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I have been working on making beef stock for about a month now. I am happy enough with the outcome that I would like to make larger batches and preserve it. It is currently the consistency of jelly after bringing down its temperature and letting it cool in the fridge overnight.

I am considering reducing the stock down to about 25% of its volume, letting it cool and set. Then I want to cut it into pieces, vacuum seal them and freeze them. Then, when I want to use it, add water to it until it is back to its original volume.

I am wondering how much this will affect the flavor of the stock.

  • Do you clarify the stock? – Cos Callis Apr 23 '18 at 21:02
  • I currently only strain it, but I was thinking of doing the clarification with eggs for the next batch. – Vellocet Apr 23 '18 at 21:09
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I've certainly never detected any adverse effects on the flavour from freezing and/or reducing stock.

However I no longer reduce stock before freezing as it seems like a waste to boil off loads of water only to add it later, when the only benefit is saving surprisingly little freezer space. It comes out a little more concentrated from my new slow cooker anyway, as it's hotter than the old one.

Stock is simmered for hours anyway; getting it very slightly hotter for a few more hours won't do any harm.

  • If boiling it down to 1/4 its original volume as OP suggests, that certainly saves freezer space. However, it stands to reason that you'd need to violently boil it to achieve that, and that could indeed burn it or drive aromatic compounds out... – rackandboneman Apr 24 '18 at 9:04
  • @rackandboneman it does, but but you need a bit of headspace for expansion on freezing and all containers have a dead volume which becomes more significant as you go smaller (though smaller containers may fit into odd little spacxes in the freezer). In general you wouldn't violently boil when making a reduction, and I don't see that it should be any different when reducing stock -- so a similar temperature to its original cooking but uncovered (maybe even start the process before straining by uncovering for the last hour or so of simmering) – Chris H Apr 24 '18 at 10:34
  • A bag full of small (stock) ice cubes would not have that much dead volume... – rackandboneman Apr 24 '18 at 10:41

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