Stashing leftovers in your freezer for an easy meal later in the week is a smart move. If you’re freezing your food in glass containers, though, there’s one thing to remember.
Foods like soups and chilis make great freezer meals, but if you store them in a glass container or jar, keep in mind they’ll expand as they freeze.
That’s why you’ll need to leave a bit of room in your container to allow for that expansion. If you don’t, you run the risk of the glass cracking and moisture invading your leftovers, causing freezer burn. Of course, then you’ll also have to buy a new set of glass, airtight containers.
When storing leftovers, leaving a bit of room isn’t the only thing to keep in mind, either. You should also be cautious about placing hot food in the fridge or freezer.
As food cools, it can enter what’s referred to as the “Danger Zone.” This is the temperature range of 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria can begin to rapidly grow and duplicate.
When you place hot food in containers, the heat gets trapped inside which can prolong the amount of time food is in the danger zone. To avoid this, allow food to cool to room temperature before you place it in storage containers to freeze or refrigerate.
Now that you know how to safely freeze your leftovers, save yourself more time throughout the week with these prep-and-freeze meal ideas.