Freezing meals is an environment friendly method to reinforce its shelf life. You can freeze particular particular person components or defend full meals which can be reheated shortly. Chef Frank Proto from the Institute of Culinary Teaching supplied us some methods for freezing meals safely.
1. To freeze most greens, cut back them to measurement after which blanch.
Most greens (together with broccoli, inexperienced beans, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts) needs to be blanched first to protect coloration and magnificence. First, cut back the greens to the size you’ll wish to put collectively dinner/serve later. Then, boil briefly in salted water—how extended depends upon upon the kind of vegetable and the size of the devices, nonetheless for the greens now now we have talked about correct proper right here, three minutes (or till tender) ought to do the trick. Subsequent, drain the greens and instantly cool in an ice bathtub, which stops the cooking course of. Drain as quickly as additional.
Earlier than your greens get anyplace close to the freezer, make certain that they’re dry: The so much a lot much less water your components retain, the higher they’ll protect up all through the freezer and resist dangerous freezer burn. It is good to make use of a salad spinner to take away water and/or pat particular particular person devices dry with paper towels.
Subsequent, unfold the person devices out on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and freeze for spherical an hour. It will possible forestall them from turning into one giant frozen clump all through the freezer. Lastly, retailer meals in a freezer bag or hermetic container, eradicating as fairly a bit air as you may. You must solely use plastic containers or tempered freezer-safe glass, like Pyrex.
Be taught the best way to Use After Freezing: Frozen greens is likely to be utilized straight from the freezer. It’s potential you’ll ought to put collectively dinner them barely longer to forged off any water they’ve retained, nonetheless they’re often included into stir-fries, soups, and fully completely different dishes fairly successfully.
2. Skip blanching for tender greens and fruits.
Tender greens like spinach will be frozen with out blanching. Bell peppers and sliced or diced onions can, too—merely clear and dry them together with attainable. Fruits will be frozen uncooked as correctly. Merely unfold them out on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and “pre-freeze” to keep away from clumping. Then bag them, eradicating as fairly a bit air as you may.
Be taught the best way to Use After Freezing: Fruits will be eaten or thrown into smoothies nonetheless frozen, or defrosted for a snack. You don’t wish to defrost after which refreeze, although, so take out solely the quantity you’ll wish to eat in a single sitting.
3. Ensure soups and stews are cool earlier than freezing.
Putting scorching gadgets all through the freezer can elevate the ambient temperature, which might set off components like freezer burn if it results in gadgets unfreezing and refreezing—so let cooked soups and stews cool earlier than inserting them all through the freezer.
For optimum security, you wish to cool the meals as shortly as attainable so it spends a minimal time interval all through the “hazard zone” of temperature the place micro organism can develop. To do that, you may divide scorching gadgets into smaller containers—additional floor home means factors will cool sooner, so a flat freezer bag will cool earlier than a deep pot or bowl.
Chances are you’ll too use an ice bathtub to shortly carry down the temperature of ready meals. Fill the sink (or an enormous bowl) with chilly water, add ice, and dip the entire cooking vessel into the chilly water, guaranteeing the water diploma doesn’t rise excessive ample to get into your meals. Stirring the present meals contained throughout the chilly water bathtub will in the reduction of its temperature fairly a bit earlier than sitting out at room temperature or all through the fridge.
Be taught the best way to Use After Freezing: Ready meals like soups and stews will be heated up in a pot appropriate from the freezer. It’s potential you’ll ought to microwave them for only some seconds to launch them from their containers—in another case merely warmth in a pot till they attain serving temperature.
4. Wrap meats with plastic and foil earlier than freezing.
Uncooked vacuum-sealed meat will be frozen as-is. In another case, wrap meat tightly with plastic wrap and foil. Don’t overlook to label any gadgets you acquired’t have the ability to arrange later. Placing the dates on the foil will even current you the best way to remember what gadgets are oldest, so you would use them first.
Chef Frank furthermore recommends sticking your latest gadgets deep into the freezer. It will possible freeze them sooner, and likewise will encourage you to first use the older gadgets which could possibly be up entrance all through the freezer.
He furthermore advises within the course of packing your freezer too tightly. Whereas fashionable freezers will be stuffed fairly a bit, you proceed to wish to present sufficient house for air to stream into—in another case the as soon as extra of the freezer will protect chilly, whereas the doorway will get comparatively heat shortly, considerably everytime you’re repeatedly opening the freezer.
Be taught the best way to Use After Freezing: Frozen meat needs to be thawed all through the fridge in a single day. Massive devices of meat like a rooster may need two days all through the fridge, whereas an enormous turkey could take three. The fridge offers a safer temperature for thawing in contrast with letting meals sit out on the counter. If it is very important velocity up the technique, you may run the frozen meat beneath chilly water.