Proper home freezing

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strikingtwice's picture
strikingtwice
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Joined: 2011-05-19 07:33
Proper home freezing

Is there a way really to properly freeze food at home w/o a flash freezer? Obviously for vegetable blanching i'm ok with, i let it air dry as much as possible after spinning it a ton, bunch up in some towels, lay flat and par freeze then bag. i'm talking more prepared things. I am thinking this as i'm opening a bag of expensive frozen tenders for my son because they were the only ones i coudl get that were whole pieces of chicken, etc etc, and i'm like, man, why can't i just make a batch of these and properly freeze? Is par cooking them the way to go? To completion then freezing? Not to completion? 

Obviously in production they're flash frozen which prevents the crystals from forming and giving you a terrible texture, but at home, most of us don't have that luxury. I do have a chest freezer whcih is great for freezing much quicker than a standup, but still.

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Mucho Bocho
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Striking, I wrap proteins in plastic then put them into a vac bag and seal. I have a chamber vac, so the whole process is quite convienent. You could use a clamp style sealer too. I would not par cook. You really can't cool it down fast enough to prevent that old food taste when reheating. 

Now when I seal delicate things like spinach/beef homemade ravoli (for example), I'll freeze it first, then seal it in a vac bag under light pressure.

I'll say that outside my knife, cutting board and sink, my chamber vac gets used the most.

This is the model I have. http://www.meatprocessingproducts.com/ary-vp112c.html?gclid=Cj0KEQiAnJqz...

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jacob burton
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@ Strikingtwice,

It's always best practice to chill the food completely in the fridge overnight before freezing. This will give you a colder product to start with, which means less time for ice crystals to form while freezing.

Also, water is much better at transferring temperature than the cold air in your freezer. With about 20% salt, water can reach a temperature of around -5F. So, you can vacuum seal a product and then submerge it in a salt water/ice mixture which will rapidly chill and freeze the product. Then just transfer to your freezer.

For items like chicken tenders or raviolis (like Mucho suggested), lay out individually on trays and freeze fully. Then bag in a zip-loc or vacuum seal.

You may also want to listen to ACJ 007| The Science Behind Freezing.

strikingtwice's picture
strikingtwice
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Excellent suggestions. Mucho, I have a food saver and like you, I use it religiously. 

I will definitely check out the audio as well chef

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Robbo
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I've been reading thru the forums for a while now and have had many questions answered but at the same time they seem to create many more questions.  But this thread got my interest because of what Mucho said about not cooling the food down fast enough to avoid the old food taste when reheating.  That I have experienced a lot.

i drive truck and my wife and I are away from home for up to six weeks at a time.  Truck stop food lost its appeal many years ago.  I love to cook and have aquired a couple immersion circulators and a chamber vac to cook/ prepare ready made meals which I would vacuum seal and freeze for the road.

but as Mucho said, the meals definitely have that old reheated leftover taste to them.  Texture is also an issue.  I've had some things taste ok but overall not so good.

cooking in the truck has its challenges also.  That being said, this week we managed to cook a whole chicken then turned the leftovers into a chicken pasta salad.  Also did a pork tenderloin in sweet and sour sauce over rice.

the question is, is the frozen ready made meals a dead end maybe just bring uncooked items and try then cook them in the truck?

@Chef Jacob

I watched your videos on the thanksgiving day turkey.  For Christmas I followed all the vids from braking down the turkey to making the rulauds (I sous vide them followed by a quick deep fry) to pan roasting the breasts (24 lb turkey has huge breasts by the way) made the stock and the gravy from that.  The only complaint was that some missed the smell of the roasting turkey but when served everybody was blown away by it including myself.

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jacob burton
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"The question is, is the frozen ready made meals a dead end maybe just bring uncooked items and try then cook them in the truck?"

It depends. Being able to sear the meat right before serving really helps. At home I'll often sous vide some extra steaks, lamb rack, chicken, etc, and freeze. I'll then retherm from frozen with an immersion circulator, but sear right before serving. The searing helps to bring back some flavor.

Also, make sure once you cook the food sous vide, you don't expose it to oxygen until your ready to serve. It's mainly oxidation that causes those warmed over flavors.

If you have enough time, you can also freeze the product raw, and then sous vide from frozen. Just add an extra 45-60 to your cook time.

Do you have a small kitchen in your truck? I'd love to see it if you willing to post a picture.

And soups work great as well. You can make any number of soups, bag, freeze, and then retherm in your immersion circulator.

Re: Turkey

Glad it came out great. I'm going to develop a "Roasted Turkey" scented candle to help with the "smell complaints." ;-)

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Robbo
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Thanks Chef Jacob for the reply.  I'll give the sear just prior to servicing and see how it goes.  Unfortunately we don't have a kitchen in the truck.  Behind the driver/passenger seat is about 14 inches of space where the fridge and cabinets are.  Behind that is the bed.  That's it.  One of the cabinets has room for a microwave and the top bunk is used to store other items like an electric skillet and cooking utensils.  Also, one of the lower cabinets has a swing out table.  That's where all the cooking magic happens.  For what it is worth I will take some pics and try to figure out how to post them.  

Thanks again Sir.  

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jacob burton
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Here's a video that explains how to post pictures to Stella Culinary: https://stellaculinary.com/how-to-use-stella-culinary-0

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Joined: 2017-04-27 09:32

This is a test FB pic post.

baguette (i made the day before in bread class), with Foie gras pate & poached quail egg topped with Champagne hollandaise and black truffle. 

so i showed up to school one day, 2 hours early with my own groceries. sat in the empty kitchen with about 40 quail eggs wondering just how i would get this done as i had it pictured in my head but no idea how to execute it. The Exec. Chef walked in and instantly jumped on the poaching pot and started helping. by the time the last one came out, there were only about a dozen sitting on the table because all the other Chef Instructor's began circling and munching. It was a really cool experience to essentially take my own idea and have the Exec. work elbow-to-elbow with me to make it happen.  

and now youre all in BIG EFFIN TROUBLE. I think ive figured out this picture thing. 

bwahahahaha

 

jacob burton's picture
jacob burton
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That looks awesome! Welcome to the SC Community, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of your posts in the future!

Newest Forum Topics

so just wanted to post this Puttanesca sauce. 

Man it is such a great dish. Lovely change of pace from the common sweet sauce. 

 Doesn't look like much But it makes the house smell like the sea and it sure is good. 

Comments: 0

I'm currently listening to your newest - SCS 032. In my podcast app (Doggcatcher), I have your feed set to keep all episodes. And I just noticed that I had only 31 episodes.

So I checked the episode listings on the website to try to find the missing episode and saw that their is apparently no episode 030!

While that resolved the discrepency between the numbering of the episodes and the number of episodes I have saved, it made me curious:

What happened to episode 030?

Comments: 1

Hello one and all, 

 

I have just finished watching the pan seared salmon video on YouTube - thank you Chef Jacob and read the associated show notes.      

I was wondering if you served salmon as a main - what sort of sides and/or  vegetables could I serve it with?  Thank you for your time.   

I see that you used seseme seeds and some herbs that I am unfamiliar with.     

Just thinking about my vegetarian friend who only eats fish, chicken and turkey.  I thought salmon might be a good thing to serve.   

 

Thanking you :-) 

RobynH 

Comments: 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So my question is this

 

I have friends who are coming for dinner - and I usually do dumplings with pork mince, however she does not eat pork.  I posted this picture on facebook earlier today, and she asked for the recipe which is :

Comments: 1

I have friends coming for dinner in a couple of weeks, and the lady eats vegetarian dishes mainly but she also enjoys chicken and fish dishes.   

Her husband - eats anything and everything.  

What is your favourite chicken or fish dish - something that presents well on the plate.   

It is the end of summer in NZ - so - if you could think about that in your reply.   I would be interested in trying something new.  

She is an accomplished cook - and usually serves many little dishes when they host.   I would be very interested in hearing from you.  

Comments: 2