Bro! Mom is gone, and I know you’re tired of always ordering Seamless. So whether you meal prep, order in, or are generally stocking-up (yes you should buy more than milk and eggs every once-in-a-while), preserving your food is a pretty good thing for you to know how to do. You have a freezer, you might as well use it..
Here are just a few tips that will preserve your food without petrifying your place:
When looking to preserve cooked foods, aim your sights on things that lend to freezing better than others, such as stews, broths, chilis, meatloafs, etc, suggests Cooking Light . Generally, this means things that have carbs or protein but are somewhat liquidy. This could definitely come in handy next time you want to take some of your Dad’s famous chili home, or even if you want to save it for a rainy day in bed with bae.
When dealing with any kind of protein on its own, vacuum seal as often as you can. This not only keeps excess air and odors out, but it will ensure maximum preservation time. Most at home vacuum sealers retail for about $40, and sometimes butchers, or delis offer that service for free so check out your options. It’s a worthy investment. Grocery store meat rarely comes in portions small enough for one (or even two for that matter), so the cost of a machine will easily outweigh the meat you generally waste.
For the health junkies and gym heads out there we know how hard it is to get your servings of veggies in without wasting the money on greens that are going to go bad before you’ve eaten them all. So try this tip. Just like you meal prep for the week, freeze prep your veggies as well. Leave the ones out that you need for the week to cook up, and freeze the rest. If all hope is lost, you can just defrost them, and combine them all for a stock (with a protein) which can be easily repurposed and reused.
But freezing is just half the process. When you’re ready to take stuff out of the freezer, never defrost it with hot water. Doing this is most likely the reason why the texture and taste of your food didn’t match the original flavor. Always defrost your food at room temperature.
P.S. Here’s a cheat sheet of freeze times for different food products gathered from Bon Appetit:
Fruit: 2-3 months
Vegetables & Herbs: 2-3 months
Soups & Stocks: 6 months
Meat: 3-4 months (chicken 6 months, but don’t press your luck)
Sauces: 3-4 months
Baked Goods: 2-3 months
Casseroles & Pastas: 2-3 months
Now that you’re on your own, you’ve gotta do the heavy lifting in the kitchen and out. Stay frosty.