Freezer cooking has become popular over the years. A large bulk of the work is done ahead of time. All you’ve got to do is pop your meal straight from the freezer to your oven in most cases and, voila, dinner is ready!
When taking on a freezer meal project, there are a few supplies you should have on hand to make preparations as easy as possible. Ready to take your exciting first step into the world of freezer cooking? These 12 must-have freezer meal accessories will provide you with the necessities to get started with ease.
BONUS TIP – before you begin, have these 4 things ready to go!
- Lots of clean counter space is vital for cutting, chopping, mixing, and assembling your dishes. Take time before getting started to clear any clutter and wipe down counters to ensure you have a large area where you can work with ease.
- Allow plenty of time to complete your freezer meal project. If you have an appointment in the middle of the day or you need to leave your home for a school run, consider a different start date.
- When preparing freezer meals always wear something comfortable and cool. Even in winter, kitchens can get quite hot when you’re cooking for long periods of time. You will work up a sweat as you chop, mix, and cook, but loose and flowing clothing keeps the heat factor somewhat lower.
- Create plenty of space in your freezer beforehand! Use up any meals in your freezer, reorganize……whatever you need to do to make room for those delicious meals you’ll be prepping to store in the freezer.
12 Must-Have Freezer Meal Accessories
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- You may need gallon-sized freezer bags for some of your freezer meals, depending on recipe instructions. Storing meals in bags like these also helps save space in your freezer.
- If utilizing the freezer-bag method of storage, keeping a few Sharpie markers handy is a good idea. Use them to write the date and name of each dish on your bags, along with any instructions you may need to remember.
- A large roll of heavy aluminum foil is helpful for any kind of food prep. I like to wrap bread in foil before storing in the freezer. This helps keep freezer burn away. Mark directly on the foil with your sharpie, as needed.
- Sometimes plastic wrap is a great for storage. Plastic wrap serves as a great barrier between layers (think biscuits or cheese slices). It also takes the place of a lid if you don’t have one for a particular casserole dish or pan you’re using.
- You will need several cutting boards ready to go for your big day. To avoid cross-contamination, use separate cutting boards for veggies, meats, breads and grains, and fruits. Use a different cutting board for each type of meat you are preparing, as this prevents cross-contamination of your fish, poultry, or beef. Having many on hand saves on washing, but of course you can wash between uses with hot, soapy water. Alternatively, you can find and purchase disposable cutting boards if you wish to save time.
- The kind and quality of knives you use definitely makes a difference during food prep. Have serrated knives available for use. Consider adding a chef’s knife, a bread knife, a slicing knife, a boning knife, and a paring knife to your knife collection, as well.
Mixing & Measuring
- A good set or two of measuring cups and spoons will make all this food prep easier for you. Sometimes I eyeball ingredients but, especially when making a new dish, I like to measure everything out. Have more than one set of each available, as this means less washing between measuring.
- A couple sets of mixing bowls will be needed for this endeavor, too. Use them for mixing up toppings, as a ‘trash bowl’, and stirring together ingredients for meatloaf, lasagna, and more.
- Every cook needs a quality set of wooden mixing spoons. I personally love my spoonulas. They are perfect for mixing, scraping, and stirring nearly anything I dream up!
- I do love a good dutch oven. I use my dutch oven a lot for stovetop cooking – soups, stews, chilis, searing meats, and more. Invest in a quality dutch oven and it will last you for years to come!
- A slow cooker is an important staple for any kitchen. Utilizing your slow cooker when preparing your freezer meals will free up both your stovetop and your oven for other dishes. You can also dump-and-go with no need to worry about it again until the meal is done.
- Use large baking sheets in your freezer cooking prep if you want to roast potatoes and other veggies or bake cookies. Most of us have these on hand, but check your supply based on the kinds of meals you plan to prepare.
- Gather several casserole dishes or disposable aluminum pans for your food prep day. The good thing about utilizing these is that once your meal is cooked you can cover and place directly into the freezer. Casserole dishes do take more storage space, though, so check my BONUS tips above before deciding how many you need.
While not extensive or complete, this list of accessories will get you off to a great start as you begin your freezer meal adventure. Good luck!
Looking for a few fantastic recipes as you get started with your freezer cooking adventure? Don’t miss out on my collection of 11 Freezer Meals for Busy Moms.