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41

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 ...


35

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 ...


35

As mentioned in comments, masking tape is an excellent solution. It's cheap, it holds well yet comes off easily, it can be torn off at whatever length you need, and you can write on it with just about anything. Both at home and working at restaurants, I've used masking tape and permanent marker for labeling items for storage in the pantry, fridge, and ...


32

Most of the "cold" in a freezer isn't stored in the air. It's stored in the contents of the freezer, and in the walls (air has a very low volumetric specific heat). However, the thermostat controlling the compressor works off the air temperature. If you start filling a freezer before it's had a chance to properly cool the walls down, the food is exposed ...


31

It's safe because freezing greatly slows (if not completely arrests) the growth of the bacteria that would otherwise make the meat spoil. It doesn't kill them, it just puts them in 'stasis'. The expiration date is given based on the meat only being refrigerated. If you intend to store the meat past its expiration date, best practice is to freeze the meat ...


29

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

Yes, you can freeze stew. You may find that the vegetables are a bit softer or broken into smaller pieces after thawing. If you used a thickening agent (flour, cornstarch), it may separate as it thaws in the refrigerator overnight. To remedy that, remove a bit of the liquid, simmer with a bit more thickener and whisk so that it stabilizes. Then, gently stir ...


22

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 ...


21

If you can’t get the marker to work, just add another bag around the old one.


20

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


18

Get a piece of paper, preferably a bit thicker. Write on it with black marker. Wet small part of it with warm water and stick to the frozen thing. The water will freeze acting as a glue.


16

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 ...


16

Don't freeze it. I tried that. The ice crystals that form at the lower temperature make the cheesecake texture awful and can cause cracks. However, people will eat warm cheesecake so just chill it in fridge for whatever amount of time you do have.


15

There is a common misconception that you should absolutely never cook meat from frozen or near-frozen. This is incorrect. I would also not recommended putting any meat on a low heat to thaw it out - you are asking for tough meat at best and food poisoning at worst. The aim when cooking meat is to bring the internal temperature up to a safe level for a ...


15

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 ...


15

Tomatoes freeze well in terms of taste, but not in terms of texture. After thawing them, you should use them in soup, stews, etc. rather than eating them raw. It could be useful to remove their skins and dicing them up prior to freezing.


15

SUMMARY: Unless I'm missing something here or you're doing very odd things with your refrigerator, you'd at most save a couple dollars per year by keeping your fridge/freezer full. Moreover, stocking up on water (or other things) to fill up fridge/freezer space won't save you much at all unless you're keeping it stored there for a VERY long time, since it ...


14

There are two different issues, which have separate drivers. There are no specific rules, just consequences of the thaw and freezing cycles on each food--but it is always better to minimize the number of cycles to maintain quality. Safety From a safety point of view, the rule is any perishable food (one that is not fairly stable at room temperature such ...


14

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 ...


13

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 ...


13

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 ...


13

Short answer, yes provided you emphasize the airtightness of your storage container. I often trust the wisdom espoused on the forums of King Arthur Flour's website, and specifically this topic on freezing flour. All commenters who report personal anecdotes with freezing flour report positive ones. The one note that should be made is that self-rising ...


13

It's fine to freeze, no need to cook if you don't want to; just be sure to use it immediately after thawing. Freezing things essentially stops the clock: food will stay just as safe to eat no matter how long it's frozen. It can deteriorate but it's more about drying out (freezer burn), taking on odors, and so on, not safety. So since it's safe right now, it'...


13

I like chef Ramsay, he can be snobbish and course at times but he knows food and he's a straight shooter and tells it like it is. Sometimes he's just saying the food isn't hot or even warm in the middle, but some times he is referring to frozen vs fresh ingredients. Most food is better when it's fresh, because freezing destroys cell walls and breaks down ...


13

By all means, freeze the stew! Having some ready meals in the freezer is a wise move, come winter or on a hectic day you'll probably be grateful for it. Your meat won't suffer and while the veggies might get a bit mushier, I assume in a stew they will be quite soft already. The don't re-freeze is more about quality of raw meat than about food safety - if ...


12

Yes, you can freeze parmesan cheese. Even without freezing, Parmesan is very durable since the low water and high salt content prevents mould from growing. The younger varieties may be more prone to mould growth (having a higher water content), but I've kept ripe Parmesan (30-36 months) for at least a year in the fridge without problems (and it would ...


12

Brew it strong and then add ice. Alternately, freeze some coffee in ice cube trays and use those frozen coffee cubes to chill the new batch without diluting it. Agitation (shaking) with cubes is a good substitute for crushed ice -- both ensure that the hot coffee meets the cold surface of the ice quickly. If you sweeten your iced coffee, using chilled ...


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

I'd say freeze nearly all of them uncooked and bake when ready. That way they go through only one cooking and maintain the fresh lasagna taste/feel. The sauce and and the cheese will freeze ok. Mozzarella is a pretty sensitive cheese and once it's been baked, it's not going to hold as well when thawed and re-warmed. In my experience it gets gummy and the ...


12

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 ...


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