Dear Home-Ec 101,
Can bechamel be made in bulk and frozen, or do you need to make it little bits at a time?
I Cook for Crowds
The jury is out on this one. Some dairy products can be compromised when frozen, how much they are compromised depends on factors over which you may not have much control. Milk has fat globules suspended in liquid. (Milk in the US is homogenized which prevents a quick separation). When items containing milk are frozen, the water may separate.
If you have a deep freeze, you may be able to flash freeze small amounts with little separation. Vacuum sealing the frozen product will help it maintain quality for an extended period of time.
My advice is this, try freezing one batch. Reheat it slowly over low heat and be sure to stir. If you are able to seal it in a vacuum pouch, heat the bechamel in simmering water.
Watch the time, did it take longer to thaw than it did to prepare? Taste the sauce, are you happy with the results? This is one of those issues where what bothers one person may not be an issue for another. If you are cooking for company, don’t take the chance, make a fresh batch of white sauce.
Bechamel can be stored in the fridge for up to five days. If planning a big meal, there may be plenty of opportunity to make it ahead of time.
Good luck and enjoy.
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