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Kneaded Kitchens is now Kooi Housewares!
Kneaded Kitchens is now Kooi Housewares!

Making Use of an Extra Freezer

Hand Picked Blueberries - Giant onesOne of our favorite seasonal treats living here in west Michigan is fresh-picked blueberries. From early July until around Labor Day, the berries are plentiful and oh so delicious. We love to pick our own at one of the many farms in the area, but they are also readily available during that time at local farmers markets. Blueberry muffins … blueberry pie … blueberries on salad or in a smoothie … blueberries with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt … the ways to enjoy fresh blueberries seem to be endless.

A couple of years ago we decided that we would love to enjoy those blueberries year round, so we bought a chest freezer for our basement. Now we try to pick enough blueberries in season to freeze and enjoy all year. We freeze them in large zip lock bags (about 3 pounds of blueberries to the bag). We usually freeze about 40 to 50 pounds of blueberries to carry us through the year. 

After buying the freezer so that we could freeze blueberries, we discovered how practical an extra freezer can be. I love to grill almost all year round, so we have a “target price” for chicken thighs or pork loin that we watch for, then bag them up in meal sizes to freeze for future use. You could do the same with your favorite meats or other foods.

There are SO MANY uses for extra freezer space. If you cook more of something than you are going to be able to eat, portion it up and freeze the extra. My wife was given a cheesecake by one of our daughters as part of her Mothers Day present. We took a couple of pieces to enjoy now, then put the rest in the freezer for a future treat or for use if we have company coming over. And of course we keep a box of frozen fried rice packages available for a quick meal on those days that neither of us really has time to cook.

One of the great “tools” that we have discovered for keeping food in the freezer longer and staying away from “freezer burn” is a vacuum sealer. These small appliances remove the air from a freezer bag and seal them so that food stays usable much longer in the freezer. I would highly recommend one if you are going to be freezing a lot of food. 

One other great tool that we have discovered for using with our freezer is Souper Cubes, which is basically a silicone ice tray with one or two cup compartments. When we have leftover soup, or if we make a batch of fresh chicken or bone broth, we can freeze them in the Souper Cubes. When they are fully frozen, they can be easily popped out of the container and put into freezer bags for storage until use.

We have also found it useful to fill a five gallon jug about 80% full of water and freeze it. That way if you encounter a power outage, there is extra cooling power to help the items in the freezer survive.

Another “tip” for efficient use of a freezer is to use a Sharpie to write on the outside of the package. Write what you have inside, the number of items or weight, and the date the bag was frozen. This will allow you to “rotate stock” and use up what has been in the freezer the longest.

What are some of your go to items or tips for utilizing an extra freezer? Let me know at, and we’ll try to share them in a future blog post!

By Robby Richardson

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