Why would I want one?

Freezers offer an effective and economic way to preserve food for several months. This is particularly useful for food that would otherwise spoil, even in a refrigerator. It means that you can cook or buy in bulk, and freeze what you don't want to use immediately. This makes sense economically (freezers cost very little to run), and for food planning.

Almost all foods can be frozen, although some (such as fresh fruit and vegetables) may need some preparation.

  • See an irresistible multi-buy bargain in a food shop? Buy it and freeze it.
  • Lots of leftovers from a dinner party? Freeze them for another occasion.
  • Want a constant supply of apple purée/cooking stock/soup/chicken tikka masala? Buy or make it in bulk and store it in usable portions in your freezer.
  • Going on holiday? Transfer the perishable contents of your fridge to the freezer.
  • Too big a crop from your vegetable garden? Freeze the excess.

The downsides of freezing

There are some disadvantages

Freezing causes the water content in the food to turn into ice crystals. It is this process that puts it beyond use of the bacteria, moulds and enzymes. But it also makes the water expand, damaging the cell walls in the food, and thus changing its texture.

Freezing also diminishes to a small extent the nutritional value of the food, and its vitamin and mineral content – although the 'Fast Freeze' option (or 'Automatic Fast Freeze'), provided by many of the more expensive freezers, minimises this deterioration.

Whatever the case, freezing certainly cannot be said to improve the taste of food.

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