Author Topic: reducing moisture in sauce  (Read 6742 times)

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Offline csacks

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reducing moisture in sauce
« on: February 22, 2007, 01:49:04 PM »
My pizzas have had to much moisture.  I have been working on reducing the moisture without reducing the flavor.  I tried taking the moisture out of the cheese, but I think that I lost some flavor.  I thought that I would see what I could get out of the Escalon 6 in 1 tomatoes.  They looked thick enough that I hadn't tried removing any juice before now.  I have read several posts about not cooking the sauce prior to cooking the pie.  This method gets the seasoning started and keeps the largest part of the sauce uncooked.  After reducing I add the concentrate back to the tomatoes.  I hate pouring out the juice.  It might be the best part.  I hope you find it interesting.  CraiG

« Last Edit: February 22, 2007, 01:50:42 PM by csacks »


Offline csacks

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Re: reducing moisture in sauce
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2007, 02:33:14 PM »
This is a can of Muir Glen whole tomatoes. I seperated the seeds and fine chopped the tomatoes with a knife. The last picture is the tomatoes put back into the can.   Just about one half of the tomato product is kept for the sauce.  CraiG

Offline Bryan S

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Re: reducing moisture in sauce
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2007, 11:39:50 PM »
Take your 28 oz can of toms that have been sitting on your shelf for a week or so and gently turn it upside down (all the water is at the bottom of the can, so be gentle). Take a hand can opener and pierce the bottom. Turn the can back to right side up and pierce the top. Set in on a angle so the hole is at the bottom on top of a Pyrex 1 cup measuring cup and let it sit over night. Place in the fridge for another 24-36 hrs and all the water is gone, almost 3/4 of a cup, with no loss of tomatoes or puree. ;) If needed i'll post some pics of said operation.   ;D
Making great pizza and learning new things everyday.

Offline Castello_Pietro

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Re: reducing moisture in sauce
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2007, 10:19:36 PM »
OK, this one is not for the weak. :o  Coffee filter, I'll say it again Coffee filter.  The liquid that comes out is clear and you save more of the flavor.  I use Hunts petite diced mixed with Escalon 6 in 1 and sometimes San Marzano Cherries with my own spice combo. :chef:  The Escalon is thick enough on its own, the other 2 I filter.  A thick, flavorfull sauce that never runs off when peeling the stone. ;)
It just doesn't get any better than Pizza in Positano.

Offline RoadPizza

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Re: reducing moisture in sauce
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2007, 05:11:54 AM »
You can refrigerate the sauce overnight.  This will help thicken your sauce.

Offline Castello_Pietro

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Re: reducing moisture in sauce
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2007, 08:43:22 PM »
You can refrigerate the sauce overnight.  This will help thicken your sauce.

Won't it take on various flavors from the fridge as to reduce moisture it would have to be uncovered?
It just doesn't get any better than Pizza in Positano.

Offline RoadPizza

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Re: reducing moisture in sauce
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2007, 02:38:42 AM »
No.  To store TOMATO-BASED sauces you need a clean, dry, plastic and COVERED container.  Make sure the sauce is not warm before you store it or it will definitely spoil overnight. 
« Last Edit: March 09, 2007, 07:07:11 AM by RoadPizza »

Offline November

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Re: reducing moisture in sauce
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2007, 03:15:42 AM »
Make sure the sauce is not warm before you store it or it will definitely spoil overnight. 

I'm at a loss as to how that could happen.  Would you please explain that phenomenon?

Offline RoadPizza

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Re: reducing moisture in sauce
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2007, 06:58:24 AM »
I'm at a loss as to how that could happen.  Would you please explain that phenomenon?


You have to let hot food cool down before you refrigerate them to inhibit the growth of bacteria.  One way would be to use an ice bath before storage.

If you'd like to learn more about food temperatures and the danger zone, check this out:

http://www.metrokc.gov/health/foodsfty/foodtemps.htm

or:

http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/afs10426!OpenDocument&Click=
« Last Edit: March 09, 2007, 07:06:15 AM by RoadPizza »

Offline November

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Re: reducing moisture in sauce
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2007, 08:53:01 AM »
RoadPizza,

You did not address the phenomenon you described.  In fact, you just proved what you said was incorrect.  According to the metrokc.gov article, you should "Put all meats and other hot food in the cooler or refrigerator as quickly as you can, right away;"  The main reason for using an ice bath is so that the food can cool faster, which is why the first emboldened question in the second article is "Why is Rapid Cooling Important?"  An ice bath will cool food down much more rapidly than the small air currents and minimal surface conduction of your refrigerator will, and it will do so without increasing the temperature of your refrigerator, thereby affecting other food.

I only asked because I wanted someone to explain why that wives tale has persisted for so long.  Being a wives tale, I know of no way to logically explain it, so I was hoping you would.  Here are more articles from Clemson University and the University of Nebraska if you don't want to take my word for it:

"Contrary to common belief, refrigerating warm food does not cause it to spoil."
http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/HGIC3540.htm

"Is it OK to refrigerate foods while they're still warm? [...] YES. Just leave the container cover slightly cracked until the food has cooled. Refrigerate foods in shallow containers to speed cooling."
http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/ftsep02.htm

- red.november


Offline RoadPizza

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Re: reducing moisture in sauce
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2007, 06:31:45 PM »
RoadPizza,

You did not address the phenomenon you described.  In fact, you just proved what you said was incorrect.  According to the metrokc.gov article, you should "Put all meats and other hot food in the cooler or refrigerator as quickly as you can, right away;"  The main reason for using an ice bath is so that the food can cool faster, which is why the first emboldened question in the second article is "Why is Rapid Cooling Important?"  An ice bath will cool food down much more rapidly than the small air currents and minimal surface conduction of your refrigerator will, and it will do so without increasing the temperature of your refrigerator, thereby affecting other food.

I only asked because I wanted someone to explain why that wives tale has persisted for so long.  Being a wives tale, I know of no way to logically explain it, so I was hoping you would.  Here are more articles from Clemson University and the University of Nebraska if you don't want to take my word for it:

"Contrary to common belief, refrigerating warm food does not cause it to spoil."
http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/HGIC3540.htm

"Is it OK to refrigerate foods while they're still warm? [...] YES. Just leave the container cover slightly cracked until the food has cooled. Refrigerate foods in shallow containers to speed cooling."
http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/ftsep02.htm

- red.november


The main point of my post was to not to refrigerate sauce that was still warm.  And yes, while leaving a container slightly cracked will allow warmer foods to be refrigerated, I advocated the use of a "clean, dry, plastic and COVERED container" as a storage method for the pizza sauce.  In a commercial environment, it would be the right (and most practical) thing to do (and it would be wise to adopt at home, too).

Having worked with tomato-based sauces for years, I've seen how quickly it can spoil if not stored properly (much more so than other foods Clemson may have tested) and I've thrown out quite a few batches of pizza sauce that have spoiled due to improper storage.  The rules of keeping "hot foods hot", "cold foods cold", and "cooling hot foods before storage" has basis on the fact that there is a temperature danger zone where bacteria can thrive.

Offline November

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Re: reducing moisture in sauce
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2007, 06:58:58 PM »
Make sure the sauce is not warm before you store it or it will definitely spoil overnight

The main point of my post was to not to refrigerate sauce that was still warm.

You could have fooled me.  It sounded to me like the recitation of an old unqualified adage.

leaving a container slightly cracked will allow warmer foods to be refrigerated

Let's not propagate the theory that leaving the container cracked allows warmer foods to be refrigerated, like a key allows entry through a locked door.  Warmer foods can be refrigerated without that precaution.  It is simply that, a precaution, especially for large portions of food.  It is hardly necessary for 28+ oz of sauce.

Having worked with tomato-based sauces for years, I've seen how quickly it can spoil if not stored properly

And yet under absolutely no circumstances does a sauce spoil overnight because you placed in your refrigerator while it was warm; or am I trying to extract too much truth from your hyperbole?

- red.november

Offline RoadPizza

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Re: reducing moisture in sauce
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2007, 07:22:56 AM »
Old wives' tale or not, I've always been taught the folly of storing warm sauce.  I only brought it up because the initial post was about getting rid of excess moisture in pizza sauce.  The best way to do that, for me, is to allow the tomato sauce some time to thicken in the refrigerator (preferably overnight). 

As a rule, we do not cook our pizza sauce.  However, I realize that some members of the forum do, so I added in the line about making sure the sauce was not warm.

If I was wrong to perpetuate an old wives' (or old pizza man's) tale, I apologize.  However, I felt I was speaking from experience.  Isn't that what this forum is all about?

Offline FLAVORMAN

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Re: reducing moisture in sauce
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2007, 05:15:32 PM »
I agree this is a problem as every packer uses a differant amount of sauce or h20. I have had the best success for flavor and reducing sloppy sauce by reducing tomatoes. I reduce them just as I would for a basic pasta sauce..cook on medium for 5-10 minutes and add your favorite spices..You might just be surprised..good luck

Offline Castello_Pietro

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Re: reducing moisture in sauce
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2007, 06:07:30 PM »
You can refrigerate the sauce overnight.  This will help thicken your sauce.

I'm not buying this one. ::)  As you mentioned using a sealed container, it will not loose moisture.  The cold may thicken the sauce for a brief period but when it hits the oven you still haven't reduced the moisture content and you'll have a runny mess :-X...mind you we are discussing uncooked sauce.

If you left the cover off the sauce may loose moisture but the sauce will also take on other flavors from the fridge. :-\
It just doesn't get any better than Pizza in Positano.

Offline November

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Re: reducing moisture in sauce
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2007, 07:31:36 PM »
I'll offer a few "rapid fire" solutions.  Some of these are commercial items that can be makeshift for low cost if necessary.

Atmospheric
1) Miniature desiccant air dryers in a double-container setup
2) Chemical desiccant (e.g. DampRid, sugar, salt) in a double-container setup
3) Miniature (Peltier thermoelectric) dehumidifier in a double-container setup
4) Vacuum distillation
5) Negative pressure system (makeshift only)

Van der Waals' Forces
6) Kerosene lamp wick, long, coiled, and elevated above the sauce in the container
7) Paper towel placed in or on top of the sauce - could also use a reusable hand towel
8) Coffee filter placed on top of the sauce and filled 0.5 cm deep with salt or sugar - could also use rice or pasta so that the flavor doesn't go to waste, or reheat the used salt to dry it back out and use in the sauce itself
9) Place paper bag in container first, then fill paper bag with sauce - use several paper bag linings if necessary

Additional Straining Options
10) Cheese cloth

- red.november

Offline scott r

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Re: reducing moisture in sauce
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2007, 07:35:26 PM »
could you describe a negative presssure system November?

Offline November

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Re: reducing moisture in sauce
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2007, 08:48:15 PM »
could you describe a negative presssure system November?

It could be simply described as a one-way airflow.  Take a lid to a container you don't mind modifying (destroying) and cut out a hole to mount a small electric fan.  Fans used in computer cases, that don't require a servo controller, work well for this kind of setup.  What is important is that the fan can be sealed air-tight against the lid with silicone adhesive.  The fan is then powered by an insulated battery pack and allowed to constantly blow air from the inside to the outside while in the refrigerator.  Since the air flow is expected to be one-way, there's no chance of the sauce picking up flavors from the rest of the refrigerator.  This accomplished three things, micro-convection within the container, a partial vacuum to increase the evaporation rate, and a place for the moist air to go other than back in the sauce.

- red.november

Offline Bryan S

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Re: reducing moisture in sauce
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2007, 02:21:03 PM »
Here's a pic on how i do it from my above post. Just a 1 inch slit in the bottom and top of the can from a can opener, this aint rocket science. :P If you are worried about picking up off flavors in the fridge place the setup in a 1 gal zip bag. So far there's 2/3 cup of water that has drained. I left this one out on the kitchen counter overnight, about 12-14 hrs.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2007, 02:27:55 PM by Bryan S »
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Offline November

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Re: reducing moisture in sauce
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2007, 03:57:25 PM »
Bryan S,

Have you tried it with sauce though, which is what the subject of this thread is about?  Your technique seems fine for crushed tomatoes, but then so does just using a strainer, and a strainer would be a lot faster.

- red.november


 

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