Reader Question : Reusing Supplies

May 10, 2010

Sangeetha N. writes...


I just stumbled upon your blog and I've started following you.

Q. I was wondering if and how you reuse your ziplock bags. I've thrown so many because of the gooey oily film that they tend to have after defrosting, I don't trust that washing would clean it up well enough. But I feel guilty about using so much plastic, so I use a fair bit of tupperware. But that requires more space, and if i don't manage to fill the tupper, there is freezer burn.

A. I generally do NOT reuse plastic baggies. One reason is food safety. Because some foods are not thoroughly cooked before freezing, there is the potential of contaminating vegetables if re-using a bag which previously stored raw or partially cooked meat. I know it seems a waste, but I haven't found a better way.

Q. I haven't found a good labeling system for the tuppers. What do you use? I was writing on the tupper with a crayon, but now I have a bowl labeled "mixed veggie" that contains beef, hehe. Should I use stickers?

A. You can use stickers or blank labels and remove them each time or use a wipe-off marker like those made for wipe-able message boards. You can also use marker straight on the tupperware and then remove the writing later with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

Q. Is it safe to freeze cuts of meat in just cling-wrap? I sometimes do that in a hurry and I don't know if its unsafe. For instance chicken legs just wrapped up tight in cling film.Thanks a ton!

A. You can as long as it is wrapped well so that during the freezing process no raw juices can escape and leak onto other packages in your freezer. There is no other reason to avoid this except the possibility of freezer burn. The more you wrap the better the quality of your product will remain.


Rebecca May 10, 2010  

I do reuse my bags for baked goods, like muffins & waffles, for frozen veggies (sometimes I split up a huge bag into smaller bags), even shredded cheese... not meat or anything greasy. I figure that by freezer cooking I'm avoiding eating out or packaged meals from the grocery store, so even if it takes a couple ziploc bags, I'm still saving packaging overall! :)

smileynann May 28, 2010  

I use a post-it note with the food & date -- they work great & stay on as long as you put the label on BEFORE you stick it in the freezer.

smileynann May 28, 2010  

I use a post-it note with the food & date -- they work great & stay on as long as you put the label on BEFORE you stick it in the freezer.

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A new recipe will be posted each Monday and, of course, you can always search the archives by category.

The Goal of this blog is not just to give you my recipes, but to teach you which ingredients freeze well, which don't, methods and tips to help you freeze your own recipes...because who knows better what your family likes than you?

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