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Tips on reheating your fed freezer....WITHOUT using a microwave.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
In an attempt to be more frugal, I've started freezing some leftovers in enamel cover metal tins, and glass containers. But, I didn't think ahead as to how one reheats this. We are recently living on one income, so previous take out frozen leftovers pop out of their containers easily, but glass not so much.

Is it safe to defrost foods out of the fridge? Can I reheat the glass containers directly?

I swear I'm a grow up, I just missed the cooking merit badge of motherhood! smile.gif
post #2 of 15

I've learned a little bit about reheating, though trial and error, over the years.

 

I'm pretty casual about defrosting outside the fridge, but it's really not recommended.

 

Depening on the kind of food, I use three different techniques for reheating - if things are frozen into their containers, I usually just warm them hot water until they come loose.

 

  1. For some things, I find the best way to reheat is to put them into an oven safe container (I usually use a cake pan) and heat them up in the over. I usually set the temperature at 300F to 350F (lower for some things - it takes a bit of trial and error to figure out). Check on the item every 5-10 minutes - and some stirring or flipping will probably be necessary.
  2. For others, especially sauce-based dishes, I just empty the container into a pot on the stove. Heat on low to medium-low, and keep stirring. If you want it really hot, you can turn the heat up after everything's thawed out.
  3. For a very few things (mostly rice, quinoa or plain pasta), I dump it into a sieve in the sink and then pour boiling water over it. If the grains are thoroughly soaked with the hot water, they'll retain the heat for a while.

 

I hope that helps. I think that reheating food is kind of a lost art, because of the microwave.

post #3 of 15

I don't freeze in glass but I would think you wouldn't want to put a glass dish directly from the freezer into a hot oven.

 

I have thawed cooked items on the counter just long enough that I can get them out of their container and transfer them to a different dish for the oven or stove top heating. The food was still frozen but I could slide it out of the container at that point.

 

I have put glass dishes from the refrigerator directly into the oven many times without a problem so maybe thaw your frozen item fully in the refrigerator if you want to heat it in that same glass dish.

 

I have seen tips about lining your glass dish with foil or plastic wrap before freezing your item and removing it from the dish when it is solid. http://www.thriftyfun.com/Freezing-Casseroles-1.html

 

 

Quote:

Prepared or Cooked Foods

Most cooked or prepared foods do not have to be thawed before heating. Food can be reheated in the oven to preserve its texture. Be careful not to put a cold glass container into a preheated oven, unless its manufacturer specifies that it is freezer to oven safe. For speedy reheating of products such as noodle casseroles, without excessive stirring, heat the food in a double boiler. Start with warm, not hot, water in the lower pan so the food will not stick. This prevents the casserole from becoming "mush". Cassseroles, soups, stews and leftovers should be heated to at least 165°F in the center prior to serving.


Products containing meat, fish, poultry, eggs or dairy products should be thawed in the refrigerator or in the microwave oven. These products could cause food poisoning if they stay at room temperature for more than 2 to 4 hours.

Precooked breads, cakes and cookies can be thawed at room temperature.

from http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze/thawing.html

 

 

Quote:

Reheating

 

  • Reheat all previously cooked food to an internal temperature of at least 165°F. The food must reach this temperature within 2 hours. If the food will not reach this temperature within 2 hours, reheat it in small batches to shorten the reheating time.
  • Use a clean meat thermometer to check internal food temperatures.
  • Reheating frozen food without thawing:
    • Bake at 300 to 350°F for almost double the original cooking time.
    • Cooking frozen foods at higher temperatures does not result in quicker cooking. Higher temperatures will cook the outside before the inside is completely thawed.

Read more on FamilyEducation: http://life.familyeducation.com/foods/safety/36570.html#ixzz2Gt4tPZ8B
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View PostI hope that helps. I think that reheating food is kind of a lost art, because of the microwave.

 

When our microwave broke and we decided not to replace I did have to learn how to reheat food on the stove or in the oven. It tastes better than microwave re-heating used to.

post #5 of 15
I freeze and reheat directly in Pyrex and never had a problem.

I have also lined my Pyrex with freezer paper, put in meal to freeze, put in freezer till hard, pop out of container so I can still use it until which time I need the frozen meal. I dig it out of the freezer, pull the paper off, pop back into said container and cook in the oven.

I freeze a lot of meals ahead, it is great.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post

 

When our microwave broke and we decided not to replace I did have to learn how to reheat food on the stove or in the oven. It tastes better than microwave re-heating used to.

 

 

I agree about the taste! The one thing I do have a tendency to do is reheat things like roast potatoes in the oven, and then they're too dry. Otherwise, stove/oven reheating is much tastier than microwave reheating. I don't tend to end up with mush as often as I did with a microwave, either.

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by akcowgirl View Post

I freeze and reheat directly in Pyrex and never had a problem.
I have also lined my Pyrex with freezer paper, put in meal to freeze, put in freezer till hard, pop out of container so I can still use it until which time I need the frozen meal. I dig it out of the freezer, pull the paper off, pop back into said container and cook in the oven.
I freeze a lot of meals ahead, it is great.

Please pardon my ignorance: what is freezer paper? Is it wax paper, or foil, or something that is new to me?

 

This thread is great. I don't use a microwave at all except for (rare) microwave popcorn because I believe it is healthier for my family that way, so it is good to learn more.

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks you so much everyone for contributing! These tips are great - and will go a long way in planning cheaper meals for my family!
post #9 of 15

I don't have a microwave, either. Usually I try to store leftover sauces separate from the starch - then I can heat the sauce and add the starch at the end. With stuff frozen in glass, I defrost in the fridge & then heat in a pan.
 

post #10 of 15

If you freeze in glass, it's a good idea to let it warm a bit before popping it into a hot oven - 20-30 minutes at room temp is sufficient, and still safe from a food safety perspective. Pyrex is the best type of glass for this, as it can withstand sudden, variant temperature shifts. 

 

Defrosting overnight in the fridge is the preferred method, with defrosting under cold running water (not a stagnant pool stopped up in the sink) being a close second. Leaving something on the counter for hours on end is not recommended. 

post #11 of 15
Freezer paper is butcher paper. It is paper on one side and plasticy on the other. It is also what we wrap our meat in after its been wrapped in plastic wrap then we use freezer tape to seal it.
post #12 of 15

I have two sets of Pyrex containers with rubber (?) lids that work great for this.  I freeze cooked food in them.  When I'm ready to eat them, I take off the lid and put the whole thing in a cold oven.  I turn the oven to 350 and then let them warm up.  I've never had a problem with it--works great!  I wouldn't go straight from the freezer to a hot oven, but freezer to a cold oven works well.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by akcowgirl View Post

Freezer paper is butcher paper. It is paper on one side and plasticy on the other. It is also what we wrap our meat in after its been wrapped in plastic wrap then we use freezer tape to seal it.

Do you think I could find freezer paper and freezer tape near aluminum foil and plastic wrap at the grocery store? And what would I use it for exactly?

post #14 of 15
Yes, you would find it with the aluminum foil and do on. We use it for lining Pyrex when freezing meals so once the meal is frozen I can pop the whole package out of the Pyrex and just leave the meal in the freezer and still be able to use my dish. We also wrap our meat in plastic wrap then the freezer paper for freezing.
post #15 of 15
It also works great for kids coloring paper.
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