Want to freeze chili, spaghetti sauce or soup? Plastic “boxes” like Lock & Locks are great for staying sealed, but usually contain some air space (which is wasted space in a tiny freezer) and don’t always fit into the space available. Ziplocs would be great for making the most of the space but have a nasty tendency to pop open and create a mess.
Here’s a great tip from reader Allan Cobb. Here’s what he wrote me:
Ziplocs never really seal completely and they can actually open if compressed leading to spills or freezer burn. What I do to prevent that is to seal the top of the bag with duct tape.
I fill the bag, zip it shut, and then tear off a piece of duct tape a couple of inches longer than the top of the bag. I affix the tape to the top of the bag and fold the tape over to seal both sides. I have overlap at both ends to completely seal off the top of the bag.
To use the contents, I just cut the top of the bag off just below the zipper. It’s a one-time use system but it really seals the bags. I use this when I freeze extra chili, soup, gumbo, etc.I think it would also be good when freezing meat to avoid freezer burn. With a very small freezer, I never wanted to waste even the tiniest bit of space and so I’d always remove meat from the tray it came on and either vacuum seal it or put it in a Ziploc. And more than once, the Ziploc opened and I had freezer burn. This would have prevented that!
P.S. If you have a hard time filling bags by yourself, check out this helpful “extra set of hands” that reader Diane Dashevsky told me about!