Tips and Tricks for Freezing and Thawing Meals December 15 2016
Freezing in Mason Jars
Shoulders - Any mason jar with a straight edge can be frozen without risk of exploding with appropriate space allowed for the food to expand.
Quart jars and narrow mouth pint jars are not a safe choice as they have that "shoulder" where the jar comes in at the top, prone to cracking. It also makes them much more annoying to defrost.
Head Room -When freezing in straight edge jars always double check you have enough head room - space above the liquid that gives it room to expand when it freezes. There is a freezer line on the size of the jar, usually at least half an inch of space at the top.
These jars on the bottom are straight edged and freezer safe with head room:
This is why you always receive our frozen items in these pints or straight sided 24 oz jars (pint and a half) or the smaller half pint jars and never in quarts.
For any jars that are not safe to freeze, transfer to your favorite freezer safe container.
If you have already frozen something in a jar with shoulders and it hasn't cracked or exploded - you got lucky! Let these defrost gently overnight in the fridge to be safe.
If you're the gambling type and you want to risk explosion, dishes with lots of space in the jars like rice and roasted vegetables are less likely to crack than items like soup that expand a lot when frozen.
But we still do not recommend freezing in jars with shoulders. Do so at your own risk! We will not refund food wagered in that gamble.
Thawing in Mason Jars can be FAST!
Freezer safe jars have more defrosting options. Simply dunk the glass jar in warm water until the food releases from the sides. It will easily slide out of the dish for a quick heat in a pot.
It you're really in a rush (I've done this already this week) you can just rotate the jar under warm water running in your kitchen sink. Perhaps not the most environmentally friendly option. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
This works best with more liquid items like soups, stews and chili, but you can certainly try it with other items like roasted veggies if you're in a pinch. And of course, these can all be thawed overnight in the fridge as well.
Freezable Items are Tagged -
Search our menu by clicking the "freezable" tag/button at the top of the menu to see what is recommended for freezing or already frozen each week. This includes meals that are not in mason jars as well.
Items that are already frozen also have a banner that says "Frozen" across the top of the menu photo.
We recommend thawing non-jarred meals by putting them in the fridge the night before to defrost.
If you don't think you'll want all of a particular fresh dish in a tin (like lasagna) at once, go ahead and cut it up before you freeze so you can thaw one portion at a time.