The big chill: A freezer guide

Freezing is one of the most convenient and least time-consuming methods of preserving foods. The extreme cold retards the growth of microorganisms and slows down chemical changes that affect quality or cause food to spoil. No matter how many years food is frozen, it's perfectly safe to eat. In fact, it might taste just as good as the day it was frozen. However, quality largely depends on freezer savvy: how food was wrapped, how fast it froze, how long it is kept, the freezer's temperature and whether the food should have been put on ice in the first place. Use this guide to learn the best ways to take your food from freezer to table. Make It, Freeze It, Take It: Marinades and sauces | Graphic

CiCi Williamson, April Umminger | Illustrations by Laura Stanton - The Washington Post; SOURCES: United States Department of Agriculture; University of Illinois Extension Service; "So Easy to Preserve," by Elizabeth L. Andress and Judy A. Harrison; North Dakota State University Extension Service

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