Before I started doing this prep routine of portioning out meats –
I would either return from the store with an overpriced cut of meat that is just big enough for a dinner with no left-overs (and left-overs can be awesome!)
if I knew I wasn’t going to cook the meat very fast, I would throw it into the freezer with the packaging it comes in from the store.
Do you guys feel me?
So when you pull out the meat from the freezer, you either have to defrost it all day in that packaging, in the microwave, or in the fridge. Then if there is left over meat – you need to plan to cook it up fast (if you don’t want it going to waste).
…I kind of hate having the same dinner meat twice unless it’s something I have been craving….(girls will feel me on that one).
Anywhoosier. I started buying bigger packages of meats when they are at a good price in my area. (This is something you should be doing too – it save’s a lot of money and keeps the freezer stocked!) But I have a small freezer and those big packages don’t fit right AND I don’t always want to use up 4 lbs. of chicken in two days….
Here it finally goes – How I prep our meats for easier dinners and lunches!
So you get home from the store, meat in bags!
Separate them by type and plan which meat to attack first…(uhh…yeah).
I usually get packages of 4 breasts, sometimes only 2.
Grab your first breast and trim any fats (discard trims or keep separate for homemade broths!)
I cut in half lengthwise achieving two halfs of equal width for even cooking later!
I then take one half and cut into thirds (adult sized portions – smaller for my toddler)
Then proceed throughout the package – stacking the chicken into groups of similar size.
After all my chicken is cut – I wash up my hands, pull out and open some ziplocks for a less messy situation.
I begin dividing the chicken up into meals (I’ll toss in some extra for planned leftovers on a few) and lay them flat for easier freezing.
On to the next..on..on to the next…
(Jay Z anyone?)
A little easier of a prep routine here – figure the amount of hamburger in each bag with the amount of lbs on the package. (Our meals are around 1 lb each)
So I typically purchase 2.5-3 lb packages of hamburger so I split them evenly in the appropriate amount of ziplocks. (3 lbs of ground beef makes us 3 meals)
After I wash up my hands I go back to the ziplocked ground beef and flatten them out for easier freezing as well.
…Somebody bring me back the money please
(Sorry I can have a song pop into my head and not drop it for days…)
I bought two packages on sale for this shopping trip. One of them had longer ribs and the other were short.
I would recommend cutting the longer ones in half to divide into meals if needed but you can always keep this in mind when you are purchasing the packages of meat too. (If I dont have to get my hands covered in raw meats then I wont) Portioning enough for 2-3 meals, I pack about 6 medium rib portions into one ziplock and lay them flat also.
You can also be using this routine for porkchops, packaged bacon and sausage, steaks, et cetera.
If you’re really on the freakin’ ball you can toss in some meat marinades/spice mixes to these meats before freezing (Saving you some bonus prep time later).
Stop wasting space in your freezer and meats that don’t get used up fast enough from your refrigerator! Start buying meats in bulk (save money) and have the comfort of having a freezer full of food for this upcoming winter!
Easy thawing means pulling out a ziplock of meat the morning of – perhaps while you make and sip on your morning coffee anyways?
Dinner’s thawed by 3 – and ready to cook!
You #smartmom you!