Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dealing with a 16-quart Potful of Stock

Ok... a possible downside to having a 16-quart pot is having to figure out what to do with all you make in it!  First of all, after spooning out the bones and veggies, and straining the over 9 quarts of remaining broth, I needed to refrigerate it overnight.  I used to do that right in the pot, but there is no room for a 16-quarter in the fridge!  I called on the 8 and 5 quart pans to do the job.  


When I pulled out the broth in the morning, the fat had solidified in the cold, and was easy to skim off.  
After taking off 3 cups of chicken fat, I was ready to figure out how to store the stock.  


It had been a tiny hassle to figure out how to freeze 3 or 4 quarts of broth, and do shifts freezing it in muffin tins in the freezer.  But 9 quarts was a whole new ball game.  I had actually thought this over while lying in bed during the night.  Maybe if I could freeze it in shallow pans, I could warm my Bash, Chop, and Scoop Cutter and cut it into baggable and usable sizes.  So I filled 2 shallow roasting pans, and stacked them in the freezer (with flat cookie sheets in between so they wouldn't try to nest), and added some smaller portions in a muffin tin and a small loaf pan on top.  (This took care of about 5 1/2 quarts of the broth.  A big pot of soup took care of the rest.)


5 hours later, the stock in the muffin and loaf-sized servings were frozen, but not that in the roasting pans.   But I wasn't going to give up that idea completely, so I popped the frozen stocksicles out into bags, and popped the roasting pans back in the freezer...on separate shelves this time, so maybe they'd freeze quicker.
A couple hours later, they were frozen, too.

I warmed some water in which to dip the Cutter, and scored the frozen broth.  At first it didn't seem to be doing much, and I thought I had a grand failure on my hands.  
But after some time and additional scoring lines 90 degrees to the others, I was in business.  It was somewhat like peanut brittle with some breaking along the lines and some going their own way.  But it's all bagged up and in 'grabbable' sizes in the freezer, so I'm content.  I think, though, that there may be a better solution to try next time...


6 comments:

  1. That's clever and doesn't fill the freezer up too much. Expect it also thaws rather quickly. No idea why I'm still addicted to plastic quart containers. Must be having so many left over from takeout. LOL. Thanks for stopping by to see Care's kitchen. Jane

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  2. Good for you for dealing with stock-zilla in such a clever way.

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  3. Ha! Stock-zilla...I like it!

    I think my house eats plastic quart containers. They're somewhere hiding with the pens, pencils, pony tail bands, barrettes...All the things I keep buying, but we never seem to have.

    It was a bad idea to make and try to freeze a bunch of liquid stock just after a trip to Costco that had the freezer shelves filled to capacity...

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  4. Stocksicles, what a brilliant name. Is stock the same as chicken broth? The little packages would make it easy to make chicken soup for a sick young'un.

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  5. I've always used the terms 'stock' and 'broth' interchangeably. Not sure if that's correct or not!

    Now If I could convince any of them to like chicken soup... ;-)

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  6. Actually this is something JC said....via email and I got her permission to share it here (Thanks JC!):

    I can't figure out why my laptop allows me to comment on your blog, but
    the main computer doesn't. Some extra security tweak, I guess, that masks
    my Google profile.

    Re the difference between broth and stock: Broth is a clear soup.
    Seasoned and meant for eating. It's thin. You can put stuff in it (e.g.,
    broth with noodles). Sometimes the word is used for the liquid that comes
    off of cooked foods; the juice in a stew can be referred to as broth.
    Stock is a component of soup, gravy, or whatever. It usually isn't
    seasoned to prevent overseasoning when used. It's is rich in nutrients
    from boiling down meat, bones and vegetables.

    Wikipedia has a good article:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stock_%28food%29#Stock_or_broth.3F

    I love your idea of making slices from a shallow pan. My father uses a
    hacksaw on a large block of stock, but yours is genius and sounds a lot
    easier for the everywoman. :)

    JC

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