you have to bend over into.

are you keeping it in the house, or an enclosed porch, or...?

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 5, 2017, 04:14 PM

4. Garage

We've got tons of room and it just so happens that the Hubman just cleaned it all out and painted it. It'll be very convenient. I appreciate your warning about the drying-out, and I won't go overboard with long-term storage.


I love my fridge except for the (bottom) freezer; it's one big pull-out basket, and 1) it's overflowing, even though it's just the two of us, and 2) locating anything is torturous. I look forward to being able to stock up on bulkier item such as bread and my frozen popsicles when they're on sale, even get a few frozen pizzas for the guy. Room for frozen crab legs. And I'll be able to make chili and soups in bulk now!

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Response to PennyK (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 5, 2017, 06:48 PM

5. Also,,,,a trick,,,,

You will be looking at a HUGE basket of stuff. What you cook up and freeze will be hard to find later--trust me on this--unless you develop a marking system so you can see something at a glance.

I put the same stuff in a plastic grocery bag, so I can bend down and grab the handles and pull up everything.
If you can find colored tape, you can make a code of one color for meat, one for veggies, one for left-overs or made up ahead etc. tied around teh handles.
I have enough room in our freezer to put bags into open top boxes, so like items stay together. ( thank you Amazon for the boxes).

And DATE what you put in, cause you won't be able to tell if something is really dried out until you thaw it, and often that is too late.

I use large yogurt containers to put servings of soup, fried rice, etc, one container holds enough for 1.5 servings in our house.
And I have plastic containers saved from take out, they hold one meal serving, all I have to do is micro-wave.

If you lose power, stuff stays frozen for about 3 days, esp. if you have frozen water jugs in the freezer. Don't lift the lid unless you have to before the power comes on.
Lastly, any food that does thaw needs to be eaten, if good, or tossed, if questionable.

Crock pot and large freezer are life savers.....have fun!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Fri Jan 6, 2017, 11:36 AM

6. One thing I will get

I'll run down to Lowe's and get a freezer thermometer so I can adjust my temperature. I already picked up freezer zip locks in quart and gallon sizes.
My mother will be visiting me in two weeks, she's had a freezer for ages, and I know she'll have lots of tips for me. That woman is an ultimate homemaker (I must've taken after my father)...now, if I could only get her to try the Magic eraser!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Jan 7, 2017, 02:16 PM

7. Boy, this is fun!

I started moving stuff in little by little yesterday.
I look at the thermometer every so often, and it seems to be at either 0 or 10 degrees (I assume the variance is due to the self-defrost mode).
I'm going out today to get some stockup stuff to put in there. And I'm going to start making soups to store! Yum! I'm starting with my low-carb cabbage soup recipe, then on to some lentil soup for my guy. Good times.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 11:07 PM

8. A Food Saver, Half-Gallon size freezer containers, baskets,and a sharpie are my system.

I try to leave the top shelf of my upright freezer empty for flash freezing.
I don't like to seal up liquids so I put some in the freezer container and set it on the top shelf. Freezes pretty darn quick and what's frozen is flat for easier stacking. Store the sealed stuff in baskets.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Mon Jan 9, 2017, 02:26 AM

9. So far so great!

I was able to move a lot out of my fridge's freezer, so that what's still in there is the stuff I'd need regularly, like my popsicles, extra butter, a few ice packs. I bought a bunch of chicken on sale and repackaged into one-meal amounts.
I have enough space now that I can really arrange by type, rather than cram stuff in "wherever," which is wonderful.
I plan to get some bacon next time it goes on sale and repackage in usable amounts. And I'll start making soups this week...wow, I could fit so much chicken soup...I have some surgery coming up later this year, and I know that stuff will be my best bet for recovery (it truly worked wonders during my chemo last summer).
Oh wow -- I just remembered my Cuisinart ice-cream maker! I got a deal with two canisters. Now I can keep them in the freezer and they'll be ready for action.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Fri Jan 13, 2017, 05:39 PM

10. My husband finally admitted getting the freezer was a good idea

Until now, he humored me about getting it. But he said last night that now, it's so much more pleasant to get a few ice cubes without several things falling out of the fridge freezer.
When my older daughter visits next month, we'll likely take a trip to Trader Joe's (it's about an hour away) and I can get some great stuff for the freezer (and I hope I can avoid the treats there).

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Jan 21, 2017, 10:20 AM

11. I learned how to freeze bacon

You take the package and roll each slice up separately, then freeze in zip locks. It's easy to break off as much as you need, and they defrost quickly.perfect for a low-carver who uses bacon frequently.

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