Tools

Useful freezing tools most likely already live in your kitchen. Sharp knives, a cutting board, bowls, a rubber spatula, a peeler, measuring cups and spoons, and a strainer may all come into play. But a few other items are essential or optional yet helpful when freezing foods.

Essentials
  • Zip-close bags of various sizes: Bags are ideal for most foods because you have more flexibility in how full you fill each bag and how you fit all bags in your freezer.
  • Freezer containers of various sizes: Containers that withstand the freezer’s cold temperatures may be needed for liquid items, such as stocks.
  • Ice cube tray: I love ice cube trays for pesto, curry paste, and liquids I use in small amounts. A standard plastic tray produces 14 1-ounce cubes.
  • Permanent marker: My mom used to slide slips of paper into each freezer bag while it was at room temperature, but I find permanent markers work best for labeling and dating today’s bags; stick a piece of masking tape to a container and label using the same marker.

Optional
  • Kitchen scale: The more food you preserve, the more swiftly a kitchen scale will move from “optional” to “essential.”
  • Rimmed pan or tray: I prefer to prefreeze any small fruits or chopped vegetables on trays so that they don’t clump together in the freezer bag.
  • Funnel and Lifter

  • Wide-mouth funnel: Wide-mouth funnels are traditionally used for canning, but they can be great for loading loose items like berries into freezer bags.
  • Flat cheese grater: Although four-sided cheese graters are common, I prefer a sturdy, flat, metal grater with one hole size. This lets me place the grater directly on a colander set inside a bowl and neatly separate liquids and solids as I work.