Food Freezing Basics: Methods of Wrapping

(FN613, Reviewed August 2022)

Proper packaging helps keep food from drying out preserves nutritive value, flavor, texture and color.

Lead Author
Lead Author:
Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., Food and Nutrition Specialist
Web only
Publication Sections

A good packaging material should have the following characteristics:

  • Moisture/vapor-proof or at least moisture resistant
  • Made of food grade material, i.e. designed to be used for food products
  • Durable and leakproof
  • Doesn’t become brittle and crack at low temperatures
  • Resistant to oil, grease or water
  • Protect foods from off flavors and odors
  • Easy to fill and seal
  • Easy to mark and store

Methods of Wrapping

Drugstore Wrap

Cut off enough wrapping material to wrap around the food about 1½ times or enough to make three 1-inch fold down when wrapping.

  1. Place meat in center of wrapping.
  2. Bring two opposite edges of the wrap together centered above food.
  3. Fold the edges down in a series of folds ½ to 1 inch deep until the fold lies against the food.
  4. Press the fold down across the food, squeezing out the air.
  5. Turn package over. Press ends to remove air.
  6. Fold ends snugly with a double fold.
  7. Bring ends up and fasten securely with cord or freezer tape. Label.
Drugstore Wrap

Butcher Wrap

Best for bulky and irregular shaped foods. Cut off enough wrap to go around the food twice.

  1. Place food at one corner of the wrapping.
  2. Fold the food and wrap over two times in the direction of the opposite corner.
  3. Fold the ends up pushing the air out as you fold.
  4. With ends tucked up, continue to fold food and wrapping over.
  5. Pull end tight and seal with cord or freezer tape. Label.
Butcher Wrap

Casserole Wrap

Allows for reuse of baking dish after food is frozen.

  1. Line baking dish with heavy duty foil*, leaving a 1½ inch foil collar around the edge.
  2. Place food in foil-lined dish. Cover with sheet of foil the size of dish and foil collar. Press air out from center; fold edges together, sealing tightly.
  3. Label and freeze. When frozen, lift from dish and return food to freezer.

*You can use a plastic-type freezer wrap can be used to line baking dishes. The wrap needs to be large enough to fold over the top for sealing.

Casserole Wrap

Bundle Wrap

Good for odd shapes and semimoist foods. Foods may be baked or grilled in this wrap.

  1. Center food on a square of heavy duty foil large enough for adequate wrapping.
  2. Bring four corners of foil up together in a pyramid shape.
  3. Fold open edges together in locked folds, pressing air out, until foil is tight against food. Label.
Bundle Wrap

Reviewed November 2017

NDSU Extension