What is the best way to freeze vegetables?

  • Posted by: Kelly
  • November 10, 2015


C S. November 12, 2015
Like Max, I grew up with a big garden and we froze lots of vegetables, blanching, shocking in cold water and then packing them in to freezer bags that fit into special collapsable boxes my mom kept on hand. Here is a link http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/05/the-food-lab-preserve-spring-summer-produce.html to an article that gives a lot more information. I heard part of this discussed on the radio this summer and there is enough science in it to be accurate but also enough common sense to make it doable at home. Good luck.
Smaug November 12, 2015
Depends on what, of course. I grow a variety of peppers, which freeze very well- used to freeze them on trays, but I found that, even if cut, they don't really stick together, now I just throw them in a freezer bag unless they've been roasted. They break down under freezing and are only good for cooking. If you wish to peel them, it's best before freezing (note that Piquillo peppers have very thick skins and really need to be peeled). I also freeze tomatoes when I have a lot- simply clean and have them and put them in a plastic bags in appropriate quantities (I usually do 1 1/4#). Dump the whole bag into a pan, bring to a boil and run through a food mill, and you're well on your way to sauce.
max J. November 12, 2015
We used to grow huge amounts of veg. Blanch refresh and vacpak then throw in the freezer.
caninechef November 12, 2015
I agree, freezing home grown vegetables is very worthwhile. I would not buy veggies in season to freeze probably but if I grew them or got them from a farm co-op I certainly would. some of the other replies seem to discourage home freezing but a wide range of veggies do great with just blanching and freezing. Vacpak available these days sounds worthwhile if you are doing a lot of freezing.
702551 November 11, 2015
The best way to do it is IQF: Individual Quick Frozen, which freezes individual pieces separately. Commercial food processors have $100K IQF freezer system that do this.

This is how McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc. prepare their ready-to serve items for storage. This is also the method that 95% of the items in your grocery store freezer aisle ended up in.

Now if you don't have a $100K IQF freezer at your disposal, you are advised to think about what you are trying to freeze. Sometimes your effort might not be worth it, some times it might, provided you take the proper steps. Ultimately, it depends on what you are trying to freeze and what sort of quality you will accept after said item undergoes whatever process you subject it to.

This is the same judgment that happens to every single thing that passes through your kitchen.

Without knowing what you are trying to freeze and what you expect to do with the frozen/defrosted item, it is impossible to make a specific suggestion to your inquiry.
702551 November 11, 2015
One important thing to acknowledge about IQF is that it typically brings the temperature of the object to sub-zero rapidly. This almost eliminates many of the structural changes of slow freezing (what most home cooks would subject their items to).

Home cooks who wish to freeze items cannot expect to always get the same quality of preserved items that commercial processors get. The latter have specialized (expensive) tools and freezers that go well below the temperature range of residential appliances.

The typical home cook doesn't have any flexibility in equipment, and only a small selection of freezing techniques. Thus, the home cook's battle is mostly mental: deciding which items are worth freezing and which ones aren't. Ultimately, it will come down to a personal decision. Is the defrosted item that you (or someone else) prepared good enough for you?

Nobody but you can answer that question.
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