So, you’ve decided to give batch cooking a go. Brilliant! You’ll soon find that it saves you time, money and stress. But I can make it even easier for you with my Top Tips for Batch Cooking.
How to make it work:
#1 Choose versatile ingredients that allow you to make a large number of meals for a small investment e.g. a rotisserie chicken. See: Pantry Pools for how to cleverly reuse ingredients.
#2 Choose dishes that can be cooked together e.g. both in the oven on the same temperature.
#3 Once you’ve cooked the food, allow it to cool completely and then divide it up into portions before storing. There’s nothing worse than trying to chip a bit off a frozen block of casserole or having to measure out again!
#4 Make sure you label your food! In storage bags, all brown food can look the same. You don’t want to serve Shepherd’s Pie for dinner only to discover it’s chilli con carne… See: How to Organise your Freezer.
#5 If you’re new to batch cooking, start small. You can still save yourself a lot of time in the week if you just chop and store/freeze the separate elements of your meals, e.g. chopped onions, shredded chicken, tomato sauce etc. Or, pick two similar recipes and just make those. But…
#6 …Don’t be limited by casseroles – many foods can be prepared and used again later. Check out this list of some great freezeable foods. I like to make individual fishcakes, schnitzels and meatballs and freeze them – they’re great for kids.
#7 Make sure you wrap and store everything correctly, or you might as well not have bothered. Remember, things need to be air tight to keep best, so push on that lid tightly or push out all of the air that you can. You must also let things cool completely before placing them in your fridge or freezer.
#8 Finally, put aside some time to do your batch cooking when you know you won’t be called to do something else. Stick on your favourite music, grab a drink and get chopping! Before you know it, you’ll have a whole week (or even a month) of meals ready to enjoy.