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How to determin if you can freeze something and re-heat

r
rachel12 Jan 22, 2009 03:37 PM

I love to entertain, and love the idea of preparing and freezing things in advance, but every time I think to try it I chicken out and make it all fresh the day before and the day of. In regards to foods (esp. baked goods) when can you freeze them in advance, and do you always cook them all the way through? Also when re-heating what is a standard temp and time?

  1. b
    bigfellow Jan 22, 2009 03:43 PM

    Hi, you are asking some good questions. But unfortunatly there is no broad, wide answer.

    Basically it comes down to what you want to freeze. I make a pita bread, greek style that I only cook 80% through. I then freeze them. When I want to use them. I just take some out of the freezer. Brush on a little olive oil and put it on a griddle (or flattop) for 2 minutes a side.

    Wat do you want to freeze?

    1. c oliver Jan 22, 2009 03:58 PM

      I made a crustless quiche, completely cooked it and then froze.

      1. r
        rachel12 Jan 23, 2009 11:10 AM

        I guess I am looking for a vague "this is what freezes well", "DONT freeze this!" kind of answer. I mean I know you can freeze egg whites, but I'm really looking for entertaining dishes that freeze well. An example, I have frozen souffles and it worked beautifully (from raw to in the oven and thoroughly cooked). In comparison I have found some breads to be too dry when I attempt to re-heat them.

        Just looking for ideas, tips, recipes, to consider.

        Thanks!

        1. Sam Fujisaka Jan 23, 2009 04:20 PM

          I make large batches and freeze only the normally freezable stuff: thick pureed soups, lentils, beans, tortillas, and stocks. Fish that I've caught, cleaned, and filleted. Add sealed bags of great coffee beans, dried African game meat, dried mushrooms from around the globe, and bulk Ethiopian and Indian spices and the freezer is full.

          1. kchurchill5 Jan 23, 2009 04:25 PM

            I could give you a novel on that. Some breads freeze well, some don't also depends on your freezer temp and how you freeze them and how you reheat them and unfortunately ... Everything is different, even different breads. Give me specifics I can help you out but no way I can even begin to answer this. But great questions, just hard to address.

            1. r
              rachel12 Feb 28, 2009 10:26 AM

              OK I finally have an example for you. I want to make mini muffins for Sunday brunch, but don't have enough tin's to freeze all the batter and then bake them later. Can I bake them partially and then take them out of the tins, freeze them, and then re-heat them in a baking sheet? The only other option I could come up with was making the batters tonight and then baking them fresh in the morning while I prep other things.

              2 Replies
              1. re: rachel12
                i
                iamafoodie Feb 28, 2009 10:51 AM

                Better to completely bake and freeze, then reheat just before service. Par-baking interrupts the rising action and you will loose the CO2.
                Option 2 is best for quality but if you don't have enough tins it might be a substantial distraction from other things. Lots of restaurants make their muffin batters well in advance. Just be sure to cover and refrigerate them.

                1. re: rachel12
                  b
                  bigfellow Mar 1, 2009 06:47 AM

                  I make my batter at work once a week. It does freeze well. ( the batter that is)

                2. i
                  iamafoodie Feb 28, 2009 11:45 AM

                  Rachel, there's a lot of science to freezing prepared foods. It's best to avoid roux-based sauces as they will usually separate when thawed. Corn starch thickened sauces reheat much better. Commercial processors use a sauce thickener product called "Cold-Flow" that is similar to corn starch.

                  It's best to pre-chill foods in an ice bath before freezing as the quicker the better. Thawing should be as slow as possible and under refrigeration. I have done some practical research and found that 270F convection yielded optimum reheating results. Of course, times will vary with mass.

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