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Cooking Tips
Freezing Equipment & Basic Steps

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Equipment Needed for Freezing Foods at Home

Most utensils needed for freezing are the same tools used for preparing everyday meals.
Be sure to keep bacterial contaminations to a minimum by using clean equipment and working surfaces.

Proper packaging is very important to prevent:

  1. Chemical changes which result from exposure to the air. This causes loss of color, off-flavors, absorption of odors, and loss of vitamins.

  2. Physical Changes which result in loss of box weight and fresh appearance due to loss of moisture.

Whether using Boxes, Bags or Jars the package must be moisture / vapor-proof, odorless, tasteless, grease-proof, and capable fo being tightly closed.

Rigid containers (Ball Can-or-Freez Jars or Ball Plastic freezer boxes) should be used for most frozen foods, and are recommended for all foods that are soft or "runny" at room temperature, such as fruits packed in syrup or sugar, butter, eggs, stews, creamed foods, and meats with gravy.

Flexible bags (Ball plastic freezer bags) are best for packaging roasting turkeys or hens, fish, all cuts of meat and other products with irregular shapes. These are closed by pressing out the air, then twisting the tip, doubling it over, and wrapping it several times with handy ties. If they contain no holes, these bags can be re-used after being washed and dried.

They can be used for vegetables, some fruits - grapes, raspberries, blueberries without syrup or added sugar, and pre cooked foods that are not liquid at room temperature.

Wrapping materials are similar to flexible bags except they are available in rolls and are cut to the desired size as they are used.

Re-use of Containers. Wash Ball Can-or-Freeze jars in hot, soapy water. Rinse and drain. Invert the containers on a clean towel to cool before filling them. Wash and rinse "dome" lids. Wash Ball plastic boxes in hot, soapy water, rinse well and drain.

Source: Ball Corporation


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The Basic Steps

  1. Use only quality fresh products. Freezing retains quality, but can not improve it.

  2. Work under the most sanitary conditions.

  3. To save time and money have everything needed organized before getting started.

  4. Use only approved packaging materials.

  5. Be an expert:
    1. Blanch or scald all vegetables; cool quickly.
    2. Use ascorbic acid for certain fruits to prevent discoloration.
    3. Use dry sugar or syrup pack for fruits.
    4. Keep meats cold while preparing for freezing.

  6. Package to remove all air; fasten packages airtight.

  7. Label with date and name of product.

  8. Promptly place packages in food freezer in single layers.

  9. Maintain 0o F. temperature in freezer.

  10. Keep an inventory.

  11. Use all products within recommended storage periods.

  12. Never thaw by holding product in hot water. Glass containers cannot tolerate sharp changes in temperatures.

Source: Ball Corporation


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Steps in Freezing

  1. Prepare jars and caps.
  2. Prepare food.
  3. Head space must be left at top of jar for food expansion during freezing:

    Pack chilled, drained food 1/2" from top of jar.

    Pack fruits with syrup or juice 1" from top of jar.
    Pack fruit with sugar 1/2" from top of jar.
    Pack fruit without sugar 1/2" from top.

    Fruit juices, crushed or pureed fruit:
    Pack 1" from top of jar.

  4. Place small piece of crumpled wax paper, foil, etc. on top of fruit to hold fruit down in syrup or juice.
  5. Wipe top of jar clean. Place scalded Lid on with sealing composition next to glass. Screw band tight. Put date on jar.
  6. Place filled jars in freezer as quickly as possible.
  7. Freeze 0 degrees F. or below.

To Thaw:

Leave food in jar to thaw - in refrigerator, as at room temperature or in pan of cool water.

To eat raw -- do not completely thaw -- few ice crystals, improve texture.
To cook -- thaw until loosened, then cook as a fresh fruit.

Run cool water over jar until food slides out. Then cook in boiling water (1/2 cup per pint).

Source: Kerr

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