Knowledge Base > Eric Wynkoop - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Eric Wynkoop - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

This event was on Tuesday, January 02, 2024 at 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern

Join Chef Eric Wynkoop in his virtual office as he welcomes all of your questions. This event was created for you and we encourage you to Ask Anything – from cooking techniques to co… Read More.



Do you need to defrost - frozen vegetables before using in a stir fry?

— Jane Barnett


It's a simple question, it seems, but it's a, it's a good question. So, on, on one hand, no, uh, you can, uh, if you're, you know, gonna be combining some vegetables in a, in a hot pan, uh, with some other flavorful ingredients to create something, you can certainly put frozen vegetables directly in the pan. They will freeze, um, they will warm up and, uh, you know, the, the freeze thaw cycle will already soften up that product. Um, so that, um, uh, you know, it's often relatively tender, uh, to, to begin with once it thaws. So, uh, on one hand, you can go ahead and put it in the pan and continue, you know, with your cooking process. Now, on the other hand, you know, if you wanna, uh, more closely follow the principles of a, of a stir fry or of a saute, part of that, uh, cooking method is to maintain a hot pan. Now, if you're adding frozen vegetables or even very wet vegetables, uh, in any quantity to, uh, a hot pan, it's gonna draw down that temperature immediately. And then there's gonna be some re what we call recovery time, um, before that pan temperature comes up again, and you can resume the cooking that, uh, could characterize a saute or, or stir fry. But very often, um, the process is compromised, uh, because unless you're on a, a commercial burner with some really high BTUs, uh, you're not gonna be able to bring that pan up to temperature, um, in a way that defines that cooking method. Okay? So if you wanna be a stickler, uh, and, and, uh, you know, talk about stir frying, uh, then no, don't use, um, uh, frozen vegetables. But if you wanna just talk more generally about creating a dish in the pan, uh, you know, that's gonna taste good, then sure. Uh, you know, you can add frozen vegetables to, uh, to the pan. Okay? Give it a try. See how you like the results. That's gonna be the most important thing, okay? Um, if you are hired at a Chinese restaurant, they would tell you what to do and what not to do. And adding frozen vegetables to the pan is probably what, what they don't want you to do. If you're cooking at home, find the best solution, okay. For you and your family and your friends. Thank you.
Eric Wynkoop

Eric Wynkoop

Director of Culinary Instruction