BASICS: Freezer-Ready to Stove-Ready Meat Tips
Like many families we shop for meats in bulk which saves money and helps to reduce the frequency of trips to the grocery store. We love saving time and love saving money. And we also love to eat so here are a few of my tips to packing up those meats for the freezer.
- Separate bulk tray of meat into meal sized portions. For example a tray of chicken breasts can be split into three freezer bags
- Cut meats so they're "cook friendly". A thinner piece of meat can cut cooking time down so butterfly cut chicken breasts, or dice into chunks to minimize prep
- Freeze in a simple marinade. Flavorful meals and can be made with everyday items in your fridge and pantry. These are some of my basic marindes which I fill with just enought coat the meat. I usually add a bit of water just to thin out the marinade ever so slightly.
- Ketchup, guava jelly
- Ketchip and orange juice
- Mustard and Honey (add dried sage for earthy flavor)
- Soy Sauce, minced garlic and sugar
- Miso paste, soy sauce, sweet mirin
- Dried herbs and spices: cumin, oregano, powdered ginger
- A basic brine of water, and garlic powder
- Lay flat in freezer just to freeze. A flat bag of meat will thaw faster than a thick block of meat.
- Place frozen bag in a tray of water to thaw. This typically accelerates thawing. Place in fridge in the morning and it should be thawed by dinner time sometimes even by lunchtime
It's a bit of prep as opposed to tossing the entire tray into the freezer with it's fate to be determined at a later date but if you get into the habit of doing this mealtime planning and prep are that much easier. And it plays out beautifully: open the freezer in the morning and chose between honey mustard sage chicken or garlic teri, place in water-filled tray in the fridge then come dinner time it's thawed and ready for the grill, stove or oven and its tasty and juicy.
And really between me and my kids most days I think I want dinner ready faster than they do :)