Freezer Cooking Tip: Be Your Own Prep Chef

The goal of freezer cooking is to save yourself time, money, and energy.

Time is saved because on busy nights dinner can be ready and waiting for you because you’ve made it ahead of time. You won’t be tempted to run through fast food when there’s a homecooked meal at home.

Money is saved when you a) avoid the overpriced fastfood line and b) have made multiple batches of different meals, finding savings in buying ingredients in bulk and using electricity and gas in bulk during freezer cooking day.

Energy is saved, both in terms of the natural energy expended on cooking day and because you are making multiple batches. Henry Ford long ago figured out that it was easier and cheaper to make 10 of one item assembly-line style than to make those 10 items individually from start to finish.

Freezer cooking attempts to do all this for the home cook as well as the busy mom.

We can learn a few things from the professionals.

There’s a culinary term, mis en place, which is basically the practice of having all your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you cook. It is defined in Wikipedia as the following:

Recipes are reviewed to check for necessary ingredients and equipment. Ingredients are measured out, washed, chopped, and placed in individual bowls. Equipment, such as spatulas and blenders, are prepared for use, and ovens are preheated. Preparing the mise en place ahead of time allows the chef to cook without having to stop and assemble items, which is desirable in recipes with time constraints.

This is one of the invaluable tricks of freezer cooking. You prepare a cooking plan that revolves around several main proteins or main ingredients, you prep all the necessary ingredients, and you quickly and methodically assemble your meals.

This is what I did this morning. Prepped ingredients. I didn’t really want to. I am not a patient person with projects. I like to jump right in. However, I know from experience that having my prepping done ahead of time makes everything easier in the long run.

I’m looking forward to digging into the cooking and it will be all the more enjoyable, knowing that I don’t have to stop to chop onions, grate cheese, or slice olives.

How do you streamline the cooking process in your kitchen?

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Comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more! I prepped my veggie yesterday and put them in the fridge in containers so I’d have them today for cooking. It makes it so much easier and faster. I also baked most of the “baked goodies” yesterday from my list so I’d have a little more “time” to work on others stuff today. That helped tremendously. It was the first time I did it this way. Working good so far :)

  2. I am so looking forward to starting some freezer cooking. I have never done it but I just know it will make my crazy busy life much easier! And meals better and healthier.

  3. I often make double of a recipe and freeze half of it for a later meal. It makes life so much easier! Great tips, thanks!

  4. Meggin says:

    I would love to try freezer cooking, but am nervous because I work more than 50 hours a week. I know that freezer cooking in the end would save me time and energy, but it is hard to find the time on the weekends. It sounds like such an intense process. Does anyone have any suggestions for how I might be able to start freezer cooking in smaller chunks of time? Thanks so much!

    • nanasewn says:

      @Meggin,
      All new to me too, but I did make a triple amount of pancakes today, and last week triple of waffles. Also today when I was cooking a roast in the crock pot…I actualy cooked 4. 2 in each of my crock pots. In other wards, just one item doubled or tripled at a time. Another day I will cook up a bunch of bacon in the oven and brown a bunch of hamburger on the stove. All items are to be cooled and frozen to use at a later time. With chronic health issues, I cannot work all day at anything. But this has been working for us so far. hope it helps you.

    • @Meggin, you can start as small as make a few double batches of dinner this week. Freeze half. Expand off that. Make a triple batch another time.

  5. Heiss Haus says:

    Meggin,

    Start small so you do not overwhelm yourself. You want AND need this to work to make weeknights simpler with all those hours you are working! If the weekend is the only time that you have to cook in bulk, then try this. Over Weekend #1 when you are making dinner, double one recipe and freeze half. Do the same thing Weekend #2 with a different dish. On Weekend #3, use your freezer meal from Weekend #1, and then make a double or quadruple batch of your favorite meal since you’ll have a bit of extra time since that evening’s dinner came from the freezer! Remember to consider your recipes and make sure you have all needed supplies on hand and dishes / pots ready to go. There’s nothing worse than having some time to cook but not have the items that you need. Good luck and let us know how it goes. We’re rooting for you!

  6. Momma of 4 luvs says:

    Wow!! This seems a little overwhelming at first, but I luv the way u break it down for the beginners. I plan on trying this next month!! Wish me luck.

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  1. [...] talked before about the beauty and ease of mise en place. It’s the idea of having all your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start [...]

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