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Old 12-26-2004, 01:55 PM   #1
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Help With Stock....

I just made a stock from roasted cornish game hens, veggies and herbs. I simmered it covered for 18 hours.... I strained everything out. Now, should I reduce it? It's tasty. I have about 1.75 gallons.

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Old 12-26-2004, 05:52 PM   #2
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Depends on what you want to use it for - are you making soup? Then, no, you don't have to reduce. If you want to make a 'demi' for use with or as a sauce, then reduce it a bit.

Sounds good!
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Old 12-26-2004, 06:20 PM   #3
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I always reduce my stocks. Then I freeze them in ice cube trays and store them in a gallon ziplock baggie in the freezer. By concentrating the stock, I save freezer space.
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Old 12-26-2004, 09:33 PM   #4
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Thanks, I reduced it quite a bit. I have it in the fridge now, I'll skim off the fat after it chills and buy some extra ice trays tomorrow. Thanks for your help!!
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Old 12-27-2004, 12:34 PM   #5
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Reasons to reduce stock

Less storage space
Faster cooling time (safer)
Greater chance for skimming impurities
Demi-glace

Reasons not to reduce stock

Less browning reactions/More delicated tasting stock
Less labor/standing over the stove
Lighter colored stock for those applications that require it

Ice cubes are a convenient way of measuring, but at the same time, they expose exponentially more of your stock to air/potentiality for freezer burn. I guess if you know you're going to use the stock in a week or two, then sure, ice cubes will work. But if you're like me and have stock in the freezer for a month or two, I'd package it in a way that involves less air. I find it better to just divide the gelled stock into portions, toss each into it's own baggie, remove as much air as possible, and then freeze. The nice thing about large chunks is if you do encounter freezer burn down the line, you can wash off the outer layer without sacrificing much stock. If you try washing ice cubes, you'll lose a considerable portion of your liquid gold.
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Old 12-27-2004, 06:13 PM   #6
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Scott, I have to agree with you there. I have had some instances of freezer-burn on my stock cubes. However, I've found it takes longer than a couple months. Usually, it takes me about 6 months to start developing freezer-burn.

I store my stock cubes in a gallon ziplock. I can't squeeze all the air out, although I try my best. However, this time of year, I go through stock really fast, as I make a lot of soups. In the summer, I don't go through as much stock.

I like your idea of filling baggies with a little bit of liquid and sqeezing out the air, then freezing.

I do the ice cube thing with stock because as strong as I concentrate my stock, one stock cube in a measuring cup, and enough water to fill to one cup, makes a good basic stock. I tend to use that ratio whenever I'm using stock. Of course, sometimes I like a really rich stock, so I use more stock cubes.
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Old 12-27-2004, 08:11 PM   #7
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Allen, I think you have a better freezer than I do :) I also think freezer ziplocks provide a good layer of protection. It's completely off topic, but I can't stand the taste zip lock bags give off. I love them for non-food items like coins or screws, but when I think about using them for food, it gives me the willies. I also can't stand the taste of cloudy plastic bottled water. I'm kind of sensitive like that.
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Old 12-27-2004, 08:41 PM   #8
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Wow! You guys rock! Thanks for the great info!
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Old 12-27-2004, 09:36 PM   #9
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Freezer burn for a frozen liquid is really only evaporation. I don't see any reason to wash it off a frozen stock cube. When you melt it, the freezer burn is gone.
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Old 12-28-2004, 11:00 AM   #10
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One time, I made a tray of ice cubes, but didn't use them. Over the course of a month, I watched as the ice sublimed away, and gradually shrank down to about half their original size, before I finally got rid of them.
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