I haven't done any freezer/FoodSaver tips in awhile, so I thought it was high time. First of all, if you've been buying those expensive pre-made brand name bags, you might be interested in trying out some of these bags I found online - just call me your guinea pig. I bought these bags from an online store called The Sweet Attack - they did not pay me or give me any free product to pimp them - yet, haha - , I just thought I'd pass the tip along), and the shipping was very fast. The savings are about 15 - 17 cents per bag, which really adds up when you're buying them by the 50s or 100s. Just thought I'd give them a shout out, since I really love using the pint bags, and the cost for those especially can add up. The bags work just as well as the brand names; they do feel a little softer after boiling than the brand names, but they are still safe for boiling. I haven't tried to reuse any of them, because that just isn't how I roll. Maybe someone else has and they'll be able to offer some advice.
Okay, so first of all, here's a few tips for saving stock; I had been freezing the stock in blocks, and then removing the blocks and putting them in bags. This worked fine, but if you don't want to spring for the silicone baking pans I used (they are multi purpose, so if you're doing a lot of baking, it really isn't that big of an investment) or you just want to skip a step, here's what I did when freezing my turkey stock.
- As always - write on the bag with a Sharpie first: the date, the item, and sometimes I'll also write the amount. For instance, I froze 10 kilos of chocolate buttons earlier this year, so I measured them into 12 ounce portions so that when I went to use them, I wouldn't have to re-measure. This time, I used a measuring cup to portion out the stock into 1 cup, 2 cup, and 4 cup measurements. Now I can grab a 4 cup for risotto-making, 1 cup for soup just for me, etc.
- Roll down the top of the bag (this will keep the top of the bag dry, ensuring a better seal).
- Using a 1 cup measuring cup, pour desired amount of stock (or other liquid) into the bag. Roll the top up.
- Carefully place bag upright in a loaf pan or another narrow, high-sided pan or pot. If the container is too big for the bag to stand upright, place a canned good next to the bag as a prop until you have enough bags in the container to hold each other up:
- Place the container of bags into the freezer and freeze for a few hours, or until they are frozen.
- Vacuum seal each bag of frozen stock and store in freezer for up to 6 months!
See that? Easy as pie! Or stock, or whatever. Now, how about making some stock?