Freeze Food for Easier Preservation
Freezing is one of the most common and trusted food preservation techniques. A simple and quick process, freezing food slows the loss of nutritive qualities and prevents food spoilage. Once defrosted, frozen foods are similar to fresh foods in texture, flavor and color, making it the most popular method of food preservation.
What You Need to Freeze
- Freezing recipe. Check out Ball Canning Back to Basics, Ball Complete Guide to Home Preserving, or The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving for more information, how-to's and recipes.
- Common kitchen utensils and meal preparation equipment
- Freezer containers or packaging, like freezer safe Ball® canning jars, plastic freezer bags, vacuum packages, freezer foil or freezer paper.
- Fresh produce and other quality ingredients.
Jars for Freezing:
It’s important to note that not all jars are freezer-safe. Jars with tapered sides or straight sides are freezer safe; shouldered jars are not. This Jar Selection Guide should also help in choosing a freeze-safe jar.
Simply Frozen in Eight Steps
- Review recipe and instructions.
- Gather equipment and ingredients.
- Choose the storage containers appropriate for the frozen food. Wash, rinse and dry containers.
- Prep fresh produce and other quality ingredients according to the recipe. Most vegetables and some fruits benefit from pretreatment techniques like blanching.
- Pack prepared food in appropriate freezer containers or wrap with freezer packaging according to the recipe instructions. For rigid containers, leave ½-inch headspace to allow for expansion of liquids.
- Label with the date and name of the product.
- Freeze in a single layer near the coldest part of the freezer.
- Store at 0°F in the freezer for the recommended length of time.
Use rigid containers for foods that are liquid or semi-liquid at room temperature and flexible wrap for foods that are solid at room temperature.
Most vegetables and some fruits benefit from pretreatment techniques like blanching. Blanching (heating in steam or water for a specific time, then cooling quickly) sets color, slows enzyme action, and kills many spoilage microorganisms.
Stack only after food is completely frozen.
Try it out
Strawberry-Blueberry Freezer Jam
Makes about 6 (½-PT.) Jars
- 4 cups fresh blueberries
- 4 cups halved fresh strawberries
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 5 Tbsp. Ball® Real Fruit™ Instant Pectin
- Pulse blueberries in a food processor until finely chopped, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Place in a medium bowl. Pulse strawberries in food processor until finely chopped, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Add to blueberries in bowl. Stir in sugar; let stand 15 minutes.
- Gradually stir in pectin; stir 3 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.
- Spoon into jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Center lid on jars. Apply bands and adjust loosely. Once jam is frozen, adjust bands to fingertip-tight. Store in freezer up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator. Refrigerate after thawing, and use within 3 weeks.
Download a printable step-by-step freezing guide here.