The coin in the freezer trick is something that everyone should know about. Great for when you travel or when there’s a power outage! So simple, but so incredibly useful!
This coin in the freezer trick is definitely one of those ones that made me go “Yes! So smart! Why don’t we all do this?” I have to admit that I’m a little bit of a food safety geek from all of the training I had when I ran the coffee shop back in the day, but this is still super handy for everyone to know about. Seriously, food safety is so fascinating. I know you don’t believe me, but it totally is. 🙂 If you ever come back from vacation and wonder what happened while you were away, whether your frozen foods had a chance to defrost if the power went out, or whether your perishable foods, frozen fruits, and frozen veggies are safe to eat, you’ll find it such a relief to have a coin in the freezer.
How to Freeze Water Properly for the Coin in the Freezer Trick
So here’s the trick:
Take a small container that’s appropriate for freezer storage, fill it with cold tap water, and place it in your freezer until it’s frozen solid. Next, stick a quarter (or any coin, really) on the surface of the ice and put it back into the freezer. Just to be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to place one in your deep freeze as well as the freezer compartment of your fridge, and anywhere else you store frozen foods as well so you can take track of the thawing and freezing of anything you need to keep frozen if your power goes out.
Let me explain: If you’re ever away on vacation or (unfortunately) evacuated from your home for some kind of emergency and you come home to see signs that the power has been out and you suspect there may have been some melting, that little coin just may save you a lot of stress and illness. It could also provide you with a lot of peace of mind. Of course, whenever the power goes out for an extended period of time, we all worry about the food in our freezers staying frozen, and whether or not it’s still safe to eat it. This is especially true if you always like to keep a well-stocked freezer like we do. That’s a lot of food that could go to waste if you’re unable to keep everything at below-freezing temperatures!
When you go to check your food, it may be frozen right when you’re looking at it, but does that mean it’s been frozen the whole time, or did it just re-freeze after the power came back on? This is always the first thing I think of, so I love having the peace of mind that this little coin trick provides.
Is The Food in Your Freezer Safe to Eat?
I think it’s important to know food safety temperatures in general, as well as key information like the ideal freezer and refrigerator temperature ranges. Your refrigerator should always be below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and your freezer should be at 0°F or below.
If food enters the “danger zone” of between 40°F and 140°F, bacterial growth can happen much more quickly and you risk running into problems. Of course, food doesn’t become dangerous the second that it reaches that temperature range. We serve food at room-temperature all the time on buffets and at potlucks. I was always taught that if food falls within the danger zone and stays there for two hours or more, that’s when you start to risk a rapid increase in bacterial growth, so you want to avoid that.
It’s important to note that food doesn’t necessarily always heat up and defrost evenly. Foods that you keep in the freezer might show signs of melting and you may see things like drips on the outside of a package while the inside would have remained fully frozen. Always err on the side of caution and if you think even part of an item isn’t safe to eat, discard the whole thing. Wrapping your frozen foods tightly in a way that’s as airtight as possible may help slow down the defrosting process and it will also help prevent contamination as well. Once thawed, use up foods right away, or throw them out. It’s best not to refreeze them unless you’re dealing with baked goods, which may not taste as good if they’re frozen twice but should be safe to eat if they came up to room temperature during a power outage.
It Makes So Much Sense!
Whenever you think you’ve lost power in your home or even if you’re not totally sure and you just want to double check, go to your kitchen and look at the coin in the freezer! If you find the coin still sitting on top of the ice, then the power came back on soon enough. Everything stayed good and frozen. When you see that the coin has fallen to the bottom of the container, you know that the power was out for quite awhile and most of your food probably defrosted. If you see this, get rid of all the food in your freezer and start fresh.
The coin the freezer trick can really save you a lot of worry and uncertainty and I just love that. If you’re reading this, I hope you run to your freezer right away to try this out, just to give yourself a little bit of extra peace of mind the next time you’re away from your home. I know I ran straight to my freezer when I heard about this!
I hope you found this tip helpful!
Definitely be sure to pin this one on Pinterest if you can’t get it done right away and share it with your friends and family on Facebook too using the buttons at the top of the page so we can all have nice, safe freezers! 🙂
MORE HANDY TIPS AND TRICKS
- Folding Hacks: How to fold everything just a little bit better
- My Favorite Packing Essentials for an Organized Getaway
- How to Clean Your Floors: Believe it or Not, There’s a Right Way to Mop!
- Cleaning White Canvas Sneakers
- Cleaning an Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven Like a Le Creuset
- Camping Tips That Will Make You Love Camping Even if You’re Pretty Sure it’s Just Not Your Thing
- How to Really Clean Your Gas Stove
- The No Sweat Chemical-Free Way to Remove Stubborn Labels From Jars
- The Creek Line House Homekeeping Tips and Tricks Archives
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.