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Food Storage Tips

Read these 30 Food Storage Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Cooking tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Spice storage

Always store your herbs and spices away from heat and moisture in an airtight container. This will prevent moisture from collecting in the herbs and causing mold and mildew which can harm your family. It will also ensure they stay fresh and that they do not overdry if in extreme heat. The heat and direct sun can also cause bleaching of the herbs. You want your herbs to be fresh in taste and sight so you can create the best dish possible. So move that spice cabinet to the other side of the kitchen.

   

Freezing Prosciutto

Remove the store's packaging and place the prosciutto in an aluminum foil pouch. Place the pouch in a plastic freezer bag. Put the date on the bag and freeze within three days of purchase. The prosciutto can be used up to two months after freezing.

   

Freezing Salami

Remove your salami from the store's packaging. Wrap it in tin foil. Place the salami in a plastic freezer bag and seal shut. Make sure you date the bag. Place the salami in the freezer within two days of its purchase. Use within three to four months.

   
What can I do with bananas that are overripe?

Storing Bananas

Cooking tips for storing foods:
Cool Food Storage is very effective! You can save ripe bananas for baking later, just mash them and freeze in the amounts needed for your recipes. If you are short on time just put them in the freezer, unpeeled, and when ready to use let them defrost and peel. You barely have to mash them, because they are already very soft.

   
How can I keep bread fresh?

Bread in the Refrigerator

Cooking tips: Don't let bread go to waste, use smart food storage techniques. Bread will keep up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator if you wrap it in foil and store it on a low shelf.

   
What are some chicken safety tips?

Chicken Safety

Use smart food storage techniques to protect yourself from Bacteria in raw chicken.

-Marinade in which raw chicken has been soaking should never be used on fully cooked chicken.
-Thaw frozen chicken in the refrigerator, not on the countertop.
-Freeze uncooked chicken if it is not going to be used within 2 days.

   
I found some apples that I bought last month, are they ok to eat?

Apple Storage

If the apples have been stored in your refrigerator, they should be fine to eat for up to 2 months.

   
How long after the expiration date is milk safe to drink?

Got Milk?

Healthy cooking tips: Expiration dates on milk are usually very conservative. If the milk is properly stored, it should be fine to drink up to a week after the date on the carton.

   
How can I keep my cucumbers fresher longer?

Cucumber Storage

To extend the life of a cucumber once it has been cut open, wrap it in a paper towel and keep it in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator.

   
How do I store cheese?

Cheese Storage

Smart Food Storage:

1)The best place to store cheese is in the refrigerator, the closer to the bottom the better...preferably in the vegetable crisper.
2) Hard cheeses will keep in the freezer, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, for two to three months. It is best not to store a soft cheese in the freezer.

   
How do I keep celery fresh?

Keep Celery Fresh For Weeks

cooking tips:

I found a way to keep celery fresh for 2 weeks or longer. Take it out of the bag it came in, rinse it with water and wrap it in aluminum foil. This will keep it chilled and lasting longer.

   
What is the best way to store tomatoes?

Tough Tomatoes

The most effective Food storage for tomatoes is in a brown paper bag or closed container. Adding an apple or pear to the container can also hasten ripening. Store the tomatoes in a single layer and with the stem ends up to avoid bruising.

   
Does freezing affect taste of food?

Seasoning Defrosted Food

Freezing may affect some spices, so it's a good idea to check and re-season if necessary when cooking previously frozen food.

   
How long can I store ground meat safely?

Ground Meat Safety

Ground meat will keep safely in the refrigerator for only 1 to 2 days. If you don't plan on using it immediately, put it in the freezer where it will keep for 3 months.

   
How do I store pasta?

Storing Pasta

Store uncooked pasta in a tightly sealed package or food storage container in a cool, dry place. Food stoage works. Store and use non-egg pasta for up to three years and egg pasta for up to two years.

   
How can I store shredded cheese?

Grated Cheese

Put a teaspoon of baking soda in your container of grated cheese. Shake well before freezing and your cheese will not stick together.

   
What is the best way to keep my celery from wilting?

Crisp Celery

Dampen a paper towel, wrap it around your celery, and then wrap completely in foil. It will stay crisp in your refrigerator for at least a month.

   

How to Get the Smell Out of Food Storage Containers

Some leftovers can really leave your containers smelling bad. You don't have to through them away though. You can crumble up some sheets of newspaper and place them in the containers. Put the lids on the containers and set them out over night. When you get up in the morning, all you need to do is wash the containers with dish soap and water. The smell will be gone.

   
What is the best way to store nuts?

Nuts!

If I am not planning to use nuts immediately, I like to store them in the freezer to preserve their freshness. They will also crack more easily after freezing.

   
How can I freeze berries?

Freezing Berries

Cool Food Storage Tip: Freezing berries is easy. Spread berries out on jelly roll pans in a single layer, making sure the berries are not touching. Freeze until firm. When berries are completely frozen, remove from the pan and place in freezer containers of your choice. Freezing the berries individually means you can remove the amount you want without having them stick together.

   
How do I store foods I've dried?

Storing Dried Foods

Almost anything can be used as a food storage container for dried foods, as long as it has a tight fitting lid. Lidded jars or other containers work well, as well as storage bags or plastic containers. Be sure to store the dried food in a dark, cool place to prevent oxidation. Store the food in small batches, and be sure to check weekly for signs of mold for the first several weeks.

   
How do I keep my food safe at a picnic?

Picnic Safety Measures

Important cooking tips! Food poisoning is a real danger at outdoor picnics. Make sure to keep any food you plan on serving below 45 degrees or above 140 degrees for as long as you possibly can. Keep your salads (especially mayonnaise based salads) in the refrigerator until mealtime, and make sure that any grilled foods are fully cooked and served hot. If possible, keep your cold foods in a food storage cooler at all times, or replace in the cooler as soon as everyone has been served.

   
Is it safe to put my cooked meats back in the marinade?

Marinating: Safety

Don't put cooked meats in the same dish that held the meat\marinade when it was raw. The bacteria from raw meat can contaminate cooked food.

   
Where do I keep raw meat for safety?

Keeping Raw Meat

Place raw meat on a plate or pan in the refrigerator to keep juices from dripping on other food.

   
What can I do with extra tomato sauce when I only need to use a little

Saving Sauce

Place any extra sauce or broth into a plastic ice cube tray. When they are frozen, pop them out and put them in a ziploc bag for smart food storage. If you measure out the sauce or broth before you freeze it, you won't even have to defrost it when you need to use it, just toss it into the pot.

   
How can I save time in the kitchen?

Organize

Stay organized. Save time in the kitchen by making storage space work for you. Keep baking products, mixer bowls, baking pans and measuring cups in the same area of the kitchen. Save space by storing coffee, filters and mugs near the pot, dishes and cutlery near the sink.

   
How can I prepare chicken safely?

Chicken safety

You should always wash your hands, knife and cutting board thoroughly in the dishwasher or very hot, soapy water after cutting or skinning raw poultry. Do not reuse the knife and cutting board until it has been thoroughly cleaned. Never place cooked poultry on the same platter that you used for your raw poultry. If I am taking chicken outside to grill, I will cover a plate with foil, place the raw chicken on top of that, and then remove the foil for after the chicken has been cooked. Use smart food storage techniques to protect yourself from Bacteria in raw chicken.

   
How can I prevent bacteria?

Beware of Bacteria

Bacteria grows most rapidly between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F. For smart food storage keep foods above or below this range as much as possible.

   
What is the best way to keep fish fresh?

Fresh Fish

The best way to keep fish really fresh is to place the fish in a double plastic bag filled with water and place near the freezer wall. Fish should never be refrozen.

   
Do spices spoil?

Spice Storage

Good food storage techniques can help your herbs and spices keep for about a year, if you store them in a tightly sealed container, preferably out of the light. They will be safe to eat after the year is up, but will have lost most of their flavor.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Alicia Bodine