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  • AP22
    • #2
    • 17th May 05, 1:44 AM
    • #2
    • 17th May 05, 1:44 AM
    It depends what you freeze but generally 3-12 months. Take for example a nice load of bolognaise sauce (pre-cooked incl. minced beef) - it will keep for over 6 months providing the temperature of the freezing compartment is below -20 C.
    As a guide please look at the following link: http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/HGIC3522.htm


    Good luck!
    • Chipps
    • By Chipps 17th May 05, 6:53 AM
    • 1,543 Posts
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    Chipps
    • #3
    • 17th May 05, 6:53 AM
    • #3
    • 17th May 05, 6:53 AM
    How long do you want to keep the food for? When I cook double & freeze half, it is usually just after payday, so that by the end of the month I already have meals there. Our local butcher sells mince at a discount for bulk ie buy 2lb get 1 free, so I buy at the beginning of the month then cook it & divide into meals. Saves initial outlay & fuel.

    P.S. If you freeze things like spag bog sauce in (good quality) zip lock bags, it takes up very little room in the freezer, and they all stack nicely together.
    • squeaky
    • By squeaky 17th May 05, 6:57 AM
    • 13,808 Posts
    • 15,843 Thanks
    squeaky
    • #4
    • 17th May 05, 6:57 AM
    • #4
    • 17th May 05, 6:57 AM
    I go through phases of cooking and not cooking. Usually this means that frozen meals seldom last more than a couple of months anyway, and that's comfortably within the safe storage time for most things.

    Just remember to allow things to cool properly, covered, before putting them in the freezer.
    Hi, I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style and the Consumer Rights boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.

    Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
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    • spendaholic
    • By spendaholic 17th May 05, 7:37 AM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 7,664 Thanks
    spendaholic
    • #5
    • 17th May 05, 7:37 AM
    • #5
    • 17th May 05, 7:37 AM
    Our local butcher sells mince at a discount for bulk ie buy 2lb get 1 free
    by Chipps
    One of our market butchers does this. As most meals are 1lb of mince, I ask the butcher to split it into 3 separate bags, so I don't have to do any messy measuring at home.
    Highest debt: £35k (2005); Current debt: £6k (2018)
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    2 tickets to the Home Building & Renovation show; £50 to spend on chocolate; 2 tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters; designer cat food caddy; £2,500 cash; £36 cash; Jesus Christ Superstar tickets + 2 t-shirts; Creative Craft Show tickets; Birmingham City v Barnsley FC tickets; Marillion tickets; Beyond the Pole DVD; £1,000 cash; Legend of the Guardians goody bag; Dancing on Ice tickets; Barnsley FC v Millwall tickets
    • spendaholic
    • By spendaholic 17th May 05, 7:40 AM
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    spendaholic
    • #6
    • 17th May 05, 7:40 AM
    Defrosting the food
    • #6
    • 17th May 05, 7:40 AM
    I've been cooking and freezing stuff for a while now, but I always defrost overnight in the fridge before reuse. However, are there any loose guidelines on defrosting in a microwave? Our microwave does have a defrost facility on it but the only time I use it is when a prepackaged item says "heat on defrost for x minutes". There have been times when I could have defrosted something NOW for use NOW, but as I've been brainwashed that defrosted overnight is best, I always resort to a convenience food.
    Highest debt: £35k (2005); Current debt: £6k (2018)
    MY WINS

    2 tickets to the Home Building & Renovation show; £50 to spend on chocolate; 2 tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters; designer cat food caddy; £2,500 cash; £36 cash; Jesus Christ Superstar tickets + 2 t-shirts; Creative Craft Show tickets; Birmingham City v Barnsley FC tickets; Marillion tickets; Beyond the Pole DVD; £1,000 cash; Legend of the Guardians goody bag; Dancing on Ice tickets; Barnsley FC v Millwall tickets
    • moggins
    • By moggins 17th May 05, 7:48 AM
    • 5,177 Posts
    • 10,159 Thanks
    moggins
    • #7
    • 17th May 05, 7:48 AM
    • #7
    • 17th May 05, 7:48 AM
    Personally I nuke it until I can stick a fork in the middle without any resistance.
    Organised people are just too lazy to look for things

    F U Fund currently at £250
    • squeaky
    • By squeaky 17th May 05, 7:57 AM
    • 13,808 Posts
    • 15,843 Thanks
    squeaky
    • #8
    • 17th May 05, 7:57 AM
    • #8
    • 17th May 05, 7:57 AM
    My microwave book has a table for defrosting. Too long to quote, but the minimum time for anything is ten minutes, the longest is sixty.

    I don't bother with the table. I give an item a ten minute blast, check it, rearrange it, and if it's still solid it gets another ten... and so on.

    It's difficult then to overdo things and start cooking one bit while another is still frozen this way. For stuff like spag bol, once it's almost defrosted and you can break it up, stir things around a little and give it five more.

    Then re-heat thoroughly.
    Hi, I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style and the Consumer Rights boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.

    Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
    DTFAC: Y.T.D = £5.20 Apr £0.50
  • Queenie
    • #9
    • 17th May 05, 10:37 AM
    • #9
    • 17th May 05, 10:37 AM
    ...... However, are there any loose guidelines on defrosting in a microwave? Our microwave does have a defrost facility on it but the only time I use it is when a prepackaged item says "heat on defrost for x minutes". There have been times when I could have defrosted something NOW for use NOW, but as I've been brainwashed that defrosted overnight is best, I always resort to a convenience food.
    by spendaholic
    I agree that overnight defrosting is *best* but not always convenient

    Couple of things to bear in mind when thawing meals:
    • keep it covered!
    • a frozen block of food needs to be as snug in it's container as possible so that it doesn't spread out and overheat before it's thoroughly defrosted
    • you need to defrost in short *bursts* because any ice crystals will melt first and then start cooking! Result? Outside hot, inside cold.
    • allow time to "stand" between bursts.
    As a rough guide: (based on a 650w )
    Cooked meat dishes or soup/casseroles etc. (based on 1lb weight) is defrost 10mins (try giving it a stir during thawing) so two 5mins bursts
    A plated meal will take roughly 7 - 10 mins
    Bread - 3mins then 5 mins standing time - slice - 30 secs - roll 15 -30 secs

    HTH
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PMS Pot: £57.53 Pigsback Pot: £23.00
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  • BrokeBrokeBroke
    Thanks for all these, esp. the defrosting tips! Has anyone else found that some stuff tastes lots better when you have it after it's been frozen? (I've tried spag bol, chicken curry and beef strogonof - bit of an experiment as I had no idea whether sour cream would freeze ok, but it did!)
    • moggins
    • By moggins 17th May 05, 4:20 PM
    • 5,177 Posts
    • 10,159 Thanks
    moggins
    Curry always tastes better when it's made in advance as it gives the flavours time to mingle and mature.
    Organised people are just too lazy to look for things

    F U Fund currently at £250
  • Queenie
    Casseroles, curries etc *always* taste better when the flavours have had a chance to "mature"

    It's one of the reasons I love making a day ahead sometimes too (plus it gives any fats a chance to solidify so they can be skimmed off).

    When freezing strongly flavoured items, it's soooo important to wrap them thoroughly so the flavouring doesn't migrate to other foods. For example, I have a chest freezer and a fridge freezer; I only put garlicky/strongly flavoured foods into the chest freezer - everything else goes in the chest freezer (who wants chocolate ice-cream to have a hint of garlic!!?? LOL )
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PMS Pot: £57.53 Pigsback Pot: £23.00
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    • Smiley_Mum
    • By Smiley_Mum 17th May 05, 7:52 PM
    • 3,779 Posts
    • 2,914 Thanks
    Smiley_Mum
    Queenie,

    I can't remember what it was on but I remember seeing a programme that mentioned about some garlic festival or other and they had garlic icecreams among other things and there was people going about with 99s with garlic icecream. ale: Sounds yuk!!!! Just when you mentioned about the strong flavoured foods in your freezer and cakes tasting of other foods etc.
    “Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” - Oscar Wilde
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