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“Freeze your meals flat in zip-top luggage to maintain your freezer neat and tidy,” they are saying. It’s a kind of kitchen suggestions that so many individuals have heard and observe. And it’s a superb tip. It means that you can neatly stack frozen meals in an try to maximise freezer house. However after years of following this recommendation, I’ve decided it to be flawed pondering.
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First, discovering the house to initially freeze issues completely flat could be tough — particularly if I’m making an attempt to freeze a couple of gallon bag at a time. (Very doubtless if I’m batch cooking!) The best approach I’ve discovered to do it’s to rearrange the stuffed luggage on a baking sheet on prime of a layer of parchment paper (this prevents the baggage from freezing to the baking sheets). This works OK, however I at all times have to maneuver issues round so as to be sure that there’s sufficient house for all the baking sheet to sit down degree. And whereas a half sheet pan could slot in my backside freezer, there’s not a complete lot you are able to do to accommodate one in a side-by-side freezer.
As soon as you discover the house and freeze your meals so it’s good and flat, the tip works; you possibly can file the baggage away and maintain plenty of meals readily available. It’s the following half that I’ve essentially the most problem with.
The concept I’m slowly thawing one thing within the fridge for tomorrow’s dinner is extremely optimistic. So so as to get frozen meals out of the bag, I’ve to chop the bag open and peel it away. This implies I can’t reuse the bag, which I actually make an effort to do.
As soon as I’ve managed to free my meals from its plastic jail, I’m caught with a ten×10-inch block of chili, and the one pan that may maintain its floor space is a 12-inch skillet. Have you learnt how bizarre and inefficient it’s to ladle chili out of a skillet? Properly, let me let you know: It is rather bizarre and inefficient.
And what if I don’t need a whole gallon of chili? Maybe what’s most irksome about this freezer bag technique is portioning. I’m caught thawing a minimum of a quart at a time. Possibly I need spaghetti and meatballs for lunch, however don’t wish to thaw a whole gallon bag of sauce and meatballs. Or I wish to make a pan sauce for the pork chops I picked up on my approach residence, however solely want half of a cup of rooster inventory, not a quart.
There’s a higher strategy to freeze meals, and that approach is Souper Cubes.
Should you haven’t already heard me discuss these, enable me to clarify: Souper Cubes are basically giant ice dice trays in your leftovers. Though that doesn’t clarify how properly they work or do them justice, actually. They’re made from thick silicone, and have a steel-reinforced rim with a snap-on lid. Their sturdy building means they don’t want the additional help of a baking sheet beneath them. And the lid means I can stack issues on prime of them.
As soon as meals is frozen, it simply comes out of the molds. I can match eight of the one-cup blocks in a gallon bag, which stack and retailer fairly properly in my freezer. It’s really easy to clean and reuse the freezer luggage for my subsequent set of meals blocks. And the trays clear up properly, too. Simply run them via the dishwasher — no lingering smells or stains.
However the sizes are what make these so extremely nice. I really like the one-cup dimension, which permits me to freeze 4 single servings of soup, or simply sufficient beans to roll right into a tortilla for simple lunches. (My mother-in-law loves this dimension, too. Now that she is just feeding herself and my father-in-law, she will be able to cook dinner as soon as and eat many occasions.) And if I wish to defrost sufficient meals for my household, it’s so a lot simpler to suit a number of small blocks right into a pot than the awkward factor that comes out of a gallon bag. They usually’re marked on the midway level if I need smaller parts.
The 2-cup model affords a special sort of versatility. I can freeze a cup of rice with a cup of curry rooster in its marinade, or simply bigger blocks of inventory. I haven’t tried it, however as a result of these trays are oven secure as much as 415 levels Fahrenheit, I might even construct small lasagnas in them, bake, freeze, and save for later.
You should purchase one tray, however I extremely suggest getting the two-pack that comes at a slight low cost. I solely bought one, and I remorse not getting two from the get-go.
Supply: Condo Remedy