The blog of cooking-ez.com

Using stretch food film effectively


8,307 15/5 for 3 ratings
Grade this page:

Last modified on: May 12th 2018

Using stretch food film effectively

Maybe you use food film in your own kitchen. You know, the very thin, clear plastic stuff that you can stretch, often used to cover food and protect it from the air. It’s become so widely used that it’s now an essential item for pros. They even have a verb for it in French: “filmer”: to wrap or protect with this famous stretchy film.

strech film


An indispensable aid in a professional kitchen, it’s also very useful for amateurs like us. If we need to put something in the fridge, such as leftovers, it’s very convenient to cover it with film first.

So let’s imagine that you have a portion of shepherd’s pie left (for example), still in its serving dish, and you want to keep it in the fridge for later in the week. You leave it to cool completely, just as you should, then cover with film and pop it in the fridge.

Naturally, you will cover the dish by stretching the film across the top, pull it down tight over the edges to seal it, then into the fridge it goes – quite normal.

But this method, though it does work after a fashion, is not very effective – and that’s what this post is all about. When we wrap or cover something with film, the idea is to seal it off from the air to reduce oxidation (of fresh produce) or stop it drying out (cooked food). If the film is simply stretched over the top of the container, some air (even if only a little) will be trapped inside with the food and the protection is not very efficient.

Here’s the trick: to protect food effectively with film, it is better to have the film in direct contact with the food. Stretching it doesn’t help; on the contrary. Pressing the loose film onto the food isolates it completely from the air.

Let’s look again at the shepherd’s pie example: you should lay the film over the top, of course, then make sure it follows the “cut” edge down, over the shape left by the serving spoon, to protect this exposed part.

Here is an illustration showing a strawberry coulis. This tends to oxidise rapidly if prepared in advance. The photo on the left show the “traditional” way to cover; the one on the right shows the film in direct contact with the coulis which, protected like this, will keep both its red colour and all its flavour.

strech film not close to food strech film close to food



To sum up: To protect food with plastic film, it is best to have the film in direct contact with the food.

Back to top of page

Lasts posts

Other pages you may also like

The mock CAP baker's certificate exam
The mock CAP baker's certificate exam
The next instalment in my life as an apprentice baker at the French INBP professional school. I’m now halfway through training and it’s still as exciting as ever, and exhausting – but maybe I’m just getting old, or both… Anyway, a few days ago we had to go through the mock CAP exam. A sort...
3,4695/5 for 5 ratings
Stand mixer tools
Stand mixer tools
1: WhiskMade up of lots of thin metal wires, this is mainly intended for whipping, to liquefy, mix and, above all, incorporate air with its rapid movement. Typical examples: beating egg whites or whipping cream.So this is a tool that needs to turn at high speed, in mixtures that are very fluid,...
8453.8/5 for 6 ratings
Maillard reactions
Maillard reactions
This subject cropped up recently in a discussion with my three charming nieces; do you know what Maillard reactions are? With a name like that, they could well be some principle in mechanics, but in fact the term applies to something much closer to all of us: it's what gives food more flavour...
6,8403.1/5 for 10 ratings
Different kinds of pastry and dough
Different kinds of pastry and dough
First, take some flour…When cooking in general, and particularly in baking, we can make and use many different kinds of pastry and dough. All built on the same "base": flour - a powder to which we add fat, liquid or both to produce the dough which is then cooked.Here is a brief overview of...
29,9593.9/5 for 19 ratings
The window-pane test in bread-making
The window-pane test in bread-making
The home bread-makers often ask themselves “Have I kneaded my dough long enough?” . A good question, as dough that is insufficiently kneaded will not rise properly or will fall flat when the top is slashed, which is very frustrating.To know when the dough is ready, one can rely on the length...
9,852 13.9/5 for 9 ratings

Post your comment or question

I am not a leaving thing

Your 1 comments or questions on this page

Follow this page

If you are interested in this page, you can "follow" it, by entering your email address here. You will then receive a notification immediately each time the page is modified or a new comment is added. Please note that you will need to confirm this following.
I am not a leaving thing
Note: We'll never share your email with anyone else.
Alternatively: you can subscribe to the mailing list of cooling-ez.com , you will receive a e-mail for each new recipe published on the site.

Back to top of page