Are you freezing fruits and vegetables from your garden or the local farmers’ market? Or maybe you just have extra produce that you know can’t be used before it goes bad. Whatever the reason, knowing how to freeze food at home is a helpful skill that can save money and extend your garden’s harvest.
What products are best for freezing food at home? From pots, bowls, and strainers to vacuum sealers and plastic bags, there are many products out there used for freezing fruits and vegetables. Here are the best products I have found for freezing produce.
Why Freeze Vegetables and Fruit
Freezing fruits and vegetables saves money, hands down. Whether that bag of peaches you bought from the store didn’t get eaten like you thought they would or your blueberry bush is overflowing with berries this year, freezing fruits and vegetables extends the harvest and gives you food for use later.
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Freezing Versus Canning
What about canning? Many people opt for canning fruits and vegetables instead of freezing. Here are a few pros and cons of freezing fruits and vegetables:
Freezing Produce Pros
- Much faster than canning.
- Freezer bags cost less than jars and lids
- Saves space in the pantry
- No learning curve required with water baths of pressure canners
- Don’t have to worry about lids that don’t seal
Freezing Produce Cons
- Food can develop freezer burn if not sealed properly
- If a freezer malfunctions, you may lose some or all food
- Not practical to freeze large quantities if you don’t have a second freezer
Products for Freezing Food at Home
So what products do I use the most and recommend for freezing food at home? Here’s a concise list of the products I use the most:
- Large Stockpot (with colander insert optional)- Not all vegetables and fruits need to be blanched before freezing, but for those that do, a large stockpot is essential. This particular Cuisinart pot is one that I have and love. For multiple blanching sessions, I can simply lift the straining insert out, dump what was blanched, and bring the water back up to boil for the next batch.
- Large metal bowl- While it may seem like overkill, a huge bowl like this has come in so handy in our kitchen. This large bowl is light and perfect for filling with ice when vegetables need to be cooled down quickly. This particular bowl was purchased at The Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile several years ago, but you can find a similar one on Amazon.
- Large Sheet Tray– For fruits and vegetables that need to freeze without being on top of one another, I love a large metal sheet pan. These can hold a lot of fruits and veggies!
- Foodsaver System– Vacuum sealing fruits and veggies keeps them fresh for up to 2 years, which is pretty amazing. Our Foodsaver is 16 years old and still running, so it’s definitely been worth the investment. A foodsaver is also great if you purchase meat in large packages and want to separate it out, or if you happen to hunt or fish and like to freeze meat for later.
- Freezer Bags- By far the simplest and cheapest option for freezing fruits and vegetables, freezer bags, both quart and gallon sized, are great for quickly getting food into the freezer.
- Permanent Markers– Don’t forget to label any produce that you freeze, so you can know how long it’s been in there and what it is. Sharpies are by far my favorite choice, especially the clickable ones since I usually only have one hand free.
Tutorials for Freezing Produce
I have many tutorials on freezing all kinds of fruits and vegetables, since this is my preservation method of choice. Here are some helpful tutorials for all kinds of produce.
How to Freeze Vegetables
- How to Freeze Okra
- How to Freeze Corn ( 2 ways)
- How to Freeze Green Beans
- How to Freeze Zucchini
- How to Freeze Sweet Potatoes
- How to Freeze Tomatoes (technically a fruit, ha!)
Freezing Fresh Fruit
If you have other fruits and vegetables you’d like to see tutorials on how to freeze, let me know below!