Monday, April 27, 2009

A MrMartha TIP..... Easy Freezing

MrMartha is all about shopping the weekly grocery specials, and buying in bulk when possible and practical to save on cost. It is no savings, however, if you are not going to use the product before it spoils, or cannot portion and preserve it in a way that is easy to utilize in the future. (Are you listening Warehouse Club shoppers?).

For years MrMartha has used a very simple and effective method to ensure both ease and quality preservation when freezing meats and fish. This works equally well for ground beef, chicken breasts or parts, pork chops, etc. Pre-portion the product before it is frozen solid using individual small sandwich bags, and then place several together into a larger freezer bag for storage. Use the most inexpensive fold top bags you can find for the inner packaging.

It would seem self evident, but it is surprising, when mentioning this method, how many will reply it never really occurred to them.

Most of the time, when there are really good sale prices on meat items, it requires purchasing of a Family Pack, or larger quantity than you might normally purchase. The key is to know what portion size you usually prepare. For ground beef, approximately 8 oz portions work well.

For boned chicken breasts, one or two breasts per bag depending on size. Usually one pork chop per bag is about right. Fish such as salmon can also be pre-portioned and frozen this way. For larger steaks, pre formed burger patties, and other cuts, wrap individually in plastic wrap to fit.

Make sure to squeeze as much air as possible out of the smaller portion bags, then place several together into a larger heavy duty freezer bag, and don't forget to date the outside of the package. The double protection of the inner and outer bags helps give extra insurance against freezer burn.

Not only do you have a lot of leeway in deciding what quantity to defrost depending on your recipe and how many you are feeding, the smaller quantities are much more successfully defrosted in the microwave than if trying to defrost one large single solidly frozen block of something.