A ton of work is waiting for you on the desk, but dinner time is coming. You don’t have so much time to prepare dinner, but you are tired of fast food. Your son and your husband need nutritious meals.
It’s time to think about freezer meals. But how to make freezer meals the easy way? Luckily, I have the answers.
Let’s find out fantastic kitchen tips together!
Freezer Meals in 7 Steps
#1: List the dishes
Of course, the first thing we need to do is drawing a list of what will your family eat the following.
Then write down the ingredients you need for those dishes and start to go shopping because you are going to make a large number of servings. You don’t want to pace up and down for the missing ingredients.
Make sure you are getting a suitable balance of nutrients each day! And don’t forget to buy the freezer storage bags.
After you’ve got all the things you want, let’s prepare. Slice meat, trim chicken, peel vegetables, etc. and wash them out. Then put them into different dishes before we start to cook. It’s great to ask for some help from your husband and your son. It would be a fantastic family activity!
#3: Cook the meals
It’s time to process all your meals. With all the prepared ingredients, you can cook 2-3 dishes at the same time, if possible. Listen to some music while you are cooking!
Note: Do not overcook your dish or you need to reheat it before enjoying it.
#4: Let the dishes cool
This is a very important step. All the dishes need to cool down entirely before being frozen. If you freeze hot foods, the heat will raise the freezer temperature, which has a bad impact on the freezing.
Cool them down as quickly as possible. For the fastest way, you can put a pot of food into a vessel filled with ice water.
#5: Use the freezer-safe storage
Once all the dishes are completely cool, wrap them by the freezer-safe storage. It should be moisture- and vapor-proof.
Try to limit the air inside the wrapping as much as possible. With some food like meat, chicken, wrap them in foil before placing them in the freezer bags.
#6: Label the freezer meals
Don’t forget to label the name of the dish, the date you do it, and the serving instruction as well. It would be like “Smoke ribs, December 20, reheat in the microwave.”
Why do we have to label? “To avoid mistake gravy for juices!” – my mom said.
And the date shows you how old the dish is, so you can balance your meals and avoid eating bad foods.
#7: Let freeze the meals
Put the wrapped dishes into separate layers, then freeze them. The best temperature is -18oC (0oF), which retains the best taste of the food. Please ensure that your freezing is not disturbed many times for food safety.
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How Long Can We Store Frozen Meals?
Although we can store frozen meals for a long time, the food eventually will still go bad. They cannot stay good forever in the freezer. If the dishes have any sign of spoilage, they should be discarded.
Some kinds of prepared meals, cakes, and bread should be used within 4-6 months. Sauces and soups stay best in 3 months. Meatballs, poultry in sauce, meatloaf can last for six months. Pizza dough, the homemade one, last for 3 to 4 weeks.
How Can We Thaw Frozen Meals?
For safety reasons, you can follow some recommendations below to thaw the frozen meals:
- In the freezer: This may be the easiest and safest technique. However, it takes a significant amount of time. For lunch, the dish should be thawed from last night. The freezer will keep the food at a safe temperature. Even after thawing, you change your mind to go out for lunch, the meals are still safe.
- In the microwave: It is preferred to thaw some fruits or foods that you want to serve immediately.
- In cold water: Remember to use a leak-proof bag. Then put it into a vessel filled with cold water.
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Making freezer meals is the best choice to prepare nutritious foods in a short time. These are some tips on how to make freezer meals the easy way as well as how to thaw them for serving. I hope that you can apply these tips successfully.
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