Which Freezer Cooking Method is Best For You?

 

Freezer cooking methods

Freezer cooking is one of my main weight loss strategies. It allows me to effectively prepare and have ready healthy home cooked meals for myself and family everyday. Freezer cooking can seem really overwhelming at first. Initial impressions might lead you to imagine a stove filled with boiled over pots, an oven bursting at the seams with fatty casseroles and a kitchen in complete disarray.  Not to mention spending hours upon hours in your kitchen.  That may be what it is like for some but not for me.  If that were the case I would have given up on freezer cooking a long time ago.  My life is pretty crazy and I prefer to keep the chaos under control as much as possible.  I can promise you one thing; I would never do anything that is going to chip away at my sanity even more.

Freezer cooking is not a one size fits all strategy.  There are primarily three freezer cooking methods.  Depending on your personality, schedule, and life circumstances there is sure to be a method that works best for you.  Also, once you get the hang of the basic methods you can adjust them as needed. These methods serve as the foundation to get you started with freezer cooking.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Here are the three different methods to choose from:

Once a month cooking or bulk cooking. This method requires the most planning, time, and stamina.  The benefit is that once you are done, you don’t have to cook from scratch until the next month or so.  This method typically takes about two days to complete.  One day of shopping and prepping the ingredients and one day for cooking.  Personally, I have found this to be the method that I prefer. This is due mainly because I don’t have to spend everyday or weekend cooking meals.  With two kids, a husband, and a full-time job, I could think of much better ways to spend my weekends.

Once a week cooking. With this method, you can prepare meals for the week in one day.  Depending on what you are making you can spend a couple hours or the whole day shopping for and preparing meals.  This is a good method when you are just getting started with freezer cooking or if you don’t mind cooking in bulk every weekend.  The downside is that you must carve out time every weekend to cook and you never know what might “pop up” during the weekend that can get in the way of preparing the meals.  Also, as a working mom I like to spend as much time as possible on the weekends with my family.  Even though they love helping in the kitchen, I think spending hours every weekend would be pushing it.

Double batch cooking. This method will allow you to stock up on meals gradually without having to spend large chunks of time on the weekend cooking.  Most recipes, whether you are making one or two batches, take the same amount of effort to cook. Therefore, if you are already making linguini and clam sauce go ahead and double the recipe and put the rest in the freezer for a future meal.  Initially, you may feel like you are cooking all the time but soon you will have a freezer full of meals.  This will allow you to take a break from the weekday rush of cooking dinner for a hungry family.  This method can also be good for someone new to freezer cooking to test the waters before jumping in.

As you can see, freezer cooking can fit into anyone’s busy life once you pick the method that will work for you and your family.  I assure you, once you reap the rewards of having a healthy home cooked meal ready after a long exhausting day, you will make it a priority to integrate freezer cooking into your life!

If you are looking for a book or additional resource on freezer cooking check out the 30 Day Gourmet’s BIG Book of Freezer Cooking. I bought this book/manual about a month or so ago. It is filled with information on freezer cooking from setting up your freezer day to how to calculate recipes for larger batches. They have tons of worksheets and check off lists that will help you organize the entire freezer cooking process. I was freezer cooking long before I bought this book but still found it really useful as I work to fine tune my freezer cooking skills. It is selling right now  for only $13.57 on Amazon and to me that is a steal for the amount of information and recipes you get.

What freezer cooking method do you prefer?

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Comments

  1. I’m a pretty big fan of freezer cooking, but it’s taking me a while to figure out what really works for me. I have almost no time for cooking on weekdays so I like to streamline as much as possible. Lately, I’ve been trying to spend a couple each weekend making freezer meals.

    • Hey laura! I prefer to cook in bulk however this weekend kick my butt so I may try breaking it up a bit in the future. I like the idea of a couple hours every weekend spent on freezer cooking.

  2. I am a double batch maker and freeze the extra.
    I think I need to figure out a better way to freeze though. Should I prepare the dish and cook and freeze? Or prepare the dish, NOT cook, and freeze. I’ll check out your resources and see what they say.

    • Hey there! Depending on the dish you can do either or. For example with meatloaf I cook then freeze but my mom she prepares it and freezes it raw. Then she defrosts and cooks. So it really depends.

  3. I really like the idea of double batch cooking. I lose interest fast, so I am not sure I can really take a whole day to cook for a week or a month. Maybe once or twice a year to stock up, but that might still be a stretch. I have always had an interest in doing this, so I think I am going to go get the book you mentioned. It sounds like a good starting point!
    BTW, I am swinging by from SITS, but I was already following you on Twitter 🙂

    • Cooking for the month is a lot. This past weekend really kicked my butt so I think I might try to break it up a little more. Every two weeks seems to be a good balance for me. If you start doing the double batch method let me know how that works.

  4. So glad I found this site and my husband is excited about trying out breakfast sandwiches! Thanks!

  5. I do a combination. Every few weeks I make 3 or 4 meals in one day. I also do double batches and freeze the second. I can’t thank you enough for the freezer meal idea! It has made my dinner time much smoother and my husband can easily prepare a healthy meal on days he’s home and I work.

  6. I have several recipes that would be well suited to freezer cooking however they are served over rice or pasta. Do you cook and freeze your rice/pasta or should that be saved for the time you reheat the freezer meal?

  7. I have another variation. I buy a LOT of which ever meat is sale that week. (ie pork loin) Then I make up a bunch of casseroles (3 or 4 of the same ones) that use pork loin. Etc. That way I don’t have the big overwhelming cook with a lot of different ingredients, plus i get a bunch of meals in my freezer. I also tent to brown all/most of my ground beef with onions and garlic or taco seasoing and freeze it. That way when I feel like or have time to make a meal, the beef is ready and saves me time. Smae with whole turkey or whole chicken. Cook, chop and freeze the chicken peices for last minute meals. And make a bunch of broth for in the freezer

Trackbacks

  1. […] foods that we will eat for the next couple weeks or longer. I don’t always get to do this and there are many different ways to freezer cook but this is my preferred method. As you know freezer cooking is the number one strategy I use to […]

  2. […] are many different freezer cooking methods available.  With my lifestyle and from my experiences I have found large batch freezer cooking every 2-3 […]

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