100% Food Storage: (FAIL - kind of) - Freeze Dried Cheeseburgers


In storage, for 'fun' I had invested in some first run/trial McDonalds cheeseburgers - freeze dried.

The company had never done these before (when I ordered them) so they didn't really have any instructions or directions on how to actually rehydrate them.  Other consumers and I were on our own to do some trial and error.  The best the company can offer is to "steam them for an hour" to rehydrate.  That's it.

I actually agree with the steaming idea - but I wasn't sure how to do it and unfortunately I ended up being in a HUGE HURRY that day and wasn't able to do this trial very well. 

I thought about not posting this at all until my next trial (TODAY) but decided to put the FAIL here with the reasons I knew it failed.

  the photo above is a cheeseburger, fully cooked, ordered from the restaurant and freeze dried as it was.  It looks great in the photo but believe me, it's rock hard, dry and basically cardboard.

SET UP:  I set up a double boiler situation in the pan with water below and rack above, so they would be steamed, as they didn't need to be cooked.

TRIAL ONE:  I debated taking the buns out and doing them separate, but I decided to do my first 'trial' as a whole sandwich, and steaming for an hour.  

Fail.  Unfortunately I soon found that wasn't going to work!  The bottom buns were getting steamed so quickly that within about 3 minutes they were getting soggy and saturated.

TRIAL TWO:  I then put the bottom bun on top, and had the burger patty on the bottom, nearest the hot boiling water underneath.  Better, but the buns were still reconstituting too quickly so I needed to remove them completely (which I should have done anyway to start but I wanted to do my first trial as the company package said of simply steaming the whole thing for 1 hour).

TRIAL THREE:  I had been making these for my husband to take with him to work for his lunch/dinner but I wouldn't have enough time so I had to come up with another idea.  I decided since I had boiling water in the pot below anyway, I'd add some pasta to it while steaming the burgers above, and I'd cook him spaghetti to take as a 'backup' to my failing burgers.

The water under it was splashing up onto the burgers, so at this point I wrapped them foil and steamed the whole burger inside the foil... didn't work, partly because I was RUSHING EVERYTHING and doing a poor job of testing as I was racing with the clock to get him 'something' made to take to work.

Here is a partially reconstituted burger in my hand.  The bun looked great, the burger was only reconstituted and soft on the sides - the inside completely rock hard and dry.  The bun on the counter below is so wet it was disintegrating.

THE END RESULTS were that my next trial (and the corrected version I believe): 

Remove both top and bottom buns
Reconstitute the burger separately either by steam or in about 1/2 inch water or broth - boil/simmer for a few minutes until moist all the way through.
Buns reconstituted by wrapping with wet paper towels and microwave, steam or even put into a Ziploc in the fridge overnight to absorb moisture until needed.

Trial of Filet O'Fish coming today.

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