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Supplemental heating - Freezer cooking

January 24th, 2006 at 01:21 am

I live somewhere where it gets really, really hot in the summer. So hot, you think you will melt if you even so much as turn on the stove. So, we do a lot of cooking for our freezer in the winter.

I've found that cooking a big pot of beans to make into refried beans can easily raise the temp of an 800sqft home by 5 degrees, and the moisture added means it holds onto that heat longer. Dried beans are cheap, the electricity (or gas) to cook them isn't that expensive and cooked beans freeze extremely well (they can get mushy).

Just remember, it's best to add salt after you thaw your food. Salt taste can intensify upon thawing. This goes for all herbs and spices in a way. They all change intensity, some lose intensity so much taht you wonder why you even wasted your time and money and some increase intensity so much you can't stand it. So, I generally keep the seasoning bland and add it when it thaws.

DH grills as much meat as his grill will hold (which is quite a bit), then he slices and dices for use in later meals (fajitas, stir fry, barbecue, etc). Cooked meat holds quite well in the freezer, especially if you will be adding more seasoning later.

Bread and other baked goods tend to hold well too. I haven't baked bread in a while, I need to find a really good source of whole grain flour and a good recipe for whole grain bread - but once I do that, I plan to start baking again. Days when I cook beans would be perfect for bread baking - the extra heat and humidity will really jumpstart the yeast.

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