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Freezer Cooking in Baby Steps

On one of my recent grocery trips I scored a too-good-to-pass up manager’s special on ground meat. As is the nature with manager’s specials, the meat needed to be cooked or frozen right away but when returning from the store, I didn’t have the time to dedicate to preparing freezer meals.

Maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar situation. Or maybe your schedule just doesn’t allow for a full freezer cooking day. Freezer cooking can be done with a little or a lot of time, and taking just a few minutes to do a little prep saves a lot later on.

In my case with the manager’s special meat, I decided to take a few minutes to precook and portion it. Now that the prep is done, even on the busiest days I can easily add cooked hamburger to a jar of spaghetti sauce, make a salad, and have dinner ready in the time it would take to pick up a pizza.

{cooked ground turkey, ready for the freezer}

What are some of your best freezer cooking tips? What would you tell a newbie OAMMer who is intimidated to cook a full menu? We’d love to hear all about it in the comment section!

12 Responses to “Freezer Cooking in Baby Steps”

  1. Find a meal that you love, and cook it twice, once :) If you love tacos..make up a double/triple batch of taco meat and freeze the extra portions for down the road. In the time it took to cook one meal – you now have 2 or 3 or 4 !

  2. Christine says:

    Sometimes I precook boneless chicken. I freeze some of it plain and some of it with taco seasoning. It allows you to pull dinner together in almost no time. It can be a pain to do, but it is so worth it when you don’t want to cook.

  3. Rebekah says:

    When I don’t have a ton of time, I just pick a couple meals from the menu and make those. Even just 2 or 3 stocked up meals saves me on those hectic days. I also find spreading the cooking over a few days is more manageable. Do breakfasts one day, lunches another day, and so on. Eventually the freezer gets stocked!

  4. Crystal says:

    On the topic of tacos, my sister in law started buying pot roasts on sale and cooking in a crock pot with taco seasoning. Now you’ve got SHREDDED meat for tacos, burritos, taco salad or whatever. Super yum!

    I also like to make double or triple batches of waffles or pancakes. Now I’ve got my own Eggos, microwave or toaster ready!

    When making a casserole to freeze, I line the dish with foil, put in the meal, then cover with foil, label and freeze. Once it’s solid, I just remove from my dish, cinch the foil together, and freeze. This saves me when I’ve only got the one or two 9×13 pan.

  5. Jennell says:

    Instead of being overwhelmed by a month, I do a week at a time. Cook a day and have meals for two weeks!

  6. Christina says:

    When I bring home managers specials or meat on sale – I pre-portion it and season some of it with some of our fav. recipes – like lemon pepper pork chops, chicken souvlaki, taco meat, and steak or chicken stir fry. As the meat thaws it also marinates. I also do the cook once eat twich theory – when making chili, spaghetti sauce, lasagna or a casserole I always double up and freeze one for later use : )

  7. New To Mom says:

    I’m also big on making double bathes. Most of the meals I make are freezer friendly. So, depending on meal, I make enough for 3 or 4 meals. That includes the meal that we are eating that day.
    If I’m doing a full day or even a half day, I pick recipes that have a lot of the same ingredients.

  8. Bailey says:

    How do you prevent your freezer meals from getting freezer burn? I live in an apartment, so I’m stuck with the freezer provided. I don’t have any option to change the temperature on it either. It seems like most things I put in the freezer get freezer burn pretty quick. So I’m not sure if I’m using the wrong containers/bags, leaving them in the freezer too long, or what. Any thoughts?

  9. Heather Barker says:

    How to you cook ground beef in the crock pot? Do you add water? What temp?

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