Tired of throwing huge chunks of food into the freezer and then dealing with a frozen lump that takes too much time to thaw later? If splitting a large portion of food is too much work, try flash freezing instead.
Flash freezing is a pre-treatment that helps tremendously with freezing many foods, including fruit, blanched vegetables, or portions of meat. When you buy French fries or frozen veggies, even though they come in a large bag, you can easily scoop the amount you need. That’s what flash freezing does for you!
Flash freezing makes food prep much easier. It’s an extra step that takes just a few minutes of work but the payoff is well worth the effort. By flash-freezing frozen foods, you can reduce prep time to a few minutes. There are no excuses for not flash-freezing food.
How to Flash Freeze Food
- Make sure there isn’t any unwrapped food with a strong smell in the freezer. Flash freezing requires you to put the food into the freezer without any wrapping. The food being prepped is likely to absorb unpleasant aromas or odors, which could alter its own flavor. And believe me, you don’t want that to happen. Eating a thawed banana that smells like meat is not a pleasant experience, to say the least.
- Grab a cookie sheet and make sure there’s a place in the freezer where you can lay it flat. This way, the food you put onto it won’t fall from it.
- Transfer the food onto the cookie sheet and spread it in a single layer so the pieces don’t stick to each other. The arrangement doesn’t have to be perfect, however. Some touching between pieces here and there is okay, you can separate the frozen bits after freezing.
- Put the cookie sheet into the freezer and leave it there until the food freezes solid. The time required for the food to freeze depends on the size of pieces and kind of food you’re using. Small pieces of food will freeze quickly (think an hour or two). Large chunks of food will take their sweet time to freeze solid, about 4 to 8 hours. Just to give the food enough time to freeze, leave the food in the freezer overnight. You can also put the food the freezer in the morning and take it out in the afternoon.
- Take the cookie sheet out of the freezer and transfer the frozen pieces into freezer bags or containers. Never leave foods unwrapped in the freezer because this will lead to freezer burns. That’s why we transfer the food into something more appropriate for long-term storage in the freezer.
Flash Freezing Tips
- Instead of a cookie sheet, you can use pretty much any flat surface that will fit into the freezer. Cover that surface with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap to make sure the food doesn’t stick to the surface once frozen.