Assorted cooked vegetables

What is blanching?

Blanching is a cooking method that uses hot water or steam to cook food for a short amount of time before it’s “shocked” in cold water. This method is often used to preserve the color, flavor and texture of vegetables prior to freezing, which can help deactivate certain enzymes and keep the veggies fresh. Once you learn how to blanch vegetables, it can be a helpful way for you to streamline food preparation for busy family meal times. 

Read on to learn how to blanch veggies before placing them in the freezer for convenient, long-term storage.

Steps for blanching vegetables

Blanching vegetables is a great way to help ensure your produce remains fresh tasting and vibrant after prolonged periods in the freezer. In addition, storing veggies in a refrigerator crisper drawer prior to blanching can also help extend shelf life and preserve freshness.

While the blanching process can be done in the microwave or by steaming, blanching on a cooktop or range offers more room to cook a larger amount of vegetables if you are planning ahead for food preparation. If you’re using a Whirlpool® cooktop or range, precise controls can help you boil water quickly and reduce to a simmer when needed. Follow the steps below to get started blanching your own vegetables before freezing.

  • Vegetables of your choice, such as broccoli, asparagus spears or green beans

Prep time
  • 10 minutes

Estimated total time 
  • 13 to 15 minutes, depending on the type of vegetable

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Step 1: Prepare the pot

Place the blancher or wire basket in a large pot. Add about one gallon of water per pound of vegetables to the pot and bring to a boil. Select models of Whirlpool® cooktops feature SpeedHeat Burners that generate the high heat needed to boil water quickly.

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Step 2: Prepare the ice bath

As you wait for the water to boil, prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice water, using about one pound of ice per pound of vegetables. Set the bowl to the side.

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Step 3: Add the vegetables

Add the vegetables to the pot. Return to a boil by increasing the burner level to High and cover.                                                    

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Step 4: Time the cooking process

As soon as the water has returned to a boil, start counting the blanching time. Check the water frequently to ensure it maintains a steady boil.

When boiling the veggies, remember that exact blanching times can depend on a number of factors, such as vegetable type and thickness. Overcooking can result in the loss of flavor and color, while undercooking may accelerate degradation.

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Step 5: Shock the vegetables

Remove the vegetables immediately at the end of the blanching time. Shock the vegetables by putting them into the ice water for the same length of time used for the blanching process.

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Step 6: Drain the vegetables

Before storing them in the freezer, drain the blanched vegetables thoroughly to remove excess moisture.

What are the best vegetables for blanching?

There are many types of vegetables that are excellent choices for blanching, from fall favorites like sweet potatoes to hearty greens like broccoli, asparagus or cabbage. 

See the chart below for other common vegetables suitable for blanching, as well as recommended blanching times.

Vegetable Recommended blanching time (approximate)1
Artichoke hearts 7 minutes
Asparagus 2–4 minutes
Broccoli 3 minutes
Cabbage 1–2 minutes
Carrots 2–5 minutes
Corn 4–11 minutes
Peas 1–2 minutes
Potatoes 3–5 minutes

Why blanch vegetables?

In addition to helping preserve their flavor and color, blanching can also help protect the veggies from oxidation and freezer burn once they are frozen. Additionally, blanching softens tough fibers and fibrous cells, making them easier to chew later on.

When should you blanch vegetables?

Vegetables should be blanched prior to storage in the freezer to help preserve their fresh taste and quality. For convenient, long-term storage in the freezer, plan to blanch your veggies a few hours prior to freezing.

Tips for blanching

Understanding how to properly blanch is key to keeping your vegetables tasting great for as long as possible. Below are a few helpful tips to keep in mind to get the best results from blanching:

  • Ensure all the benefits of blanching by timing the cooking process accurately.

  • Dry the vegetables thoroughly before storing.

  • Place the vegetables in the ice bath immediately after boiling to avoid overcooking. 

  • When boiling, ensure quick and even cooking by using the appropriate amount of water per the combined weight of your vegetables.

Shop Whirlpool® ranges and cooktops for preparing your favorite meals

Ranges and cooktops by Whirlpool brand offer a variety of features that help to streamline meal prep so you can spend more quality time at the dinner table. Browse the full collection of Whirlpool® ranges and cooktops to explore features like SpeedHeat Burners and Full-Width Grates on select models.

Read more about Whirlpool® ranges and cooktops

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