Prepping food for freezing
Spring has sprung and as the weather warms up, restaurants and cafes are getting busier and busier. Now is not the time to discover you’ve run out of the key ingredient for your signature dish, or that some of your pre-prepped meals have spoiled. Take a look at our tips on how to properly prepare your food for freezing and prevent any mishaps from occurring.
'Many small business owners are still recovering financially from the past two years so food waste and food spoilage is simply not an option.'
1. Freeze fresh produce fast
Freezing ingredients as they arrive in your kitchen is a great way to prevent them from spoiling too quickly. Many items, especially meat and vegetables, can simply be frozen as is without any hassle or worry about preparing them. For this, a simple investment in some kitchen equipment can make the job quick and easy.
Vacuum sealers are ideal in making sure that food is ready to be frozen in the best possible state. By removing the air before freezing, you can ensure that the item does not experience any freezer burn and is in perfect condition for cooking after being defrosted.
You could also look at investing in a blast chiller. These machines have a variety of programmes to help cool and freeze food quickly in order to save time and reduce the chance of bacterial contamination. If you regularly freeze food, or need it to get down to a freezing temperature as quickly as possible, these are a worthwhile investment.
2. Be prepared with pre-sliced and pre-spiced ingredients
In a commercial kitchen, time is money and every second counts. Being able to bulk prepare food items so that they are ready for cooking at a moment’s notice can make a huge difference. Vegetables are the perfect example of this. Instead of peeling and slicing potatoes individually and by hand, why not run them through a potato peeling machine and vegetable slicer? If you do this in bulk and then immediately freeze the prepared items, you create a surplus of food products that can be defrosted without costing you additional time and manual labour in the kitchen.
Freezing prepared food also works well with meat options. For example, using a meat mixer to add the necessary spices or other ingredients to raw meat saves you having to do this at a later stage in the cooking process. Once prepared, these items can be frozen in the right portion sizes and brought out as needed.
3. Ready-made meals made easy
Lastly, food that has already been cooked and simply needs reheating can also be frozen. Certain items actually develop their flavours even more with time so cooking up big batches of soup or sauces, and freezing these in portions, can result in delicious menu items that you always have enough of.
Another great example of this are things like pizza bases. Although you can freeze the pizza dough easily enough, it’s also possible to roll out the dough using a dough roller. Then just add the tomato sauce base, cheese and herbs and package these individually, ready to be placed in a pizza oven. It’s a simple way to prepare food for times when you know your kitchen will be busier than normal, or even to take out as part of a mobile catering service.
Preparing ingredients and ready-made meals can save anyone a lot of time and hassle in the kitchen. With the kitchens bound to be a lot busier over the spring and summer months, a little bit of forward thinking and investment can go a long way. Maxima also has a wide range of commercial freezers available – one to suit every budget – on our website.