New to meal prepping? No problem! Whether you’re looking to cut down on the time you spend cooking, master portion control for weight loss or eliminate the temptation to order takeaway, batch cooking is well worth the effort. Read on for some tips…
Get the Right Equipment
While you don’t need fancy equipment to batch cook, it’s helpful to have enough large pots and pans available. Additionally, if you don’t already have a slow cooker, now may be the time to invest in one. Slow cookers are time-efficient, as they generally involve just throwing ingredients in and going on your merry way while it all cooks.
You’ll of course want to have plenty of plastic or glass storage containers suitable for storing in the freezer. Labels are handy, too, for keeping track of things like recipe names, the date you prepared the meal, the number of portions and more.
Plan Ahead…But Don’t Get Too Complicated
Batch cooking involves preparing dishes in bulk, so it’s important to have enough ingredients to hand. For this reason, plan out what you want to cook for the week or month ahead so you can create a shopping list.
A note of warning, however: don’t go overboard! Once you get into the swing of meal prepping, it might be tempting to go all out with the planning and recipes. To maintain your sanity, though, keep things simple. Choose a few recipes to start with and branch out from there.
Planning also includes making sure you have enough space in your freezer to store storage containers. There’s nothing worse than preparing a large batch of food, only to find you have nowhere to store it.
Prep Your Ingredients First
Rather than dicing and slicing up ingredients throughout the cooking process, make things easier for yourself by preparing the ingredients you need before you even turn on the hob. Weigh, measure out, cut or slice ingredients and place them in organised bowls or containers that’ll make the cooking a breeze.
Clean As You Go
When juggling multiple recipes at once, your workspace is bound to get a little cluttered and messy. To avoid a headache later on, clean as you go. This means washing all utensils as soon as you finish using them, as well as wiping up any spills you make as soon as you make them. You’ll thank yourself later when you don’t have a big pile of dishes waiting for you in the sink.
Cool Food Fully Before Freezing
Hold off on immediately popping freshly cooked food into the freezer while it’s still warm. The reason for this is that the heat from freshly cooked food can raise the temperature of your freezer, which can cause surrounding food items to partially thaw and refreeze. This compromises the quality and freshness of the food.
Avoid this by allowing cooked food to cool fully. Be sure to put food in the freezer as soon as it reaches room temperature. Leave it out any longer and you risk bacteria growth.
We hope these tips helped! Now go on out there and batch cook to your heart’s content.
Until next time…