Monday, February 23, 2009

Tired of Broken Jars

I make vegetable stock to use in our soups, and then I freeze it until I'm ready to use it.  I don't like to use Ziploc bags to freeze it in, because I always make a mess, so I experimented with quart jars.  I made sure it had cooled completely before I filled the jars, left the lids off until it was frozen solid, and I left plenty of space for the stock to expand, and still the jars kept breaking in the freezer!  I did a little research and discovered that I was not the only one to have this problem, so I thought a little harder and came up with a new solution.

I freeze the stock in a muffin pan.  I can control how much goes in each cup before I freeze it, and my quart jars don't break any more!  It's also a lot easier to get the stock out of the jar, and I don't have to use all of it if I don't need it.  This method also works well for my chicken and turkey soup bases and for the beef stock I make out of the leftover roast juices.

I think this would also work well for freezing leftover soups!  It would be frozen in nice little portions, simple and easy to warm up for one, two, or more people, and the smaller portions melt faster, too.  A good thing when it's lunchtime and your children are starving!

I only wish I'd thought of this sooner!

There are always lots of great ideas and recipes on Kitchen Tip Tuesdays at!


KaraBeagle said...

okay, from the physicist and the chemist here...while most things get smaller as they get cooler, water has the unique property of expanding when it gets cooler. So anything water-based that you freeze will expand. This is why we make sure our radiator fluid has enough antifreeze in it so that it won't freeze. If the water freezes in the radiator (or engine block) it will expand and CRACK--bye-bye radiator--or engine...

I would think, however that your method might allow for freezer burn. But then, I expect you use things up faster than we do. :)

Jerri - Simply Sweet Home said...

I was amazed when I saw that my dad had frozen some liqids in a glass jar. He told me it would be fine as long as I didn't feel the jar too full, but I still don't trust it. (he has the magic touch with those kinds of things, and I don't!) Personally I use plastic containers, but I like this idea.

KaraBeagle said...

I think the more slowly they freeze, too, the more chance the extra volume has to expand UPWARD rather than outward. But it's always a risk.

mub said...

Muffin tins are so versatile! Thanks for the tip about freezing stock in them =)

aimee said...

I like your idea of using muffin tins to freeze stock in small portions, but think I'd store the frozen stock in freezer bags instead of glass jars (I'd most likely drop the jars on our floor and then all that yummy stock would be wasted!)
TY for the tip:)
Blessings, A