Whether you are looking to fill your freezer or simply want to make your midweek meals a little easier, bulk cooking is a great technique that can save you time and money.

Spending an afternoon in the kitchen might seem like an investment but we have a few tips and tricks to make the process easy and even enjoyable for first-timers.

Plan ahead

Take a look at the week or month ahead and decide which bulk cooking recipes you would like to prepare. Check your store cupboard essentials, make a shopping list and make the time to gather your ingredients before you start cooking.

It is also suggested to make space in your fridge or freezer. Keep a note of what recipes you have chosen and if they work well together, you can repeat your plan the next time you are cooking in bulk.

Have good containers

The last thing you want is to spend an afternoon cooking plenty of delicious meals, just for them to get freezer burn. To avoid this, invest in some quality containers that are easy to stack and reuse.

Get containers in a variety of sizes so you can freeze whole dishes like lasagne as well as single servings of things like curries.

You can build this collection up over time though, so do not break the bank buying everything at once.

Cool foods

Let your dishes cool to room temperature before freezing. This avoids heating up other foods in your freezer. Once your food is at room temperature or it has been cooling on the counter for two hours, freeze it immediately to prevent the growth of bacteria.

Avoid foods that wilt or turn slimy quickly

Salads seem like the quintessential meal prep dish, but they are not – or at least they should not be. That is because leafy greens often turn slimy and wet when they are buried under a collection of roasted vegetables and cold steak.

You could take the salad-in-a-jar approach and put the frilly leaves on top of the heavier ingredients. That might work for a day-ahead prep approach but do not attempt this with anything beyond that time frame.

If you want salads in your week, prep all the other ingredients in a dish, and save room for the lettuce. Before you leave home or sit down to dine, toss in a handful of the greens. Add your salad dressing right before eating.

Keep your freezer organised

Once you have mastered the art of bulk cooking, your freezer will be filled with beautifully home-cooked food that you can defrost and reheat whenever you need a quick meal.

The labels will help you keep track of what needs to be used up next – most will need to be eaten within three months.

To avoid meals getting forgotten at the back of the freezer, it can be useful to put your newest portions at the back and in turn bring your older items to the front.

2024-02-27T11:16:12Z dg43tfdfdgfd