63 votes
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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?

What about a piping bag? Fill the bag with a spatula, pipe into the bottle.
moscafj's user avatar
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55 votes
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Can my freezer be too cold?

One possible consideration is that some frozen desserts (most notably ice creams and sorbets) can be very difficult to scoop if your freezer is too cold. Optimal serving temperature for ice cream is ...
Michael Seifert's user avatar
42 votes

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

When you take the pressure cooker off the heat, it's filled with high-temperature, high-pressure steam. As it cools, that steam condenses, leaving a vacuum. Pressure cooker valves are designed to ...
Sneftel's user avatar
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34 votes
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What is the process of storing food in toothpaste'ish tubes?

Tubes like that are assembled with the bottom open (so at that point it's a cylinder, closed at the cap end), filled, and then folded and heat-sealed at the bottom. The filling is done with a rigid ...
Sneftel's user avatar
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33 votes
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Garlic with the olives... what happened?

Garlic has an enzyme called alliinase that converts sulphur-containing compounds in the garlic into forms that your taste receptors recognise as hot or spicy (alliin > allicin & diallyl ...
borkymcfood's user avatar
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32 votes
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Repackaging shelf-stable products

Exposure to germs is the problem, once you open these they are exposed and the clock starts. If you vacuum seal you are vacuum sealing the germs in with the food, and not taking steps to kill the ...
GdD's user avatar
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32 votes

Can we keep alcoholic beverages indefinitely?

Short Answer: Yes. In general, unopened containers of alcohol have an indefinite shelf-life. For example, there are 500+ year old barrels of wine which are likely still drinkable (i.e. not only safe ...
Xander Henderson's user avatar
29 votes

Preserving culinary oils

You don't realize it, but you've asked a hot-button question. Expect to get lots of comments about botulism, etc. This is a result of a report a few years back about folks getting botulism from ...
FuzzyChef's user avatar
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28 votes

Can I separate garlic into cloves for storage?

Traditionally (at least in Spain) garlic was kept in a braided string, hung in a dry place, so that they could last until the following season. Separating them in cloves will cause them to dry ...
roetnig's user avatar
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27 votes

Does fruitcake made with alcohol stay alcoholic after aging?

Yes, fruitcake will retain almost all the alcohol added to it, whether added before or after cooking. Whether you should make a non-alcoholic alternative is a matter of opinion and individual ...
Sneftel's user avatar
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26 votes
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Canning with candles

The short answer is: No. The more elaborate answer is that certain bacteria are anaerobic and food needs to be heat treated to ensure it can be safely stored. Especial mention: Clostridium botulinum ...
BaffledCook's user avatar
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24 votes
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Does canned tuna contain preservatives?

The preserving effect of canning is based on removing all bacteria and fungi (normally present at least to some extent even in perfectly safe food) by a combination of heat and pressure over a ...
Stephie's user avatar
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24 votes

Canning tomato sauce for the refrigerator

As you state, you have not followed any canning procedures, so you don't get any more storage time than the standard recommendation. Glass vs plastic doesn't matter. So, I would just recommend ...
moscafj's user avatar
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24 votes

What is the effect of washing unbroken eggs?

You’re washing off what’s called ‘the bloom’ which is a protective coating that’s not entirely obvious at first glance. Once you wash it away, the egg will degrade more quickly, so in the US you’re ...
Joe's user avatar
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22 votes
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Preserving beef stock concentrate

If you are starting with your own beef stock, the best way to preserve it long term is to freeze it. If you are lacking on freezer space, reduce it by half...or even three quarters, then freeze. You ...
moscafj's user avatar
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21 votes
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How to tell if preserved chillis are still good?

Alcohol is a disinfectant, so any bacteria sitting around for a month in vodka have been thoroughly killed... The only thing to worry about is that if some of the chillies were not completely ...
Fabby's user avatar
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21 votes

How to label jars so the label comes off easily?

The classic solution some homebrewers (and possibly others, but that's where I learned about it) use is... Milk. The animal sort. (Vegan milks are less likely to work well, but vegans can make a ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
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20 votes
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Why does processed meat contain preservatives, while canned fish needs not?

These are two different ways to preserve food. The canned salmon was boiled and then sealed into a can while it was still boiling sealed into a can and boiled under a specified combination of time ...
Anonymous's user avatar
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18 votes

How to tell if preserved chillis are still good?

As Fabby notes in their answer, alcohol is an excellent preservative. As long as your peppers are fully submerged, it's extremely unlikely that they could rot or spoil in any way. (If they aren't, ...
Ilmari Karonen's user avatar
18 votes

Can I make a neverending Soup in an instantpot?

I've actually tried it. It didn't work very well for me, but it might work better for you. The problem is, cookers like the Instant Pot are designed for quick pressure cooking first and foremost. ...
Sneftel's user avatar
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15 votes
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Why does food spoil in the freezer?

Most freezers are frost-free, which means that they occasionally cycle above freezing to prevent formation of frost on the walls of the freezer. This makes them easier to maintain but it shortens the ...
Catija's user avatar
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15 votes

Can I make a neverending Soup in an instantpot?

I agree with Sneftel's answer that the quality is likely to degrade over time due to contents settling and breaking down into stuff that doesn't taste good. But just to add a thought regarding safety: ...
Athanasius's user avatar
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15 votes

Can my freezer be too cold?

There is little reason, aside from the obvious ones you already mention, to avoid the coldest setting. You might be concerned with scoop-ability of some frozen desserts, but that probably will not be ...
moscafj's user avatar
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15 votes
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Is it advisable to cook cilantro or mint leaves and store them, instead of blanching them?

No, it is certainly not advisable. Cooking reduces the fridge life of plants. If you cook your herbs, they will only last 3 days in the fridge. Besides, you will also change the taste, and not for ...
rumtscho's user avatar
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14 votes

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?

Edited: Concerns were expressed about such items being suited for food use. I've added comments in the text on "Food Grade" items plus a note at the end. How can I get a very thick or viscous paste ...
Russell McMahon's user avatar
14 votes

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

The (old-fashioned Central European) pressure cookers I've worked with have outlet valves which in pressure cooking position let gas out (at defined pressure), but not in. These cookers do have an ...
cbeleites unhappy with SX's user avatar
12 votes

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

Canned salmon is sterilized. Sterilization uses heat to render a product safe. Cured hams are preserved with salt, and nitrites in some cases. Some hams are also cooked. Furthermore, some fish is ...
moscafj's user avatar
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12 votes
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For Pressure Canning, can I use any other jar than Ball’s Mason Jar?

The important part of the system are the lids. The ideal lids are the Mason-type (no matter which company produced them), with a flat top and a separate side piece with thread. Another type that ...
rumtscho's user avatar
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12 votes

Can I freeze ice cream base before creaming it?

There should be no problem with your approach from a safety perspective as long as the base doesn't spent too long in the danger zone. From a consistency standpoint you are fine as long as you use a ...
GdD's user avatar
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11 votes

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

The US FDA has a handy Refrigerator and Freezer Storage Chart that might help you. In general your "leftovers" have a 3 to 4 day shelf life...I would think that includes your thawed strawberries.
moscafj's user avatar
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