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Freezing Food - How Fast Should Food be Frozen?

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Question: Freezing Food - How Fast Should Food be Frozen?
Answer: Freeze food as fast as possible to maintain its quality. Rapid freezing prevents undesirable large ice crystals from forming throughout the product because the molecules don't have time to take their positions in the characteristic six-sided snowflake. Slow freezing creates large, disruptive ice crystals.

During thawing, they damage the cells and dissolve emulsions. This causes meat to "drip" - lose juiciness. Emulsions such as mayonnaise or cream will separate and appear curdled.

Ideally, a food two-inches thick should freeze completely in about 2 hours. If your home freezer has a "quick-freeze" shelf, use it. Never stack packages to be frozen. Instead, spread them out in one layer on various shelves, stacking them only after frozen solid.

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