Prep and Freeze

Beginner question. Can I prep food seasoned but, uncooked in vacuum sealed bags to be frozen and cooked later? Like veggies and chicken, meatballs, pretty much anything.

Thanks in advance,

You can, but you’re probably not going to like the results.

Due to the generally lower SV cooking temperatures employed for most meats any vegetables packaged with meat don’t become sufficiently cooked.

You can prepare the menu items you mention in your post, cook them conventionally, chill, package and freeze for later enjoyment. Except i’ve not yet seen a recipe for pretty much anything.

Before you start cooking you will do better with some SV cooking knowledge. A lot of this Community found the Serious Eats basic information useful and followed up using some of the recipes. It’s here:

If you mean package each separately and when you are ready cook each at the proper temperature and time it will work out great. Vegetables are normally cooked at a much higher temperature than meat so you can do them sequentially. I ended up with 2 Anova devices to reduce the overall time when faced with this. I really like sous vide carrots along with my steak and always employ both devices.

One bag meals normally will not work out if the temperatures needed for the contents to cook are different as was pointed out.

I was talking about prepping some veggies separately and if I would be able to freeze to use another day.

Thanks for the clarification, Hammie.
I was hoping you didn’t really mean that.

So, you want to be another Clarence Birdseye. Well first you need to know there’s a lot of science involved with successfully freezing vegetables, however i won’t bore you with too many details.

You need to start with the best possible quality and select them as they have just ripened or reached maturity. Ideally they will be picked from your own garden.
Next you need to thoroughly clean, and peel, if required, your harvest.
Then cut to cooking size.
Meanwhile you will have a suitably large pot of water coming to the boil on your stove because you are going to blanch the vegetables to kill their ripening enzymes. Yep, even when frozen vegetables will continue to ripen to the point of spoilage, albeit very slowly.
Boil about two good relaxed handfuls at a time. Not too many now, because you want to maintain the water at near boiling for a brief length of time according to the vegetable type and size. A minute or two is usually about right. Soft vegetables get shorter times, hard longer.
You will also have prepared a sink or another large pot with an ice water bath to shock the blanched vegetables. That’s to instantly stop their cooking and prepare them for the next steps.
Still interested in doing this?

Working quickly gently place some ice-cold vegetables in the basket of your salad greens spinner and give them a real-good whirl so they are damp-dry.
Now you’ve reached a fork in your vegetable processing road. I recommend spreading your vegetables on a parchment covered sheet pan which is then placed in your freezer til everything is completely frozen.
Once thoroughly frozen you can then quickly vacuum package them in meal-sized portions for frozen storage. In case you’re interested, my standard vegetable portion is about 3-ounces (90g) or 3/4 cup. Three portions fit in a conveniently sized 10-ounce bag for freezing.

You don’t want to freeze them that way?
OK, taking the other road you will simply place the chilled and portioned vegetables in bags and vacuum seal them before freezing.

The faster your vegetables freeze the better your result.
Clarence invented a refrigerated wind tunnel to freeze his vegetables. These days the best producers use a blast of liquid nitrogen before packaging.

Don’t forget to label and date every package. The bags have a tendency to get foggy.

But you wanted to freeze seasoned vegetables, didn’t you?
Don’t do it, there are too many complications that are beyond the home cook’s management capability.

What i do is simply decant the frozen vegetables into a small skillet that has a tight fitting lid. Give the vegetables a 3-minute sauté with a little of your choice of fat and seasonings, tossing frequently. Then add about a tablespoon of water to the vegetables, tightly cover the pan and reduce heat to medium low, just enough on your stove to keep water at a high simmer to steam the contents. Three or four more minutes will do them to the tender-crisp stage of doneness.
(I’ve always maintained a 7-minute rule for same-every-time vegetable cooking. )
Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary, serve and enjoy.


Thank you for your very complete answer. Prepping and freezing veggies will not be something I will be doing. I will stick with just the meats.

A wise decision based on what’s involved sir, it’s hard to compete with Clarence.

You may store this type of food in Ceramic Cookware. I use this type of cookware for a long.

Congratulations Eva, thank you for sharing your discovery. Using your ceramic cookware for food storage and a long could be a significant culinary breakthrough.

An added advantage is that it substantially reduces waste by limiting how much food you can cook when most of your cookwear is busy functioning as storage in your refrigerator.
It’s a brilliant green method.

I feel badly for having ranted over the years about lazy cooks putting cooking pans with leftover food in the refrigerator.