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65

General comments on the shelf-, fridge-, and freezer-life of foods The shelf-life is the amount of time a food can be stored before it is considered unsuitable for use. It may be unsuitable due to quality degradation (no longer tasty) or food safety (risk of food poisoning). [1] As far as food safety goes, food stored frozen at 0°F (-18°C) or below is ...


30

Butter and margarine freeze perfectly. I generally stock up during sales and thaw it as needed. You just have to make sure it's wrapped tightly in the foil, to prevent oxidation. It'll keep at least 6 months, probably more if you don't have a self-defrosting freezer. Thawing butter does take quite a while, however. I usually give a package a few days to ...


26

Here is why it's stupid: Sous-vide doesn't get hot enough to kill botulism spores. Low acid foods will be very dangerous. Boiling is required for a strong seal on canning jars. All pectin jellies I have seen require boiling to set. High acid recipes often call for processing in a water bath for a mere 10 minutes to seal the lids. Recipes that don't call ...


22

In theory you could thaw and refreeze as many times as you like, though the changes in temperature would definitely alter the quality of the meat's taste and texture. What matters most is how long the meat has been in the so-called "danger zone" speaking from a temperature perspective. The "danger zone" is defined as being between 41 to 135 °F (5 to 57 °C). ...


21

From the FDA site: "The term 'chemical preservative' as defined by 2l CFR 101.22(a)(5), 'means any chemical that, when added to food tends to prevent or retard deterioration thereof, but does not include common salt, sugars, vinegars, spices or oils extracted from spices, substances added to food by direct exposure thereof to wood smoke, or chemicals applied ...


18

There is some real science on this. See http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/15684/PDF When frozen to −20°C butter can last 1 year with no real change in quality


17

YES! If food is quickly heated and kept above 140F/60C, microorganisms can't grow in the food. Professional kitchens use steam tables to keep food warm at this temperature throughout a day's service. If the product is cooled quickly (generally using an ice bath), then it can be used for more than one day. Another approach is often used for stocks and ...


16

Worked fine for us; we used to cottage with people who didn't want to shop very often, had lots of kids and a big freezer out back. We would buy lots of milk and freeze it just fine. Do let it defrost completely before trying to use it. We never noticed any separation, nor problems with expansion - do be aware of the container the milk is actually in, and ...


15

A lot of dairy products become watery or start to separate if they've been frozen or defrosted: pastries with cream fillings, cream cheese, sour cream. The USDA says does not recommend that eggs or canned foods be stored frozen. Eggshells can crack easily, and even if the shells remain intact, the consistency of egg yolks makes them difficult to use for ...


14

There used to be a good reason to add the jelly to the meat pie: food safety. In the time before refrigerators, it was hard to keep meat without some spoilage. But a slaughtered fully grown pig meant some hundred kilos of meat, and it wasn't eaten on a single day. Most of the bacteria which spoil meat need oxygen to proliferate. So once you pack the meat ...


14

Bacteria need a friendly environment to live. They can't survive without mosture. Mold tolerates more, but it needs moisture for life too. Bread is too dry a food, so it doesn't catch bacteria. This is why it can be stored outside the fridge. But if you live in a moderately humid climate, it can still be moist enough for mold to grow, especially if stored ...


14

Assuming the can was canned properly and has not been damaged, the contents are effectively sterile, because the food is boiled in the can after it's sealed. There might be some degradation in texture and taste, but in terms of food safety, they are effectively safe. Note that the date on your tin is given as Best Before, not Use By. That generally means ...


13

When tomatoes are cooked (which I assume you plan on doing for canning or after freezing) the skins become tough and usually detach from the tomato. Since you usually don't mind this, you shouldn't mind it with canned tomatoes either, but many people do - even when pureed the texture is different. When freezing you can freeze whole and the skin should come ...


13

according to the Ball canning book (paraphrasing)... JAM is made by cooking crushed or chopped fruits with sugar, and is made of one fruit or a combination of fruits, is spreadable, and is firm but will not hold the shape of the jar. JELLY is made from juice strained from fruit, usually prepared in a way to keep it crystal clear, and is gelatinized enough ...


13

When I make home made bread, I decide how much I'm going to eat in the next day or two and leave that out on the breadboard, usually just covered with a tea towel. I usually put the cut side down on the board to help prevent it from drying out. The rest gets pre-sliced, put in a zip-top bag, and stashed in the freezer. A few minutes in the toaster oven, and ...


13

It's fairly obvious that they mean no 'artificial' or 'added' preservatives, considering that's what people usually get their undergarments in an entanglement about. Sodium benzoate (E211) is the most commonly used 'artificial' preservative used in jams because it prevents bacteria and fungus growing when it's used in acidic conditions. I use quotation ...


12

I found that when I dry apple slices (usually early dessert apples) that there is no noticeable difference in the finished product - except of course the colour. I went so far as to have people blind-test them, nobody could tell between acid-treated and "natural" dried apples with statistical significance.


12

Your best bet for preserving quality (and safety) is to re-seal the bag, then leave them in the fridge for a bit. You want them to thaw a little, so you can pry them apart. Its safe to re-freeze after this (as the meat never entered the danger zone, indeed it probably never got above ~30°F). There will be some quality loss from the partial thaw-freeze cycle. ...


11

As the water in the muscle fibers freezes it expands and creates a mushy texture. The reason that commercially frozen meat has less degradation of texture is due to the speed at which they can freeze things. The quicker that freezing takes place the smaller the ice crystals will be. Home freezers are best at keeping frozen foods frozen but take much longer ...


11

My whole wheat bread takes 4x to go off than my white bread. Even a mixture of 50% whole wheat flour will make it last longer. But that will only help if the problem is the bread getting hard too soon. That can also be prevented by keeping it in a plastic bag. You'll get the mold before the bread goes stale. If you're keeping the bread in a plastic bag, try ...


10

This is the cheapest chamber vacuum sealer that I've come across: VacMaster VP112. At $669, it's half the price of most other chamber sealers. Chamber models are far more "professional" than the stuff marketed to the home, and my understanding is that they are far more reliable. The difference between a chamber model and a home model is that you place your ...


10

Absolutely. We always buy twice as much as we need and freeze the extra. Open the milk and pour out a couple cups to make sure it doesn't burst when it freezes. Then just leave it in the fridge for a day to thaw before you need it. The milk is translucent/yellow when it is frozen but after it is thawed I can't detect a difference in it. I haven't tried ...


10

Last summer was a long time ago. The National Center for Food Preservation has this to say about herbs in oil: Oils may be flavored with herbs if they are made up for fresh use, stored in the refrigerator and used within 2 to 3 days. There are no canning recommendations. ... Pesto is an uncooked seasoning mixture of herbs, usually including fresh basil, ...


9

Washing them in hot water is most certainly not enough. Sterilization via boiling under pressure is guaranteed to kill every harmful pathogen, particularly Clostridium botulinum, the beastie responsible for botulism. The "hot" water from your tap is not enough to kill the spores. C botulinum spores must be heated to 250 F for at least three minutes to ...


9

Before filling the jars, you should do the following: Place the jars (right-side-up) on a rack inside a boiling-water canner Fill the canner and jars with water to one inch above the jars Boil for 10 min (or more for higher elevations) Remove and drain the jars, one at a time I toss the lids and rings in there as well, since the lids seal best ...


9

The USDA says refrigeration temperature should be 40°F (4.4°C) or below. If food is in there at a higher temperature (such as the 43-45°F the question mentions), for longer than 2 hours, and they're saying the food isn't safe. Keep in mind that when too cold, after a while parts of things freeze, which can damage items, or severely diminish their pleasant ...


9

Peel the garlic bulbs and mince (or food-proccessorize) them. Then portion the minced garlic into usable units and freeze those on a cookie sheet. Once they're frozen, keep the lumps-o-garlic in a convenient vessel in the freezer. You can then pull one lump at a time out of the freezer and use it.


9

No, it won't help you at all. Your vegetables aren't being eaten by bacteria or similar (and this is a good thing, foods which are rendered unsafe by bacteria shouldn't be kept more than 4 hours at room temperature). They are simply wilting. There is no way to stop the wilting process. It is the plant cells dying off and stopping being able to "take care ...


9

Those are the flavorings. Just like dill pickles have dill in them, those are what give the flavor profile that people expect from bread & butter pickles.


8

Toss in oil and do not salt. This should help keep the pasta from drying out. Refrigerate until you are ready to use it. Before use, quickly reheat the pasta in boiling water or in a hot pan, which will give the starch a fresher, "just cooked" texture (this is the same reason that you toast old bread)



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