I can freeze at home - that's just as good, isn't it?
Afraid not! First, you don’t know how fresh or matured a product is before you freeze it, and that could affect the quality and flavour. Secondly, your freezer at home will freeze food slowly, allowing ice crystals to form in the food. These are bad news – see our next FAQ. The fact is, your freezer at home is designed to keep food frozen, but not to freeze it from fresh – for that, you need a professional ‘blast freezer’, like we have at Donald Russell.
What's so bad about ice crystals?
Ice crystals form when food is frozen slowly, like in your own home freezer. They damage the structure of the meat, meaning that when it’s defrosted, it leaks a lot of liquid. This can make the end result disappointingly dry. By freezing food super-fast, like we do here, we can prevent the formation of most ice crystals, meaning your meat is juicier and more delicious!
What's the best way to defrost my food?
Unlike freezing, defrosting is best done slowly. We recommend keeping food in its packaging and defrosting overnight in the fridge. This way, the meat stays juicier and more tender.
How long can I keep food in my freezer?
This varies from product to product – for instance, fish should be kept for a shorter time than beef. It also depends on exactly when the item was frozen in the first place. Here at Donald Russell, we’ll always put a ‘best before’ date on every product, so you can be sure you’re eating food at its best.
Do I have to throw it away if it’s past its ‘best before’ date?
If you have anyone vulnerable or of poor health in your family, then this is a good idea. However, the ‘best before’ date is just that – a guideline as to when food is at its best. Most foods, particularly raw cuts of beef like steaks, will not instantly become unsafe to eat after the ‘best before’ date, but they may start to deteriorate a little in quality – for instance, the flavour and texture may not be at their optimum.