Questions about LONG-TERM food storage such as canning, pickling, freezing, and drying.

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51
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1answer
13k views

How long can I store a food in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer?

How do I know if a given food or ingredient I have is still good, or if I should discard it? How can I best preserve a food or ingredient? This broad question is intended as a "general reference" ...
44
votes
10answers
233k views

How dangerous is it to refreeze meat that has been thawed?

I've often been told by people that I shouldn't refreeze meat (particularly hamburger meat) once it has been thawed. However, this seems a little silly to me. I can't imagine how meat that hasn't ...
28
votes
4answers
8k views

Does freezing butter or margarine change the properties?

I have a lot of butter & margarine and looking for ways to keep it for longer time. Will freezing them change melting point, flavor, or anything that could be undesirable when cooking? Update: ...
22
votes
11answers
10k views

Is there anything I can add to homemade bread to preserve it?

I love making our own bread - we rarely buy shop bought, but it tends to go off very quickly. Part of the appeal is that it doesn't have any "junk" in it - artificial preservatives - which I'm sure ...
19
votes
6answers
8k views

Are any retail vacuum-sealing systems worth the expense?

Living alone means that my leftovers tend to go a pretty long way, and I don't end up using raw ingredients as quickly as the supermarkets expect me to. For a while I've been considering investing in ...
18
votes
6answers
5k views

Can I freeze Milk?

After a bit of miscommunication, my wife and I ended up buying 6 litres of milk between us. I don't really want to waste it, so I'm wondering if it's safe to freeze some of it and defrost and use it ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Can one preserve food by periodically heating it?

I get that keeping food temperature low will slow down chemical reactions and preserve food, but sometimes my sister preserves food by heating it every 6 hours or so (up to 1-2 days). Does this help ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Why peel tomatoes?

Everyone seems to think it is necessary to peel tomatoes before canning or freezing them. Since I do not peel tomatoes when I'm cooking with them (soups, salsa, etc.), I'm wondering if I can freeze ...
14
votes
1answer
4k views

Why don't dry bread crumbs spoil, when bread does?

Why don't store-bought bread crumbs spoil? Can you make your own bread crumbs and save them for later use? Will homemade breadcrumbs mold?
13
votes
1answer
826 views

What's the difference between jam, jelly, and preserves?

I assume the difference in name is due to their cooking processes, but am unsure what exactly makes them different.
13
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9answers
14k views

Making “long(er)-life” homemade mayonnaise

Most recipes I've seen for mayonnaise suggest that homemade mayo should be kept in the fridge for no longer than between 3 and 5 days. What techniques or ingredients can be used to increase the ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it valid to claim that a jam contains no preservatives?

Some commercial jams state on the label that they contain "no preservatives", or are "preservative free". As I understand it, jam is a type of fruit preserve. Like most fruit preserves, it is ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

How to store garlic?

When I buy garlic, I normally put it in a bowl on the kitchen counter or in the pantry, and then pop off cloves as need. Sometimes, if the garlic has been around for a while, I find what looks like ...
12
votes
7answers
13k views

Can I make pickled eggs that don't require refrigeration?

This time of year I have a ton of extra eggs. In the winter I have fewer. I have, therefore, been experimenting with egg preservation techniques. I like pickled eggs a lot. They aren't very versatile ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

How to recover jam that has set too hard?

Every time I make jam I always manage to set it too hard. Is there any way to recover it once it's done this?
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Are there things you cannot freeze?

There are a lot of edible things that come to mind when I think about what can be frozen. But when I think about things you better not put in the freezer, I honestly have no idea. So, what food ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I can vegetables using sous-vide?

My girlfriend and I were talking about the summer produce season approaching and hit on the idea of canning sous-vide. That is, rather than sterilizing by high heat for a short amount of time, you ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is my blueberry jam grainy?

I recently made and canned blueberry jam for the first time, using this recipe and canning instructions. I filled all my jars & canned them, but there was a little jam left in the pot. It was a ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Can I preserve fresh potato gnocchi by drying it?

I have a lot of potatoes to use, and I am making a large batch of Gnocchi. I plan to freeze much of it, but I was wondering if it's also possible to dry the fresh Gnocchi and store in a sealed ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Can the bacon in homemade “Bacon Salt” be made shelf stable?

After success making several fancy salts including Sriracha, smoked, and green chili I've decided to try to move in to stranger and tastier territories. As such I want to make a bacon salt. The ...
10
votes
4answers
994 views

Corned Beef - From Scratch

I want to make corned beef, completely from scratch. How do I: Select the cut of beef to corn? Corn that cut? I'm well aware of how to prepare corned beef after that process, but I'd like to start ...
10
votes
5answers
20k views

How do I maximize the shelf life of my homemade hot sauce?

I am planning on putting this year's crop of hot peppers to use by trying my hand at making my own hot sauces. I've never tried this before, but I've found a number of recipes on the Internet. ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

Why prevent apples from turning brown?

It's somewhat well-known that applying an acidic solution to sliced apples prevents them from turning brown as quickly. I believe that the primary motivation to prevent the "browning" is aesthetic: ...
9
votes
5answers
69k views

What is the ideal fridge temperature

I notice that in both countries where I lived the fridges are kept at 6 or 7 °C (43-45 °F). When it would be colder, people find their drinks to cold, when served straight out of fridge (especially in ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I preserve large quantities of garlic?

I have a lot of garlic that is still fresh. How can I preserve it easily so that it can be used for a variety of uses later?
8
votes
9answers
37k views

Do you have to refrigerate Pickles?

So last weekend the wife and I got a huge jar of pickles at Costco. The thing is bigger than a gallon of milk (the wife really loves her pickles). There really isn't any room for it in the fridge, ...
8
votes
4answers
785 views

What are the herbs that “dry” the best?

Some fresh herbs seem to retain their flavor better than others when dried; for example, dried parsley has very little flavor, but dried tarragon tastes reasonably close to fresh tarragon. Which ...
8
votes
2answers
842 views

How long will a fresh herb paste last?

I make a paste using ground fresh basil, ground fresh mint, ground dried ginger, salt, ground roasted coffee, and raw honey (enough to coat all of the ingredients well). It makes a great rub, and can ...
8
votes
3answers
227 views

Pressure canning instructions

Where can safe and reliable instructions be found for canning? Including high and low altitude canning.
8
votes
1answer
470 views

How to make/preserve popcorn so that its taste and texture doesn't deteriorate within a day or two?

I really love popcorn and usually pop it on the stove and eat it right away. However I'd like to make it ahead to save for snacks at work. I tried this once before and the kernels got a bit stale ...
7
votes
3answers
8k views

Why do they put the jelly-like substance in pork pies?

I don't like the jelly-like substance found in between the pastry and meat of pork pies, and I don't know anyone that does, so I was wondering why they put it in. Or is it a by-product of the ...
7
votes
5answers
17k views

Minimum procedure for sterilizing mason jars for canning

My wife and I are about to do some tomato canning tomorrow. We have a bunch of mason jars that we didn't have time to sterilize. She thinks that just washing them in hot water is enough. After ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

Looking for non-standard (i.e. no dill) fermented pickle suggestions

I'm looking for some outside the box ideas for fermented (sour) pickles. Fermented pickles only use a salt water brine, spices and some time. Here's a short list of what I'm NOT looking for: ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

Why does olives with the pit left always taste better than pitted ones

When you buy or eat olives it seems that the high quality ones always have the pit left in them. If you buy cheaper, not so good olives, they will most likely be pitted. What is the reason behind ...
7
votes
1answer
262 views

How long will egg yolks keep?

I have one recipe that calls for several egg whites, and no egg yolks that I plan to make soon. I have other recipes that call for more yolks than whites (which I am not planning on using 'soon')... ...
7
votes
2answers
754 views

How can I recreate the flavour of instant ramen without the salt?

I am looking to make my own instant ramen soup - nothing complicated, but there must be a way to duplicate the instant variety without all the salt. I've played with combinations of dried onions + no ...
7
votes
2answers
195 views

How to determine if canning is safe?

How can I tell if it is safe to can a particular homemade sauce? Is it just a function of pH and technique (pressure vs boiling water) or are there any other factors in play? Specifically, I would ...
7
votes
1answer
485 views

How to ship bread or bread dough?

I've been thinking about starting a boutique mail order dinner roll business. Dough While I'd really like to ship dough and allow customers to bake (per roll) at their leisure, I'm beginning to think ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Does a home produce refrigerator exist?

It seems there are many foods that benefit from 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit / 10 to 15 degrees Celsius storage temperature--herbs, peppers, tomatoes, etc. As it stands, I store tomatoes and some ...
6
votes
1answer
619 views

How to remove individual steaks from a lump I mistakenly froze together?

I got a vacuum sealer and stored about 7 pieces of steak in 1 bag. I put it in the freezer and just now I decided to take out a couple of steaks to thaw out so I cut open the bag but all the steaks ...
6
votes
5answers
54k views

How long can you keep chocolate, and what is the best way to store it?

For instance, I have some bars of Valrhona I use for chocolate tarts and pastries, but I haven't been doing the dessert thing in a while. How long does chocolate last before losing flavor (or does ...
6
votes
5answers
6k views

Possible to freeze jam in glass?

I have read on multiple canning sites that you can freeze jam in glass jars. Has anyone actually done this successfully? Under what circumstances would it be preferable to putting the jam in plastic ...
6
votes
1answer
111 views

Why did my lids seal?

This has never happened to me before! Last night I made Refrigerator Pickles using cucumbers and an ordinary vinegar, water, sugar brine. My intention was to make a couple jars for co-workers who ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How to keep fresh lemon juice for a week without a change in its taste?

Are there any way to preserve the juice of lemon for, say, one week without a change in its taste? Even deep-freezing it makes it little bit bitter!
6
votes
3answers
495 views

Is there a way to speed up the process of making preserved lemons?

I really like preserved lemons, but I often find that I don't plan properly and don't time the month long wait properly. Is there a way to speed this process up? Preserved Lemons Quarter ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How can i preserve squid ink

I clean my own squids and I want to preserve the ink for later use. I was wondering what to do with the ink sac. Should I collect the ink in a little jar and freeze it? Or how long will it last in ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Do tinned foods go off (stale)?

This morning I found a tin of baked beans with a best before date of August 2014. A colleague of mine told me that it's perfectly safe to eat, and that tinned foods never go off. Can this be true? Do ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Should cheese be frozen?

I just put a piece of parmesan cheese into the freezer part of a fridge. Is this practice good or bad? I did this because when I bought the cheese, I could not back to home immediately and the cheese ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

What are some easy, safe fermented foods to make at home? [closed]

Pickles, dilly beans, etc. (different veggies, same technique) Kombucha Sauerkraut Kimchi Yogurt
5
votes
5answers
11k views

Frying - Oil foams

I am relatively new to deep-frying. Having seen the questions about oil reuse and conservation, I'm still at a loss about what's going on with my oil... My sunflower oil foams like crazy. I've been ...