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Let me start by saying that I don’t freezer cook very often. I tried it years ago and found that we only ate about half what was in there and then eventually had to throw things away because we snubbed them for so long. Freezer cooking, which I consider freezing whole meals, is a great option for many people, and I’ve written all about it.
I’m a freezer prepper. Not in the apocalypse is coming kind of way (though I have enough in my freezers). The prepping I mean is in reducing cooking time. Not only is our family not a freezer cooking family, but we also fail at menu planning most weeks. I long to do it, I crave little lists and will steal away scrap paper and make menus… but we never eat them. My husband and I end up never wanting what was planned for the day. We have maybe 12-13 meals that we rotate through on a regular basis with a few new things thrown in from time to time. Since I’m starting all of them after work, though, this is where the freezer comes in handy.
I don’t want to walk in and have to thaw meat and start from scratch. Instead, in our freezer I keep a few things always stocked and ready to go that are parts of meals. This freezer prepping doesn’t make dinner totally automatic, but it still saves a bunch of time.
How to Do Freezer Prepping
I’m going to cover different categories of foods and how I do freezer prepping with each one!
- Ground beef—already browned in meal size portions
- Chicken—cubed and cooked (could be grilled or pan sautéed)
- Steak—thinly sliced and stripped for fajitas (get the butcher to cut it for you while you shop!)
- Pork chops—wrap in freezer paper individually and put in bags of 3-4 per bag, then unwrap and cook straight from frozen
If you have marinades you use on a regular basis go ahead and add those to the bag before freezing meat. Then pull it out and while it thaws, it marinates!
- Onions—sliced in large bag, I just take handfuls when I need it
- Bell peppers—sliced
- Minced garlic
- Cooked white rice
- Chicken broth—freeze in ice cube trays
- Bread crumbs
- Vegetable ends—keep a bag of nubs/ends that you wouldn’t always eat for making vegetable stock
With all of these always on-the-ready, I can throw together an awesome shepherd’s pie, fajitas, and a number of other meals without getting out a single cutting board or taking any prep time.
Have you ever tried freezer prepping? Let us know in the comments!