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What to freeze homemade broth in?

I make my own broth and have been struggling to find an easy frozen storage solution. I want to freeze in 1 cup portions, since that is what I use most often. I have been premeasuring the broth, pouring it into Ziplock bags, freezing on a cookie sheet until flat and then stacking. Thawing these are proving difficult though. Whenever I thaw, the bags leak. I use name-brand, meant-for-freezer bags. And, forget thawing quickly - can't mircowave the bags.

Does anyone know of cup-size (or even 1/2-cup-size) molds? With all of the kitchen gadgets out there, there really should be something like this... at least I would think so. But, I haven't ever seen them.

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  1. I freeze mine in those cheap plastic twist-to-release ice trays, then repackage the cubes in a zip lock bag. In addition, I freeze the rest of the stock in 16 ounce fasft food cups with lids I buy at Sam's Club. This ggives me larger portions when I need a lot of stock and small portions when I only need a tablespoon or two. The cubes are especially handy if I want some stock with a roast or other meats I cook sous vide simply because the vacuum sealing doesn't suck out the liquid.. Very handy! I freeze a lot of soups in the 16 ounce cups, and while I do use the lids that fit them, before I put the lid on I cover the cup with a sandwich bag, then push it down so that it contacts the soup and seals it from air. By doing that, I don't get a bunch of ice crystals growing all over the soup/stock in the cups. And I don't thaw the cups but peel them, then melt the stock in a measuring cup in the microwave. With the cubes, I don't make too many at a time because they will turn into an ice colony if given enough time. It will be interesting to see what others do.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Caroline1

      Thanks for the sandwich bag tip! I use paper hot cups with lids, from Costco, 16 oz., but have been cutting fiddly little squares of plastic wrap to seal them before applying the lid, which has a sippy hole in it. From now on, I will use sandwich bags as you suggest! I just take off the lids and microwave for a minute or two to thaw my stock to a usable gel. I used to mess around with hot water and peeling the cup away, but the microwave works well with the paper cups.

    2. you're right, there should be.
      i freeze mine in leftover Boston Market takeout and old deli containers, which is about two cups worth. super easy to defrost. although you can take your ziplocs, run them under some hot water to loosen, and then throw into a pyrex measuring cup to defrost.
      you could also freeze in ice cube trays and make batches of tiny broth cubes.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rudysmom

        Freeze in the ziplocks. Smash into pieces and thaw in a Pyrex cup in the microwave

      2. I often use 8-oz Ball freezer jars for liquids, but they will leak if knocked over before freezing, otherwise they're great.

        I have used ziplocs without leakage but I always chill the broth/stock first.

        1. I think they sell the disposable storage boxes in sizes that small. Glad brand has some I know.

          If you handle them with care they should last for several uses.

          I have a bounty of 1/2 pint canning jars and have started using them to freeze milk in so I always have milk on hand to cook with.

          4 Replies
          1. re: kengk

            Does freezing milk worK?? We rarely drink milk, so when I need some to cook with, there is always waste.

            1. re: glennl20

              Yes, you can freeze, thaw, and refreeze milk, especially if it is for cooking/baking. I would freeze it in either 1 quart or 1/2 gallon plastic jugs. We discovered this a few years ago when we had to leave town and knew the milk would spoil before we returned.

              1. re: glennl20

                When first married, FIL was head custodian at an elementary school. Every Friday he HAD to toss EVERY carton of milk no matter what the date was?!? He'd call to tell me and his daughter to come get it. Would often have MANY little cartons of milk in freezer. Just make sure it's thawed and given a good shake... just fine.

                1. re: kseiverd

                  Off topic here but we don't drink milk so we keep powdered milk in the pantry for the few times when something we are baking calls for milk.

            2. A better solution is to get a pressure canner and can the broth. It's ready to serve and you can choose the size jar to can.

              Having said that, for freezing I'd suggest these http://www.amazon.com/Ball-Plastic-8-...

              1. I reduce my stock from 10-12 qts to about 1-2 qts > cool > then freeze in ice cube trays.

                When I need stock.. I add one or two cups of water to each cube (in microwave) to get the water/stock ratio back.

                7 Replies
                1. re: bbqJohn

                  Hi bbqJohn
                  I am new at making broth so I don't fully understand what you mean by reducing your stock??? How do you do it??
                  I had some broth the other day and put some in a plastic freezer bag and used a Solo Cup to hold them till frozen. When removing bags from cups some of the cups broke and of course the plastic bags where inbedded in the broth. So...I need some way to freeze my broth and then be able to take them out of the container and then bag them to use at a later date. I had about 6 cups so that took up alot of space in my freezer because I tried to freeze them in 1/2 cups. so please tell me how to "reduce" my left over stock. Thanks

                  1. re: Lindyphil

                    Reducing stock (or any other cooking liquid) means cooking it at medium or medium-high temperature so that it is reduced in volume by evaporation. As a result, the taste is concentrated, so you add water before using it in recipes to achieve the normal strength of stock.

                    A bonus is that it is much easier to cool a smaller volume of liquid, and it takes up much less room in the freezer.

                    1. re: ellabee

                      ok.... after I finished cooking my chicken and removing the meat , I put the bones and skin and everything else back into the crock pot and cooked it overnight on Warm. I then let it set over night in the refrig and the next day I put it in the freezer.....How LONG would i have continued to cook it to be considered "reduced"??

                      1. re: Lindyphil

                        I don't Think a slow cooker is best method for reducing stock. You would be better off putting the stock into a stockpot or sauce pan and bring it to a boil on your stove and then turn it down to a simmer and reduce it as much as you like, problably at least by half. How long it takes depends on the volume you start with and how much of a reduction you wish to make.

                        1. re: John E.

                          Ok, Thanks for the info. I will try that next time

                          1. re: John E.

                            Reduce it without the bones and skin so you can see how much liquid you have. Boiling with bones and skin also makes the broth murkier, so strain it well.

                            1. re: John E.

                              Agree with John E. You can most definitely make your initial stock in the slow cooker. But reducing it by volume would require that you put it into a pot on the stove on a high simmer for awhile and concentrate the flavors.

                              But for me, making the chicken stock for 24 hours in the slow cooker usually gives me a good strong stock and I don't need to reduce it any more than it is.

                    2. I use a muffin tin which holds about 1/2 cup. If I freeze a liquid in a ziplock, I cut away the bag while it's still frozen and let it defrost in a bowl.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: dmjordan

                        Silicone muffin cups.. like the ice-cube idea, and you can peel the soup out then.

                        1. re: dmjordan

                          +1. My husband uses muffin tins to freeze his broth.

                        2. Thanks for all of the great replies!

                          1. I've been struggling with this issue, too. My default solution are the Glad disposable plastic containers - the square and rectangular ones stack up well. I have also used round deli style containers that I purchased from Container Store (they are non-BPA). However, in an effort to move away from plastic, I've started to use Ball canning jars (the straight-sided ones, which you can freeze; the sloped shoulder jars are not freezer-safe). The downside with the jars is that I'm afraid to microwave them. The website doesn't say they are microwavable, so I haven't tried.

                            I would love to find another solution for glass containers that stack well and are microwavable for those times where I've forgotten to defrost the stock ahead of time.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: goodeatsgal

                              I chill triple-strength stock until it jells, unmold it, and slice it into blocks (about 1/2 cup volume each). Then I freeze the blocks and bag them once frozen. I thaw them in the microwave and add a cup of water per block to get back to single strength. Ice cube trays would work too, I just find this volume more useful and the process less fiddly (although it is tedious in its own way).

                              1. re: goodeatsgal

                                I make my own broth too. I freeze in the Glad or Ziploc plastic containers or mason jars. I don't microwave my broth, but leave it out until it thaws enough I can dump it into my pot. If I forget, I might rush the thawing by setting the container into warm water.

                                1. re: goodeatsgal

                                  The Glad or Ziplock plastic containers are exactly what I use - they come in 1/2 cup, 1 cup and 2 cup sizes and stack easily (well, the Glad ones don't, as they have the bump in the middle of the lid, probably for easy clip-together storage).

                                2. Glass canning jars work as long as you leave a little headspace for the liquid to expand. Plus, just take the lid and ring off, and you can easily thaw in the microwave! AND they're washable and reusable.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Chowbird

                                    Can you microwave at full strength or would half-power be better? FYI, I use the plastic replacement lids they sell for the Ball jars and those work really well for freezer and fridge storage.

                                  2. I freeze chicken stock in round plastic takeout containers from the local Chinese restaurant that originally held hot and sour soup. They come in pints and quarts. But I'm seeking a new solution since realizing that the several similar ones from the new Thai restaurant are not freezable. Now I can't tell which are which, and am on the verge of tossing them all.

                                    Having only the one little freezer that's part of the fridge, I'm leaning toward the concentrated cube method some of you us. Thanks, Starr5678, for starting this timely thread!

                                    1. Plastic yogurt/cottage cheese containers work well.Catering companies,gourmet take away shops use clear plastic containers that come in different sizes(1 lt 1/2 lt and 1/4 lt) maybe they could sell you some.
                                      Just make sure you cool your broth/stock well before you freeze it.

                                      1. In a perfect world, I'd have enough freezer space to freeze stock flat in zip freezer bags... qt size. When I have frozen in zip bags, have never had a leaking problem?!? I'd take a flat bag out and put in a plastic container of room temp water and it was thawed in maybe 20 minutes... or at least enough to dump out of bag. If stock is going into a soup... thinking why not just dump in frozen... will melt in very little time.

                                        Several years ago, bought a pressure cooker/canner only becasue sister told me I was gonna DIE if I tried canning stuff with meat in it the same way I did pickles, tomatoes, etc. It's NOT a high end model, has one of those jiggling thingies on the top, and only hold 4-5 pint jars at a time... but works fine for me. It's not difficult to do, takes a little time, doesn't need to be baby-sat during process.

                                        When weather gets COLD and I'm looking for an excuse to avoid housework, I'll make a BIG caldron of chicken stock. Next time gonna reduce it before putting in jars.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: kseiverd

                                          I use quart zip lock bags, and store in 2 cup or 1 qt quantities, as this is what I use. I don't have a leaking problem... but I am careful to not bang around the frozen bags in the freezer. To thaw, I run under hot water then break up to put into soup, or if I need liquid, I put into a bowl of hot water for 20 minutes or so.

                                          1. Line a teacup (or something similar) with plastic wrap (or foil), pour in the broth and then freeze. Next day pull out the frozen broth and its wrapper from the cup and store it in the freezer.

                                            Otherwise just continue what you are already doing, but thaw in a bowl. So what if it leaks (except that you've wasted a ziplock)?

                                            1. The method we use to freeze broth and stock so far has not been mentioned. I save the .5 liter water bottles and freeze the stock 2 cups at a time. We thaw it in the kitchen sink (or an ice cream bucket) with hot tap water. I suppose you could freeze it in 1 cup increments, but when I only use 1 cup I put the rest back in the freezer. I freeze the bottles standing up and then stack them on their sides on the freezer shelf.

                                              I got this idea from my father. He was freezing grapefruit, orange, and lemon juice in the plastic bottles. (My dad has 2 orange trees, 2 lemon trees, and a ruby red grapefruit tree at their winter home in Arizona).

                                              1. I buy paper coffee cups with lids. After filling with stock, I place a small piece of plastic wrap over the top of the cup first, because of the little hole in the lid, then snap on the lid. To thaw, if I haven't set them out early enough, I stand them in some warm water or nuke them in the micro. I buy the hot cups in bags at Costco or Kmart. I like the 16 ounce size.

                                                1. Regular ziplocks are useless in the freezer, plus they are way more permeable to gas exchange.

                                                  Use only FREEZER style ziplocs. And chill your broth in the fridge prior to freezing, as someone else mentioned.

                                                  Otherwise, cheap plastic boxes from Glad, Rubbermaid, and Ziploc. These are the really cheap ones that I consider to be virtually disposable because the plastic is so thin. The lids crack over time.

                                                  Or, as others have mentioned, the really frugal option of freezing stuff in recycled sour cream, cottage cheese, and yogurt containers. Unfortunately nobody makes the lidded small 4 to 8 oz yogurt containers with lids anymore or those would be great for smaller amounts.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: KitchenBarbarian

                                                    I get 8oz yogurts with lids at trader joes and have tossed/recycled a billion of them because I had no use for them!

                                                    1. re: KitchenBarbarian

                                                      I confess, when I make vats of chicken soup, I put about 1 and 1/2 cups in a two cup cottage cheese or whipped butter container, freeze it, cover it, and then when I ned it, I just let hot water run over it and it pop out of the container like a savory ice cube. Then thaw it in a pot or in the microwave in a safe tub, easy peasy.

                                                    2. I second (third?) the ice cube trays method. I don't bother to reduce 'em, though now I may in the future for at least some stock. The cubes inside a Ziploc freezer bag are perfect both from a quantity control standpoint and for storage, since the shape is so flexible.

                                                      1. Here's an idea that hasn't been mentioned yet I don't think. I use those egg cartons that are clear plastic -- the organic eggs (Born Free, Eggland) seems to generally be packed in those. They have a fold over tab that has 12 indentations just like the lower tab, so you get 24 little containers in a carton. I fill all 24 and freeze, then just refold the carton as if it had 12 eggs, and put it back in the freezer. You get 24 little cubes of stock that you can just pop out how ever many you want when needed.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: johnb

                                                          Styrofoam egg cartons work, too. Once the broth has frozen, pop it out and store in a freezer ziplock bag. Pressing from the bottom usually pops the ice right out - if not, tear off the styrofoam. You won't be able to reuse the egg carton.

                                                          1. re: johnb

                                                            Re-use is an appealing aspect of the clear egg carton idea, but a bag of cubes is a lot easier to fit into tiny and/or stuffed freezers.

                                                            The bag also lets you keep squeezing air out as you use up the cubes; there's a chance that the last three or four 'eggs' of stock in the carton would get freezer-burned unless the cook went through them briskly.

                                                            Is it easy to get the 'eggs' of stock out? Does the carton stand up to repeated openings and closings? If so, that's a strong option for people with room for it and a steady need for the egg-sized portions.

                                                          2. I do prefer the leftover Chinese soup containers, however when i run short on them, i put the broth in a 2 quart pitcher, put saran wrap over the top and then the top of the pitcher on that..... that goes into the freezer and i will use if for my next soup batch.

                                                            1. Hellman's plastic mayo jars, mostly the "quart" size but sometimes their larger ones too. It stinks that they cut it down by two ounces but if the measurement is critical then I add 2 oz of water when thawed.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                Nice idea. I've always tossed those. Won't anymore. Like wincountrygirl, though, I always seem to have enough saved take-out containers. But it's always nice to have the strongest possible containers.

                                                                1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                  They last forever, unless you drop them on a cement floor while taking them out of the freezer. Ask me how I know!

                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                    On the floor thing: been there myself....

                                                              2. I use the plastic containers that take out food comes in. Works great.

                                                                1. Want to add my vote for freezing in an ice cube tray, and then stashing in freezer-strength zip-locks.

                                                                  1. Look for products for freezing baby food. Many options for trays and small containers for very small portions.

                                                                    Also, you can get specialty silicon ice cube trays for freezing very big (2 inch/ 4oz) cubes.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Alleygator

                                                                      I second the suggestion of using baby food containers. 2oz, 4oz, 6oz...

                                                                      Silicone ones are nice, but if you don't like silicone there is BPA free plastic and glass ones also. They usually either stack or come in handy trays as well.

                                                                    2. Go to your local whole foods or any grocery store that has that deli section where they sell you prepared foods (like macaroni salads or "carrot souffle" etc.) and get a bunch of those clear containers. I always keep a few on hand for taking food on the go. Don't let them charge you, it's just a bunch of plastic

                                                                      Or try buying bags of paper or plastic cups.
                                                                      There are also those disposable tuperwears.

                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                      1. re: peanuttree

                                                                        Don't let them charge you? Do you think their supplier gives them to customers for free? Petroleum based products are not cheap, just look at the price of gas.

                                                                        Oh I see what you mean, just take them without asking, very clever. Then next we'll all have to pay a packaging charge or somesuch.

                                                                        You can buy sleeves of 50 cups and lids for a few bucks at a restaurant supply store; I get the heavy duty (like the Chinese places use) so they can be reused numerous times. And they do come in a four ounce size, as the OP is looking for (or was, eight months ago...). The ones in the grocery store take out section are sort of flimsy.

                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                          And if there's no restaurant supply place near you, any dollar store is going to have containers that are reusable but nowhere near as expensive as Rubbermaid containers sold in the stupidmarkets as well.

                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                            No, I mean take a few and don't let them charge you because they're 3-cent pieces of plastic. Take a freaking pill, their company makes plenty of money and you give them plenty of business anyway. The idea is only a fool would let them charge you. Christ, I even take thick stacks of the plastic bags for my dog and to keep in my car for stuff.

                                                                            1. re: peanuttree

                                                                              I think people may be unclear on what you are suggesting here. By "don't let them charge you" you mean ask them and if they choose not to give them to you as part of good customer relations than find a place that will give them to you, yes? Surely you're not suggesting stealing items merely because they are individually inexpensive, right?

                                                                              1. re: nokitchen

                                                                                It's perfectly clear that the recommendation is to steal from a store "because they make plenty of money". We're being told to steal the plastic containers and rolls and rolls of plastic bags to pick up after our dogs and to keep in our cars for "stuff". After all, if there's not a price on these items, they *must* be free for the taking, right?

                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                  Folks, the point has been made, so please don't let this thread be dragged off into a discussion of whether taking those containers is unethical. Thanks.

                                                                              2. re: peanuttree

                                                                                Are you serious, or are you punking us?

                                                                                1. re: peanuttree

                                                                                  Actually the cheap, clear containers the supermarkets use wholesale for around 20 cents for the cup and lid. May not sound like much to you, but if everyone took a few every time they shopped, there would be serious repercussions, one way or another.

                                                                            2. I freeze in zip bags and larger amounts in Glad/Ziplock or similar plastic containers.

                                                                              1. I freeze the exact way you do. When thawing, I open the bag, put in something where it will partially stand up, MW for about a minute. Usually at that point, I can break it up through the plastic and dump the pieces in a bowl for more MWing.

                                                                                1. Ball company now sells square freezer containers, opaque white. 1 small (one pint) and one taller (2 pint, same footprint, just taller). Bright green tops fit both. Each size has markings for oz. ,milliliters and a fill line marked at top. They are great.

                                                                                  Tops have space for date and contents. I use markers or dissolvable labels. So far they have been in constant use, nearly indestructable and heavy duty for freezer. And square fits much more into the freezer and they stack on each other. Cheap, low-grade grocery store crap is being replaced, only Tupperware bought at estate and yard sales is worth keeping and a few big storage Cambros.

                                                                                  I bought these at Wal-Mart god forgive me. I bet you can order from Ball website or locate a store in your area. WalMart is selling Ball canning/preserving/freezing stuff, weird.

                                                                                  good luck, these are worth it.

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: kariin

                                                                                    Are the Ball containers glass or plastic?

                                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                                        sorry for the delayed answer Grey.

                                                                                        The Ball square containers are high grade durable plastic, opaque/white but transparent enough to distinguish color inside but not ID the contents. I can write w/marker but i use labels bought in bulk from Staples - can be soaked off. Their advantage is the both the half pint and full pint take the same lids, they stack inside each other, square takes up much less freezer space than round.

                                                                                        I use ice cube trays also but the square Ball containers make it easier to save 1-2 cups of pasta sauce base, soup base etc.

                                                                                        1. re: kariin

                                                                                          Sorry I answered "glass" rashly. I didn't know that Ball made anything but canning glass bottles.

                                                                                    1. I use paper ice cream containers like these: http://www.sweetblisscontainers.com It's nice to be able to write on them.

                                                                                      1. I'm a little old school on the issue. Freeze the broth in an old fashioned ice cube tray, either plastic or metal, dependent on what you have or can buy. Once frozen, dump the cubes in a Ziploc freezer bag, and store. Six or seven cubes make about a cup of broth, which melt very quickly in whatever you are making. I use them a lot when the finishing sauce calls for a little bit of stock and wine, and whatever else is needed.

                                                                                        1. Freezing in ziplocks, breaking off the amount you need to use is way simpler and space efficient than the ice cube tray method.

                                                                                          They store flat in the freezer.

                                                                                          No need to bother to make cubes. Just fill the bags, freeze, then use the whole bag or break off what you need.

                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                                            When using Ziplock bags the corners break and when thawing the broth/stock leeks out.

                                                                                            I still doi not understand why more are not using water bottles. We freeze both juice and stock in empty water bottles. They stack well in the freezer too.

                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                              Here there is a deposit on them! That's my excuse anyway.

                                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                                When you empty them of the broth/stock you can still redeem them. We recycle them whether they have been used for stock or not. We have excellent tap water in our part of Minnesota, so we only buy as many bottles of water as we need bottles for (if that makes sense.)

                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                  It's actually a great idea, the 2 cup size is optimal for most I would think (assuming you're talking about 16z). I do my broth in mayo jars, only because I use it by the quart almost exclusively. No ice cubes of broth in this house!

                                                                                                  Our water is questionable, so I go through a lot of bottled water (plus soda for hubby). Always get the 3 for $10 deal on the case, but then you pay almost as much in deposits. When they first started deposits here, the politicans were bragging about how most people wouldn't bother returning them and they'd make so much extra money, which burned me up for some reason. So I make sure I return every last one now, on a bi-monthly basis ;-) Then I go out and get a couple of slices of pizza with the cash!

                                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                                    In my youth growing up in a border town the state across the border passed a deposit law. The bottling plant ij the adjoining town did not manage their inventory as well as they should have so we ended up with many soda cans which we could redeem for .05ยข each but we never paid the deposit. We would wait until there were a few dozen cases and then redeem them all. This was back in the day of flats, meaning 24 cans to a flat cardboard tray. Thinking about that makes me feel old. There were 12 packs and cases like now, but the Coca Cola bottler was slow to change his ways. Heck, he was also bottling 10 ounce bottles too.

                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                      Well at least they got recycled, one way or another!

                                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                                        All of plastic gets recycled, bottles, jugs, and various containers including deli tubs and sour cream and yogurt containers. We have a good recycling program in our county.

                                                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                                                          We have a good one too, although I hear it all just ends up in the same place (the garbage man told me). So I recycle but not obsessively...unless there's money in it for me!

                                                                                          2. I freeze 3 cups in quart ball jars with plastic lids. I thaw it in the microwave before use. I refrigerate what's left. I always seem to have a use for it soon. Or you can bring it to a boil every 3 days to keep it safe.

                                                                                            I'm buying an American pressure canner soon though. I'm gonna start canning my stock so it's shelf stable.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                              I avoid heating plastic, so I always use glass.

                                                                                            2. I use silicone muffin cups. They are one cup each and endlessly useful. You can bake in them as well.

                                                                                              http://www.amazon.com/Trudeau-X-Large...

                                                                                              I lay them out on a baking sheet, fill em up, let them freeze, then pop them out and store in a giant plastic bag. The cups rinse right out.

                                                                                              1. At my supermarket, they have Ziploc 1-cup containers (pkgs of 4)

                                                                                                If you can't find them locally.......amazon?

                                                                                                1. Similar to what other people have mentioned, I use large ice cube trays made of silicone. I bought them originally for cocktails but now use them for multiple other purposes, including freezing left over stock. I bought mine through Amazon but you can sometimes find them on sale at TJ Maxx or Marshalls.

                                                                                                  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C...

                                                                                                  1. Yes,, freeze the quality of stock you want to use in a container shape that when firm will fit in the large vacuum pack bags cut to the required length,, you can also microwave defrost as these bags are microwave safe. I do all of my soups in the size serving bowl until firm than transfer to the bags,to serve just drop one into a pot broiling water,, no pot to clean.

                                                                                                    1. I freeze my stock on pinto plastic (Chinese takeout) containers and then use my Foodsaver to vacuum seal them. It would save room if I were to freeze them flat first and then vacuum them it would save a ton of space.