After a long day of keeping up with your kid’s crazy schedule, cleaning the house, and running errands, the last thing on your mind is getting dinner on the table.
Mealtime is one of the most hectic parts of the day.
Between picky eaters and trying to find a sliver of time to sit everyone down for a meal, it can be hard just to get everyone fed.
If you feel like you are struggling to get dinner on the table each night, and have better ways to spend your evening than doing dishes and cooking dinner, freezer meals might be your lifeline.
Freezer cooking is a great way to cut your cooking times, avoid food waste, save you money, and so much more.
To ensure your freezer cooking success, you need to have the right tools. You might already have some of these tools, and others might need to be purchased.
Here are the tools you need for freezer meal success.
Of course, you need a freezer to make freezer meals, but it’s about more than just sticking things into the freezer.
If your fridge has the freezer located over your refrigerator, it can be challenging to use it efficiently.
These freezers are often smaller with little space to put casserole size meals in them.
If you are renting, you might not have much of a choice.
However, if you aren’t, I highly recommend one of the following.
First, if you don’t want to go out and buy a new fridge, then you should invest in a deep freezer. This will give you the room needed for freezer cooking without going out to buy a whole new refrigerator and usually cheaper too.
Second, if you think it may be time to get a new fridge, make sure you are choosing the right one.
Your new fridge should have ample freezer space that is good for stacking.
When preparing freezer meals, you will be making an entire week’s worth of meals in a single sitting.
You will need to have large bowls on hand to prepare your food.
You can find a big set of mixing bowls in almost any store, but they should be easy to wash as you might need to use them multiple times throughout your cooking session.
I have some hand me down Pyrex bowls that I love. They are nice to have since you can microwave, freeze and refrigerate them and they are so easy to clean.
When it comes to cooking, you will be putting your pots and pans to work in the kitchen.
If you are cooking in double batches, it might be wise to invest in some large pots to cook with.
This way you can use your stove space to your advantage.
Remember that you only have four burners, so there’s no need to buy a bunch of them.
If you are cooking in large quantities, you’ll need larger pots. Start with a large skillet like this 7 quart skillet!
Freezer bags work great for storing cooked meat, vegetables, and even entire meals.
Make sure you are purchasing freezer bags and not regular plastic bags.
Freezer bags are made to be thicker and prevent freezer burn.
Freezer bags are a necessity, especially if you are working with a small freezer, as they will allow you to stack them.
You’ll want to also grab these Baggy Racks! They hold open your freezer bags while you fill them. I have some and they work great!
When choosing baking pans, I recommend buying the foil baking pans. This will make storing and heating so much easier, plus you won’t have to do with dishes when you’re done!
You can also use glass baking pans, but be cautious when using them. If you freeze your meal in that baking pan, you will have to let it sit in the freezer until that meal is fully made and finished. If you plan on sending a freezer meal to a friend, you’ll also have to wait for them to clean it and return it to you.
After making your meals in a glass pan, you’ll even have to do dishes! Save yourself some trouble, and splurge for the foil ones and throw them out when you’re done.
These are the basics you will need to ensure your freezer meal success!
There are tons of other items you can have such as labels, slow cookers and slow cooker liners, but these are the most essential tools to ensure freezer cooking success.
If you’re just getting started with freezer cooking or could use a few tips to make your sessions more successful, don’t forget to add these tools to your arsenal before you get cooking!
YOUR TURN: What kitchen essentials would you need to buy to start cooking freezer meals? Let me know in the comments below!
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