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Questions tagged [food-preservation]

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

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67 votes
1 answer
77k 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" ...
derobert's user avatar
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66 votes
9 answers
630k 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 ...
Daniel Bingham's user avatar
34 votes
6 answers
50k 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: ...
Justin Nathanael Waters's user avatar
33 votes
5 answers
16k views

Can my freezer be too cold?

The FDA recommends a freezer temperature of 0˚F (-18˚C). Warmer temperatures risk bacterial growth and quality problems. But what are the reasons not to set the freezer colder? My Bosch freezer can be ...
Doug's user avatar
  • 432
30 votes
3 answers
6k views

Can I make a neverending Soup in an instantpot?

I'm a truck driver, and I have a minifridge, a microwave, an Instant pot, and an electric water kettle on the truck with me. I've been experimenting with various ideas on how to best feed myself. So ...
Kenneth Chadwick's user avatar
26 votes
3 answers
7k views

Does cooking food inside a pressure cooker and then leaving it locked preserve it similar to canning?

I have made some food in my pressure cooker and left it in room temperature for over a week. When I opened it, there was no mold. I threw it out because it might have still been bad, but this got me ...
MatthewRock's user avatar
26 votes
14 answers
125k 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-...
Rob's user avatar
  • 1,495
24 votes
5 answers
14k 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 ...
Fitri's user avatar
  • 651
22 votes
7 answers
12k 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 ...
WackGet's user avatar
  • 914
22 votes
1 answer
6k views

Garlic with the olives... what happened?

Something strange (but nice) happened and I hope someone can explain. Here is the story: I had a glass jar of olives (Kalamata Pitted). They come in a "brine" with the ingredients listed ...
Hogan's user avatar
  • 365
22 votes
7 answers
13k 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 ...
Aaronut's user avatar
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21 votes
9 answers
207k 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. ...
Beofett's user avatar
  • 985
20 votes
4 answers
7k views

Can we keep alcoholic beverages indefinitely?

I have some never opened alcoholic bottles under the kitchen sink and has been there for years. The are basically whiskey, vodka and bacardi. I always thought that alcoholic drink never go bad and ...
Jim's user avatar
  • 521
20 votes
6 answers
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 ...
lomaxx's user avatar
  • 5,518
19 votes
13 answers
155k 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 ...
Sobachatina's user avatar
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19 votes
2 answers
25k 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?
brooke's user avatar
  • 191
17 votes
10 answers
3k views

How to label jars so the label comes off easily?

I have made several batches of jam over this summer and would like to label the jars. I am printing the labels on my laser printer for a more professional look. Also, I want to reuse the jars, so ...
user149408's user avatar
17 votes
3 answers
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.
Eri's user avatar
  • 273
16 votes
3 answers
7k 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 ...
Ramius's user avatar
  • 163
16 votes
3 answers
5k views

What is the process of storing food in toothpaste'ish tubes?

You know what I'm talking about, these food tubes that are popular for tomato paste, or pesto. Searching for 'food in tube' or 'how to make your own tomato paste in tube' yields mixed results, so I'm ...
J.Deschenes's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
7k 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 ...
Rebekah's user avatar
  • 1,486
15 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
Jeff Axelrod's user avatar
  • 4,939
15 votes
3 answers
13k 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 ...
rackandboneman's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
6k views

What is the effect of washing unbroken eggs?

I recall reading or watching something at one point that I apparently found credible enough to bother mentally filing away that suggested that if one washes off an invisibly thin outer layer of ...
TylerDurden's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
6k views

Can I freeze ice cream base before creaming it?

I recently acquired an ice cream maker, and successfully used it to make sone chocolate and coffee ice cream. The ice cream maker is actively cooled, but I doubt it makes a different. Most ice cream ...
Vladimir Cravero's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
6k 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. ...
Zibbobz's user avatar
  • 1,227
13 votes
4 answers
19k 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 ...
Dennis's user avatar
  • 1,310
13 votes
2 answers
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 (...
Kieran's user avatar
  • 317
13 votes
10 answers
331k 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, ...
boxed-dinners's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
13k 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 ...
Troy Howard's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
John Roberts's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
18k 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?
Vicky's user avatar
  • 3,482
12 votes
6 answers
6k 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 ...
Maja Piechotka's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers
43k 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 ...
David Kirkland's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
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 ...
Stephen Woodall's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
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/...
Mien's user avatar
  • 13.4k
12 votes
3 answers
12k 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 ...
kevins's user avatar
  • 5,545
12 votes
4 answers
7k 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 ...
Pandastew's user avatar
  • 443
11 votes
2 answers
4k 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?
user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
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: ...
user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
13k 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 ...
JustRightMenus's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
801 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 ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 438
11 votes
1 answer
5k 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 ...
Sim101011's user avatar
  • 211
10 votes
6 answers
41k 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 ...
aug's user avatar
  • 975
10 votes
5 answers
172k 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 ...
Peter Smit's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
93k 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 ...
FuzzyChef's user avatar
  • 65.3k
10 votes
4 answers
5k 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 ...
rheone's user avatar
  • 1,121
10 votes
5 answers
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 ...
user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
127k 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)...
user3579's user avatar
  • 681
9 votes
3 answers
466 views

Pressure canning instructions

Where can safe and reliable instructions (including high and low altitude canning) be found for canning?
Dinah's user avatar
  • 4,939

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