Questions tagged [food-preservation]

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

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67
votes
1answer
66k 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" ...
63
votes
9answers
598k 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 ...
32
votes
5answers
46k 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: ...
24
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14answers
80k 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 shelf-...
22
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5answers
9k 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 ...
21
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5answers
8k views

How can I get a very thick or viscous paste (e.g. caramel, ganache, thick mayonnaise) into small-necked squeeze bottles without heating it up?

This is a problem I've had with several types of food/sauce. I'll make a big batch of something like a thick caramel sauce or an extra-thick mayonnaise and it simply won't pass through a funnel into ...
21
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6answers
12k 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 ...
20
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6answers
12k 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 ...
20
votes
9answers
165k 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. ...
19
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13answers
100k 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 ...
18
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2answers
21k 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?
17
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3answers
4k 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.
16
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2answers
2k views

Repackaging shelf-stable products

For products that start out shelf stable but are labeled "refrigerate after opening," I'm wondering if it's possible to safely return them to their shelf-stable status to save refrigerator space. A ...
15
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3answers
6k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
6k 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
4answers
3k views

How do I preserve a tomato's freshness after it is cut?

I've seen and read online, and experienced firsthand, that refrigerating a tomato is an awful idea. Not only does it lose freshness, it does little to prevent wilting and leads to flavorless tomato. ...
13
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4answers
12k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

How to tell if preserved chillis are still good?

I grew dozens more chillis than I was able to use this year so rather than throw them away I preserved them in a mason jar. I didn't have a lot of time to do it so I looked online and an article (...
13
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1answer
3k views

Preserving culinary oils

I've been making a chili oil and green onion oil for my friends for months with a lot of interest in buying. I want to start selling it at farmers markets & stores but want to ensure it is ...
13
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
8k views

How long could a meat-based broth be held safely near 180F/82C?

This question is the flip-side of the commonly asked food temperature safety concerns. I'd like to know, if a meat-based soup stock (chicken/pork/beef/etc) were to be held constantly at a safe hot ...
13
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2answers
13k 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?
12
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6answers
5k views

Can I separate garlic into cloves for storage?

I bought jar for garlic but it can store only two bulbs with most place being wasted. Can I separate bulb into cloves and store them? Or will it significantly shorten the lifespan of garlic? EDIT To ...
12
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4answers
3k views

For Pressure Canning, can I use any other jar than Ball’s Mason Jar?

So Ball’s Mason Jar is not as common in my country but I want to try my hand at pressure canning sambal (chili, garlic, fermented shrimp paste, no vinegar). Is there any alternative to Ball’s Mason ...
12
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
12
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3answers
9k views

Why do fridge temperature standards between US and other countries differ?

US recommendations always go for +4°C at most, and this would correlate with how the danger zone is defined in the pertinent literature. In Germany, most literature (and also the specification next ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does processed meat contain preservatives, while canned fish needs not?

I've read that canned salmon typically does not contain any preservatives. On the other hand processed meat (such as ham) contains them. Why are preservatives needed in some cases but not others?
11
votes
5answers
32k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
7k 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: ...
11
votes
3answers
7k 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 and/...
11
votes
5answers
139k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
766 views

How do I work out the use-by dates for my own cooking?

If I sort my fridge by 'eat by' date, what is the best way of dealing with food's I've cooked, or partially cooked, myself? In my fridge there are such delights as: thrawed from frozen ...
11
votes
1answer
267 views

Is there any significant flavour difference between dehydrated and sun-dried tomatoes?

I have a large batch of tomatoes which I want to preserve. I am confused between sundrying them and dehydrating them. Essentially they are the same processes but is there any significant flavour ...
10
votes
9answers
231k 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, ...
10
votes
4answers
4k 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
5answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
120k 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 it)...
9
votes
1answer
57k views

How long does it take botulism spores to germinate in the fridge?

Based on this question, I started wondering how long I could keep an anerobic food in the fridge before I have to worry about botulism colonization. 1 day? 3 days? 2 months? Clearly it's not a ...
9
votes
3answers
430 views

Pressure canning instructions

Where can safe and reliable instructions (including high and low altitude canning) be found for canning?
9
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2answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
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
6answers
29k 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 ...
8
votes
9answers
58k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
14k views

How many times can you reuse bones to make broth?

I recently cooked a chicken and made chicken broth from the bones. I also kept a few pieces of meat to add to the broth to give it more flavor. I know you can freeze the broth and use it for later ...
8
votes
5answers
5k views

Are bubbling preserved lemons a sign of spoilage?

I recently made preserved lemons using a recipe from Jerusalem: The Cookbook. Having poked around a variety of recipes online, it's pretty much the same as all the rest: Lots of salt, squeeze out the ...
8
votes
4answers
2k 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
1answer
13k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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 -...

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