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How do yall freeze leftovers?

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  • Michael_in_TX
    Club Member
    • Dec 2018
    • 466
    • Texas Gulf Coast
    • Grills:
      Weber 22" Kettle Premium w/Slow N' Sear 2.0
      Pit Barrel Cooker
      W.C. Bradley & Co. Char Kettle CK-115 ~1980s Vintage Grill (inactive)

      Accessories:
      Thermopop (Instant Read)
      Thermoworks Smoke

    #16
    Wow.....I was not expecting all the vacuum sealer recommendations! I may have to get myself one of those things!

    At the risk of sounding like the obvious eludes me, clearly the notion is to get as much air away from the food as possible.

    Comment


    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      Vacuum sealers remove all air from the bag. With no air gap between the meat and the bag, no ice crystals form, and no freezer burn.

    • ComfortablyNumb
      ComfortablyNumb commented
      Editing a comment
      Vacuum sealing hands down is the best, but you can get by without, especially if you need to save up for one. Then there is the chamber versus suction sealer debate, so do some homework, research, and ask questions. Meanwhile, freezer bags or plastic wrap and butcher paper, and from the comments, but not personal experience, aluminium foil will suffice. And you are correct, get out as much air as possible.
  • jfmorris
    Club Member
    • Nov 2017
    • 3101
    • Huntsville, Alabama
    • Jim Morris

      Cookers
      • Camp Chef FTG900 Flat Top Grill (2020)
      • Weber Genesis II E-410 w/ GrillGrates (2019)
      • Weber Performer Deluxe 22.5" w/ GrillGrates & Slow 'N Sear & Drip ‘N Griddle & Party Q (2007)
      • Custom Built Offset Smoker (304SS, 22"x34" grate, circa 1985)
      • King Kooker 94/90TKD 105K/60K dual burner patio stove
      • Lodge L8D03 5 quart dutch oven
      • Lodge L10SK3 12" skillet
      • Anova
      Thermometers
      • Thermoworks Smoke w/ Wifi Gateway
      • Thermoworks Dot
      • Thermoworks Thermapen Classic
      • Thermoworks RT600C
      Beverages
      • Whatever I brewed and have on tap!

    #17
    Vacuum sealers are awesome for preserving both fresh and smoked meat. I use my foodsaver to seal up pulled pork, ribs, chicken even, and drop it in the deep freeze. With all the air out there is no freezer burn. I try to make meal sized portions that we can microwave for quick meals during the week.

    now, I will add this. Freezer type matters. The typical frost free freezer in a refrigerator has daily defrost cycles that will decrease quality of frozen items in a couple of months. A true deep freeze with no automatic defrost keeps items below 0F indefinitely, and I’ve reheated frozen foods after many months and they’ve had great quality.

    I also cut my own steaks from primal and vacuum seal them and freeze.
    Last edited by jfmorris; February 29, 2020, 11:11 PM.

    Comment


    • Michael_in_TX
      Michael_in_TX commented
      Editing a comment
      I did not know this. Interesting! It would stand to reason that I probably should plan to use frozen cooked and uncooked foods within about 3-4 months then.

    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      Michael_in_TX if food is vacuum sealed it helps reduce formation of ice crystals and freezer burn due to the defrost cycle on a normal freezer.
  • rickgregory
    Founding Member
    • Aug 2014
    • 776
    • Seattle, WA

    #18
    Originally posted by jfmorris View Post
    Vacuum sealers are awesome for preserving both fresh and smoked meat. I use my foodsaver to seal up pulled pork, ribs, chicken even, and drop it in the deep freeze. With all the air out there is no freezer burn. I try to make meal sized portions that we can microwave for quick meals during the week.

    now, I will add this. Freezer type matters. The typical frost free freezer in a refrigerator has daily defrost cycles that will decrease quality of frozen items in a couple of months. A true deep freeze with no automatic defrost keeps items below 0F indefinitely, and I’ve reheated frozen foods after many months and they’ve had great quality.

    I also cut my own steaks from primal and vacuum seal them and freeze.
    What do you use as a freezer?

    Comment


    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      I have a small chest deep freeze - not even sure of the cubic feet, probably 7-ish. I use a couple of plastic egg crates to store stuff in, stacking one on top of the other, then have the compressor hump to store things on, and a basket that hangs in the door opening that is slid over the compressor hump area.

      Wife would like it out of the laundry room, so I gotta figure out how to make space for it in a garage that already has 2 full size upright refrigerators and two kegerators.

    • barelfly
      barelfly commented
      Editing a comment
      jfmorris - 2 kegerators.........

      Man cave!

    • IowaGirl
      IowaGirl commented
      Editing a comment
      IMO, a freezer that doesn't have auto defrost is a "true" freezer in the sense that Rick is talking about. Typical chest freezers don't have auto defrost -- you have to manually defrost every so often when a thick layer of frost builds up on the walls of the freezer.
  • briano52
    Charter Member
    • Oct 2014
    • 14

    #19
    Here is just one more guy who loves his vacuum sealer machine. Best gadget in the whole kitchen and pays for itself many times over in a few months in saving food like fresh. Vac sealed food is like new for 3-4 months and still petty good after that!

    Comment

    • SmokingSteve
      Club Member
      • Jun 2018
      • 324
      • Mesa Arizona
      • SmokingSteve

      #20
      Ok, I gotta say it...I use the freezer to freeze any leftovers. I have not found anything else that does a better job than my freezer.

      Sorry, couldn't resist!

      Comment

      • DavidNorcross
        Club Member
        • Nov 2017
        • 1618
        • Virginia
        • Rec Tec RT-680
          Coleman RoadTrip LXX
          Javelin Pro Duo
          More Cast Iron than I care to admit

        #21
        Yeah...same here. Could not imagine not having a sealer. Sorry....

        Comment

        • IowaGirl
          Club Member
          • Dec 2018
          • 643
          • Northeast Iowa, USA

          #22
          I'm vote #147 for a vacuum sealer.

          Don't scrimp on bag quality either -- thicker bags are more abrasion resistant, so less likely to loose their seal when a bone or other sharp bit pokes into the plastic.

          Also make your packages as flat and smooth as possible for most efficient use of freezer space and also for faster thawing.

          Portion only enough into each bag to make one meal for the number of people you normally cook for. If I'm freezing pork shoulder, for example, I'll put 6 ounces of cooked meat by weight into each bag. That makes a generous meal of burritos or loaded nachos for the 2 of us.

          Comment

          • Skip
            Founding Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 3379
            • Blue Earth, Minnesota
            • MAK Pellet Grill, Large BGE, Weber Kettle with SnS, Weber Gasser, Pit Barrel Cooker, Cast Iron Pans & Griddle, Grill Grates, Mostly Thermoworks Thermometers

            #23
            Sorry to be a broken record but a Vac Sealer for sure. I also do like IowaGirl and use a Kitchen Scale to measure a quantity that I really want in each package. You won't be sorry.

            Comment

            • Michael_in_TX
              Club Member
              • Dec 2018
              • 466
              • Texas Gulf Coast
              • Grills:
                Weber 22" Kettle Premium w/Slow N' Sear 2.0
                Pit Barrel Cooker
                W.C. Bradley & Co. Char Kettle CK-115 ~1980s Vintage Grill (inactive)

                Accessories:
                Thermopop (Instant Read)
                Thermoworks Smoke

              #24
              Well, isn't it convenient that my birthday is coming up. Time for some research!

              Comment


              • ComfortablyNumb
                ComfortablyNumb commented
                Editing a comment
                I have the VacMaster VP215, price has gone up since I got mine at Webstaurantstore. But they do have another 'brand' that is very similar, so similar it makes you wonder https://www.webstaurantstore.com/vac...86VMC10OP.html Both have oil pumps, run cooler. Can do liquids, powders, and mason jars. Bags are cheaper than suction types. If you have questions, feel free to ask.
            • rickgregory
              Founding Member
              • Aug 2014
              • 776
              • Seattle, WA

              #25
              If you're not sure you'll use a vacsealer a lot look at the new anova and the Nescos. What you'll find is that there are always about 10% 1 star reviews of any model... but they complain about things like "This squished my muffins!" (not kidding) or something. I grabbed the baby Nesco (https://www.amazon.com/VS-02-Vacuum-...s%2C211&sr=8-4 ) and it's fine for the occasional stuff I use it for. If you do big session of vacsealing like some here, you'd want a larger capacity unit.

              Comment

              • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
                Club Member
                • Jun 2018
                • 601
                • Eastern NC
                • 2018 MAK 2 Star
                  Charbroil Big Easy SRG

                #26
                I don't have a vac sealer, but for important long term freezes... I use a gallon zip bag, push as much air out as I can, then submerse in the sink without letting water in to let the water press the last of the air out.

                Comment

                • mgaretz
                  Founding Member
                  • Jul 2014
                  • 862
                  • San Ramon, CA
                  • Mark Garetz
                    Rec Tec pellet grill
                    Weber Genesis Gasser
                    Maverick ET-732 and Thermapen and others

                  #27
                  +1 on the chamber vac. Big up front investment but the bags are cheaper than baggies. So everything going into the freezer gets vacuum sealed. And the vacuum is so much better that food lasts much longer in the freezer.

                  Comment


                  • ComfortablyNumb
                    ComfortablyNumb commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Not just freezer, I use them in the refrigerator as well, no smells, no leaks. Portions can be taken out and remainder sealed again. Mine gets used daily. As for cost, my wife initially complained, but once it got here it's her favourite kitchen tool now.

                  • mgaretz
                    mgaretz commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I also use mine almost daily to cook most veggies. Seal them with some butter and microwave until the bag almost bursts. Usually 90 seconds. They come out great. This method was invented by Michael Voltaggio.
                • JeffJ
                  Charter Member
                  • Feb 2015
                  • 2414
                  • Michigan
                  • Jeff

                  #28
                  Vac sealer is a good investment. I use mine quite often.

                  Comment

                  • rickgregory
                    Founding Member
                    • Aug 2014
                    • 776
                    • Seattle, WA

                    #29
                    The issue for me with the vacmaster chamber sealers is that they start at $400 and go up. You have to use a LOT of bags for that to pay off, or even make sense.

                    Comment

                    • ComfortablyNumb
                      Club Member
                      • May 2017
                      • 3316
                      • Northeast Washington
                      • KBQ C-60
                        PK360
                        Thermoworks Smoke
                        Thermoworks Thermopop
                        Thermoworks Dot

                      #30
                      Originally posted by rickgregory View Post
                      The issue for me with the vacmaster chamber sealers is that they start at $400 and go up. You have to use a LOT of bags for that to pay off, or even make sense.
                      Well that's you. Myself, I wanted something that lasts, the VM is commercial quality. I also wanted something more user friendly. I put the bag in the chamber, close the lid, and the machine takes over while I prepare the next bag, unlike the suction sealers with 'press and hold'. I also wanted something that would work all day without overheating and having to stop to let it cool down. I also wanted to bag liquids and powders. As for bags, I'm already ordering my second case of 1000. Finally, I can afford one, so for me, the VM chamber sealer made sense.

                      Comment


                      • rickgregory
                        rickgregory commented
                        Editing a comment
                        More to the point, a $400+ sealer is probably overkill for someone who doesn't use one at all right now unless there's some other use they'd have for it. So, for OP, I tend to recommend something in the $100 range and, if they like it and find they're more like you than me, they can move up. If you have a problem with that, well, that's your issue.

                      • ComfortablyNumb
                        ComfortablyNumb commented
                        Editing a comment
                        "Don't assume your opinion is somehow fact or that you speak for most people" Perhaps you should stand in front of a mirror and make that statement. I share my experiences and what has worked for me, then expect others will make their decisions based on their needs and budget. Whereas you arrogantly assume your use and budget is typical and anything outside of it doesn't make sense. My recommendation to the OP was made at post 16.2 which neither recommends a type of sealer or price range.

                      • ComfortablyNumb
                        ComfortablyNumb commented
                        Editing a comment
                        rickgregory Further, I have no problem with people having $100 sealers, or how much or little they use them. If it works for them, it makes sense. You won't hear me condescendingly put down others as nonsensical because they don't have a sealer like mine. Really, if I were to I would consider myself a jerk.

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