Label Frozen Foods With Discard Date For Optimum Flavour

If your current freezer "labelling" system is guestimating the age of things based on the level of freezer burn this simple labelling method will ensure your food is used while it still tastes delicious.

Photo by sporkist.

Food frozen kept at or below 0C poses no health risk if left in the freezer for too long — you could safely eat a piece of steak meat that had been frozen solid for a few years — but the flavour and texture of frozen goods changes over time. Just because it's safe to eat something that has been at the back of your freezer since the last Presidential administration doesn't mean it'll taste that great.

You can maximise the chance that you'll use frozen food within the "best by" date if you label it with a highly visible label at the time it's put into the freezer. A wide roll of masking tape and a thick sharpie marker are a cheap solution that affords easy readability when you label with large block print.

The key is to label it not with the date you put it in but with the date you need to take it out by. Chicken keeps well for 4-6 months before the taste and texture start to change. If you were to put a bundle of chicken into the freezer on the first of August you'd label it "DECEMBER 1ST" or "01/12" — whichever you find easier to read when peering into the freezer. This way when you look into your freezer you'll see immediately what you should be pulling out to cook that week.

Brush up on the best-by freezer life spans of various meats, vegetables and fruit by checking out the Real Simple guide at the link below.

How Long Will Food Last in the Freezer [Real Simple via Wise Bread]


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