Friday, April 16, 2010

Planning Your Freezer Cooking Day: Pt. 2

Part Two: Your Battle Strategy

Note: this will be a four part series consisting of the following. Part One: Plan Your Meals. Part Two: Your Battle Strategy. Part Three: Assemble The Troops. Part Four: Your Freezer Cooking Questions Answered! If throughout this series, you have a question, or find something I didn’t really explain too well please leave your question in the comments! I’ll be answering these questions in part four. If you’re reading this after the series has ended, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment and I’ll do Q&As in the future too, or if you need an answer like, now, because you’re driving to the store as we speak-which is shamefully dangerous…worse than texting…-park the car, then e-mail me at {at} gmail {dot} com and I’ll get back with you asap!

Note #2: If you missed part 1, check it out here!

The idea of cooking 30 meals all in one go can seem a little daunting. With a little bit of [minor] planning, you can save yourself a ton of time.

Here's a few things that I learned by not doing them in the first place:

  1. Leave all the meat in the refrigerator the night before. Your little microwave's defrost feature will thank you. Besides, our microwave can only handle two chicken breasts at a time. That's a lot of excess work!

  2. Gather/Print/Organize ALL of your recipes. My last freezer cooking day was not the best due to my lack of organization. I kept running upstairs to get recipes off the computer. [After the first one, I realized we were out of ink, so it resulted in me scrawling recipes out and hoping nothing was burning in the kitchen. Not good.] I recommend getting every recipe together BEFORE your cooking day, making sure everything is printed and/or easily accessible and then organizing them in the order you're going to cook them.

  3. Organize Your Recipes by Meat. It's a lot easier to brown all the ground beef in one go, slice up chicken in one go, etc. Plus, you don't have to worry about contaminating your cutting board. When your recipes are already in order, this will happen naturally.

  4. Check for Time-Consuming Recipes! There is nothing more frustrating than flipping to the next recipe on your list and reading the words " the crock pot on high for 3 hours..." If you know what recipes call for a slow cooker before hand, you can set them to cook right when you start cooking then bag and freeze them when you're finishing up. [This mentality also pertains to recipes that have to bake, rise, marinade in the fridge before freezing, etc.]

This is how I do it, it's not necessarily THE way it should be done, but it definitely works for me! Only 4 steps to a quick and successful OAMC day? Trust me, the 30 minutes or less that it takes is well worth it. Do you have a quick trick that makes your OAMC day a breeze? I'd love to hear about it!


  1. I don't really do OAMC (yet) but I like to simplify life and meals a little bit, so I do cook all of my meat in one go when I buy it. Then I just put the amount that I generally use a meal in each plastic bag and freeze.

    Also, with my chicken, I buy a big costco size bag and dump it all in the crockpot all day long. I have never seen chicken fall apart as beautifully as that. So if you want delicious tender chicken, crock pot it, and then you hardly even have to cut/shred it because it falls apart so much (i can't even pull the breasts out of the pot whole...)!

  2. I haven't gotten brave enough to try OAMC yet (mostly because being pregnant and still sick I don't know what going's to sound good until about 5 minutes before I eat it...)

    but at least to save time on regular meals I try to have some cooked, chopped chicken and browned ground beef on hand at all times. Also, when I buy onion or bell peppers I chop them all at once before bagging and freezing. Now I just pick out the bag of diced green pepper, sliced red pepper, or diced 1/2 onion and throw it in--saves a TON of prep time!