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52

Use a salted ice-water bath. The water increases the contact and heat dissipation, and adding salt allows the temperature to go below freezing.


43

If your stock turns to jelly in the fridge, it means you did it right! Simmering the bones breaks down the collagen and turns it into gelatin; that's the very essence of stock-making. The gelatin is exactly what you want from the stock; at low temperatures it has a very jelly-like consistency, but at higher temperatures it melts and provides a very rich ...


38

They're often called ice spikes. Ten years ago these things were pretty mysterious, but now Wikipedia even has a video of them growing out of ice cube trays in a freezer. Basically, the ice surface freezes first, which slightly pressurizes the water underneath. That water breaks through the crust, and continues to flow, and freeze to equalize pressure ...


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 ...


27

That's not how it happens. Turkey can be labeled "fresh" as in -never frozen- even if the turkey is held at temperatures below freezing. By law, 26F (-3.33C) is the cutoff in the US. If the turkey spends weeks at 27F, it can still be labeled fresh even though it would be considered frozen to any of us mere mortals. So, if a turkey has spent 2 weeks at 27F, ...


23

For years I did the 'once a week' cooking, which has the advantage of not requiring much freezer space (which I didn't have, with my under-counter apartment fridge). Part of the trick was cooking something that could be used multiple ways with minimal effort -- a blend of ground beef, onions and peppers could be turned into a pasta sauce, mexican food, etc. ...


23

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

There are a variety of factors at work here: Freezing foods "improperly" (i.e. not flash-frozen, not vacuum-sealed) causes ice crystals to form within the food, damaging the molecular structures. This is what causes many frozen leftovers to become "mushy" or change in texture. Again due to the formation of ice and the movement of water when the food is ...


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


16

Wired Magazine had a recent guide on how to make crystal clear ice. I'm copying it here since the article says it's under Creative Commons license: Go Big Ditch the ice tray and use a large vessel like a thick plastic bowl or, better yet, an insulated cooler. Fill it with water and stow it in the freezer. Wait The H2O can take a day or so to solidify. ...


16

Yes, they can be, but you'll want to prick each one with a sharp knife once or twice to prevent them from bursting. Once that is done, put them into a small freezer-safe storage bag, remove as much air as possible from the bag, and seal it. They keep reasonably well for about six months without tasting "burnt," but they tend to be a tad mushy upon ...


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 ...


16

To start with, the red, or dark, juice from red meat is not, in fact, blood, which is a common misconception. Most blood is drained from red meat when it is butchered. It is, rather, a protein (myoglobin) and a lot of water. It is an animal's levels (or lack of) myoglobin, that determine whether it is a 'red' meat or white. As for its safety after being ...


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 ...


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

Water freezes at 32F, but turkey contains more than just water. Alton Brown answers this question in his original turkey episode of Good eats. The meat freezes at 26F, so they can call it "fresh" if it's kept at say, 30F (below the freezing temp for water). The USDA recognizes "frozen" for a turkey as having been brought down to 0F. Apparently the middle ...


12

I kind of combine Joe's answer with J Wynia's at my house. We have a standing freezer in the garage, so luckily I have room for a lot of stuff :) I've always been a strategic shopper (chicken breast is $1.49 this week? you better believe I'm buying 20 lbs), so the outside freezer has already paid for itself many times over. We actually got ours from a ...


12

To prevent the vegetable from going 'off' in the freezer. From answers.com: Blanching is the scalding of vegetables in boiling water or steam. Blanching slows or stops the action of enzymes. Up until harvest time, enzymes cause vegetables to grow and mature. If vegetables are not blanched, or blanching is not long enough, the enzymes ...


12

I have a whole freezer full of jalapenos - so yes, you definitely can. They definitely retain their heat just fine. They keep their texture better if you do 2 things: Use a vacuum sealer and take out all the air - to reduce freezer burn. Because of this, I recommend you freeze them in batches. Blanche them for 2-3 minutes in boiling water and then drop ...


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. ...


12

Yes, of course you can keep flour in the freezer. For whole wheat flour, which is susceptible to rancidity due to the fat from the whole grain being included, it is even recommended. For white flour, according to the University of Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County (emphasis added): For longer storage, keep white flours in the refrigerator in an ...


12

The University of Ohio extension publishes a clever tip: Place two or three ice cubes in a plastic freezer bag and seal. Keep this in the freezer at all times. In an upright freezer, you can have a test bag on each shelf. If there is a power outage you will know if the interior temperature was above 32°F if the cubes melt. If the cubes are melted, ...


12

Microwaving meat to defrost it tends to start cooking it at the edges and generally make it go weird and rubbery (scientific terms I know). So yes, it is better to defrost 'naturally' in the fridge, in terms of quality. Freezing damages meat by bursting the cell walls as their water expands. This affects the texture more than the flavour. The damage is done ...


12

Welcome to Seasoned Advice. The real truth is that most "fresh" turkeys are not fresh at all. Especially in the case of branded birds that are shipped en masse. The turkeys are most often shipped to markets frozen and they are thawed when placed for sale. (I have been inside of back room freezers and have seen them stocked there.) I have actually seen them ...


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

I agree with yossarian, if I question it, I chuck it. Although in this case, the salmon probably will not harm you, it might just taste bad. Loss of moisture (freezer burn), taking on of flavours, etc. I wouldn't eat it because it wouldn't taste great. My father-in-law would eat it, because you don't throw out food (his rule). Bottom line, if it has ...


11

If it is sealed in an air tight container and the freezer always stays very cold so the meat never thaws- then chicken and beef will stay good indefinitely. I have used both chicken and beef that had been frozen in my deep freezer at 0F for years with no ill effect. I can't speak for shrimp as I have no personal experience but I would expect it to be the ...


11

Freezing is bad for things which have a special structure and lots of water. Everything else should be OK with freezing. The prime example of a thing which behaves badly when frozen is a fruit. It consists mostly of water, but is firm instead of liquid because the water is contained within a cellulose structure created by the cell walls of the fruit. When ...


10

You have two options for freezing egg whites: Use an ice tray and place one egg white in each of the wells Gently mix the whites (don't whip) and place the mixture, either into ice trays or freezer bags. Approximately 2 tablespoons of egg white mixture equals a single egg.


10

Soup freezes great in my experience. To freeze it for long term storage, you'll probably want it to be vacuum sealed. In order to do this I freeze individual sized portions in Tupperware-style containers (make sure to leave enough room for expansion), and as soon as they're solid, vacuum seal those large "cubes". They generally stack pretty nicely in our ...



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