Reheating/freezing.

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Reheating/freezing.

Postby Gruney » October 5th, 2019, 9:48 am

I do quite a bit of batch cooking, normally four servings. My usual style is to have one on the day made, chill the rest, have one the next day, and freeze the remaining two.
The dish I made yesterday turned out a bit bland, and I intend to jazz the remainder up a bit. The obvious thing to do would be to improve the lot, eat one portion, and quickly chill and freeze the remaining two. I can't see a problem with this, if I chill it quickly, but at the back of my mind, I have the feeling I've read that food should never be reheated twice. Maybe I'm thinking of frozen food being defrosted, then refrozen? Could someone put my mind at rest, please?
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Re: Reheating/freezing.

Postby Ratatouille » October 5th, 2019, 9:54 am

I think you are confusing refreezing with reheating Gruney. I can't see any problems with reheating.
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Re: Reheating/freezing.

Postby Gruney » October 5th, 2019, 10:02 am

Thanks Rats.
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Re: Reheating/freezing.

Postby Suelle » October 5th, 2019, 10:25 am

The whole refreezing/reheating thing is a bit of a red herring. Neither does any harm in terms of food safety (unless you're really careless AND unlucky with rice).

The issue is really with quality. Reheating may overcook vegetables and make meat dry, or prone to break up into shreds - obviously doing it twice doubles the risk of altering the quality. Freezing forms ice crystals within lumps of meat and vegetables which can alter the texture as they thaw, by breaking up cells.

So each time you reheat or freeze and thaw you risk altering the quality of your dish. In practise it doesn't make a lot of difference, unless you've got something delicate in the dish, like cauliflower.
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Re: Reheating/freezing.

Postby Gruney » October 5th, 2019, 10:28 am

Now that explains a lot, Suelle. Thank you.
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Re: Reheating/freezing.

Postby Suelle » October 5th, 2019, 10:42 am

When I said reheating doesn't affect food safety, I'm assuming you obey the usual rules of eg (i) not thawing dishes quickly with heat (microwave or warm water), then leave them sitting around at room temperature for ages, giving time for bacteria to grow and (ii) always reheat until piping hot.
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Re: Reheating/freezing.

Postby Gruney » October 5th, 2019, 11:00 am

I always thaw till piping hot, in the microwave - then eat immediately. I know that compromises structure, but I'm not too worried about that when I return from an early doors swiftie or two.
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Re: Reheating/freezing.

Postby earthmaiden » October 5th, 2019, 3:24 pm

No scientific basis, but I would make sure that the whole lot had become piping hot again before then chilling/freezing the portions.

In the days before we had a fridge, stew type dishes were often left in the saucepan and reheated each day so that they were boiled, even during the summer until they were eaten (within 3-4 days), the theory was that boiling killed any nasty bacteria. We never became ill and so I assume it worked! I have great faith in bringing to the boil.
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