It's time to spring clean your freezer

With the summer fast approaching, you’ll soon want to start filling your ice trays and stocking your freezer with frozen treats and barbecue essentials. But do you have enough room?

If you’re in constant fear of venturing into your overflowing freezer, it’s time for a much-needed spring clean. From space-saving advice, to defrosting dilemmas, ice queen Justine Pattison is here with her fab freezing tips.

PREP YOUR FREEZER

  • Get everything out of the freezer, sort through and put anything worth keeping into a cool box or cool bag, with ice blocks, or even cardboard box covered with dry towels to insulate.

  • Gather up clean, dry containers with lids. Could be plastic, glass, anything that can go in the freezer. Ideally stackable.

DEFROST YOUR FREEZER

  • Turn the freezer off. Defrost and give it a good clean with a damp cloth. Turn back on again.

  • Before returning the food to the freezer, repackage into more useful containers. Anything that can stack will save space and make your freezer tidier and easier to manage. Clear containers are easier to identify at a glance.

ORGANISE, ORGANISE, ORGANISE!

  • Label EVERYTHING – when placing them in the freezer, make sure the label faces outwards so you can see what you have at a glance. What it is, how many servings, or how much it weighs and date of freezing. Although things can be kept in the freezer almost indefinitely, if you use them within 3 months, they will taste considerably better. A better rotation of foods also means the freezer won’t become choc-a-block.

DECANT FROZEN FOODS, NOT JUST LEFTOVERS

  • Decant frozen vegetables, fish fingers etc. – put into lidded containers instead of leaving in the packaging. Use smaller containers rather than massive ones, so you don’t have lots of wasted space.

FLEXIBLE FREEZING

  • Instead of freezing casseroles in dishes, save space (and Tupperware!) by flexible freezing in silicone cake moulds. Once solid, pop out of silicone and wrap in foil, label and freeze. Can be stacked. Also, means you don’t use all of your containers in the freezer.

STORE THEM WELL

  • Keep everything flat as possible so it stacks. Try ‘flat freezing’ - Justine showed us on the show a few years ago, and now has a more environmentally friendly take on it... silicone bags are now available which can replace plastic freezer bags. They are quite pricey but work brilliantly and should last for years. You can build a collection over time. Also, because they are thick and hold shape, they don’t need to be put on tray to freeze.