Flash Freezing – How to Save Your Food More Efficiently

January 24, 2010Katie

Flash freezing.  I do it all the time.

Flash freezing is simply taking a food item and freezing it individually, so that when you want just one of something, the item isn’t frozen together in a huge lump with something else.

For instance, do you ever buy the frozen chicken breasts that you can pull out one at a time? That’s a perfect example.  Or say you want to freeze something soft, like tomato paste. What if you want individual portions of tomato paste instead of plopping it all into a bag in one big clump?

Let me show you how simple it is.

I frequently make my Unforgettable Salsa recipe.  I usually only use half of the jar of tomato paste.

I simply portion out the rest in tablespoon size clumps.

I plop these onto a piece of wax paper that’s setting on top of a plate.

Then I pop this into my freezer for a couple of hours.  Usually after a couple hours, they are hardened enough that I can pop them off the wax paper into a dated freezer bag.

The next time I need some tomato paste, I can pop one or two tablespoons out of the bag and toss it into a soup or stew.

Other things I flash freeze?  Mr Wonderful’s catch(es) of the day.

Sometimes he comes home with up to 15 fish.  After he mutilates filets them, we lay them out on wax paper on cookie sheets and pop them into the freezer.  Several hours later, we throw them into gallon size freezer bags and then when we want fish, we can take them out one at a time.

Find a sale on chicken breasts but don’t want them all in a big frozen clump? Flash freeze them.

Fresh ginger that you want to store? Peel it, cut it into chunks and flash freeze it.

Anything is easily removable in portions if you flash freeze.  Try it!


  • Kathleen

    January 24, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    My dad just gave me a couple of bags of frozen bass. I think I need to unthaw them this week to eat on.
    1. dishinanddishes

      January 25, 2010 at 10:15 am

      Kathleen - love to know how you cook bass? I don't like it much cuz of the fishiness?
  • bunny

    January 25, 2010 at 8:30 am

    I NEVER think about doing this...and I should since it's just me and the hubs and its hard to use some things up. Do you ever freeze liquids, like those last tbsps of chicken broth? If yes, how? Someone told me to use an ice cube tray...
    1. dishinanddishes

      January 25, 2010 at 10:14 am

      Bunny - yes - I pretty much do everything in baggies - leftover small liquids work great in snack size baggies. Zip them closed and lay them flat. Put inexpensive containers for different sizes in your freezer and store the frozen bags like files - standing up in the bins you've purchased. Label them at the top of the bag so you can read them easily!
      1. bunny

        January 25, 2010 at 5:14 pm

        Great idea! I WILL be doing this!
  • Mikki

    January 25, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    What great ideas! I love to freeze stuff. Definitely saves money!!
  • Amanda

    January 26, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Great tips!! I dont utilize this method enough... but I should!!
  • Victorian1560@gmail.com

    March 12, 2010 at 12:44 pm

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    1. dishinanddishes

      March 12, 2010 at 4:32 pm

      Victorian - thank you so much!
  • Matthew_L

    December 6, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    This is an interesting blog, but you aren't entirely correct about the flash freezing process. Flash Freezing is more than just freezing individual portions. You can Flash Freeze items in larger than individual servings. To Flash Freeze something you must freeze it very rapidly. A normal residential freezer will take 2-3 hours to freeze an average item. To Flash Freeze the same item would take less than 30 minutes. Blueberries for example can be flash frozen in about 20 minutes. The process for this would be. 1. Place a block of Dry ice into a cooler. 2. Place a metal cookie sheet on top of the dry ice 3. Let the cooler sit for 45 min or so to bring everything down to freezing temperatures 4. Place blueberries ( strawberries, grapes, fish, chicken) on cookie sheet 5. Remove all food in 20-30 min 6. Place items in a plastic bag and place in your normal freezer Dry Ice is below -100degrees Fahrenheit. Please use caution when handling dry ice. It’s capable of freezing your fingers. By freezing food this fast, it stops the water molecules from forming long crystals which burst cells in food.
    1. DishinandDishes

      December 7, 2011 at 5:09 am

      Matthew - that is interesting. I am just really referring to freezing individual portions for easy storage and removal in the freezer. I would probably never have dry ice around to do that process but that's pretty interesting!

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