The Safe Thaw Series-Cooking without Thawing

Believe it or not, you CAN successfully cook foods without thawing. You mean you could have cooked that frozen chicken without thawing it and saved yourself from eating out last night? Yes, it’s true, if you plan ahead, you can successfully make a chicken or roast delicious from a frozen state.

I’m going to cover just a few items that I have made from a frozen state. Generally, frozen items take 50 percent additional time to bake or cook.

Frozen Casseroles:

Normally, I do try to thaw a casserole for twenty four hours in the refrigerator. However, when a hospitality opportunity arises and you have a frozen casserole in the freezer, break it out for your best guests. A dense casserole, like lasagna normally takes an hour from a thawed state. A typical 9×13 frozen lasagna may take up to an hour and a half or longer. You’re going to look for normal done signs, such as bubbling sides and little or no condensation in the middle of the casserole. Frozen casseroles should remained covered the entire cooking time to create a convection seal to cook faster. The foil can be removed the last ten to fifteen minutes to allow extra browning if desired.

Less dense casseroles, such as baked ziti or macaroni require  less thawing and cooking time. Therefore, if it’s cooked in a frozen state, it might require an hour or up to an hour an fifteen minutes. General rule of thumb is to add at least 30 minutes extra to the original recipe.

Meats, Sauce, Stews and Soups

Stovetop

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I will reheat frozen meatballs and sauce on the stove top if I’m in a real hurry. Bring the heat up slowly to prevent scorching. I begin heating covered at a medium setting until thawed and give it an occasional stir.

Crock Pot

I will cook frozen meats in the crock pot in a pinch. Whole chickens or roasts can be seasoned and cooked with additional time as stated above. Instead of low setting, use your high setting and plan for additional time. Get to know your crock pot.

Crock Pot chili comes together in a flash with frozen cooked and pre-seasoned taco meat. I simply cut the seal and dump the quart bag right into the crock pot with the diced tomatoes and frozen beans. Turn the crock pot on high for six to eight hours and dinner is done. This is a great method when you are away for the day.

Microwave

5 minute tacos is another easy meal that comes together with frozen taco meat. It really does take 5 minutes to reheat thawed taco meat or ten minutes to heat frozen taco meat (5 minutes at 50 percent power, stir well, 5 minutes at full power). Serve with toppings. I make several quart bags at one time for quick meals.

What items have you successfully cooked without thawing?

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