Yes. I do have an organizing bone in my body, thankyouverymuch.
It’s just that my organizing bone has big dreams. It gets tickled by doing big projects with snazzy end results. It likes to make an impact. A lasting impact.
I’m constantly having to remind/convince my brain that boring, monotonous things like doing dishes or clearing the dining room table when I can still see a little surface here and there does have an impact.
Just not one that lasts past the next meal.
Last week, I made four meals of roast beef. It required work, organization, planning and execution. And I loved it.
Freezer cooking is my kind of organizing.
I had been craving roast for a while. I’m still loving my (affiliate link alert!) eMeals plan, but as I shared in my post about it, I still have room for a few other meals each week. So when I saw chuck roast on sale at the grocery store for 2.99 a pound (more than I ever used to pay), I decided to go for it. I just don’t have time right now to watch every sale and then actually catch it.
I got one package. Then I grabbed another.
I rolled my cart away, stopped, turned around and went back.
If I’m going to go to the trouble of cooking a roast the only way I know how (the only way that has ever worked for me), you’d better believe I’m going to get more than one meal out all that work.
More than two.
Freezer cooking lets me see the point in putting big effort into meal prep. Yes. The way I make a roast (my MIL’s brisket method) requires two days and dirty hands. But making four times as much barely takes any more time than making one meal’s worth. And I hear a little “Ta-daa!!” every time I open the freezer and see those ready-to-go, not-the-same-old-same-old meals looking at me.
My kind of freezer cooking (pre-cooking ingredients rather than entire meals) also fits beautifully into using a meal-planning service. Any time a recipe calls for browning ground beef or cooking chicken to be cubed or shredded, I can skip that time-consuming/mess-making step.
Oh, and I must share this tip that has rocked my world. I happened to click over on a link at Couponing to Disney when she said, “Did you know you can shred meat with your stand mixer?” Umm, no. Never thought of that.
When I cooked seven pounds of my Zaycon chicken in the crock pot a couple of weeks ago, I removed the chicken from the crock pot (ask me how I know you shouldn’t do it while it’s still in there with all the hot liquid), put it in a large mixing bowl, and used my hand mixer to shred it.
Seven pounds of chicken, shredded beautifully, in LESS THAN A MINUTE with zero carpal tunnel pain.
That’s crazy talk.
Cooking seven pounds of chicken took some planning and (a tiny bit of) extra work, but now I have bags of frozen shredded chicken ready to put in casseroles and soups and such.
Yes. That’s my kind of organizing. The kind that has a big impact, and then makes future life easier.
Which is, I guess, what Normal People would say about any organizing.
I am so sorry to say that it seems Zaycon has gone out of business. I say “seems” because the information I’ve seen says they’ve “suspended” operations and I don’t fully understand what is happening. I’m so so sad about this since this will change how our family keeps our freezer stocked with meat. We’ve been ordering almost all of our chicken, bacon, and shrimp for them for more than five years. If you had ordered recently, I recommend that you call your credit card company or bank (for debit cards) to see what can be done. I’ve heard many people have had success doing this.
This post contains affiliate links for eMeals. This means that if you purchase an eMeals plan after clicking on my link, I earn a commission even though your price does not change at all.--Nony
Kristy K. James says
This post makes me wish I hadn’t passed up on a similar deal on roasts a week or two ago. But like you, most of mine turn out lousy in a crock pot…and even in my electric pressure cooker. They’re much better baked in the oven, but I didn’t know about the ‘low and slow’ method. Now I’m thinking I need to keep an eye out for another sale, bake them all, and then package them with the gravy for later.
I do have to ask though…same as I did with the ground beef…does your chicken taste like you just cooked it when you take it out of the freezer? I don’t know what it is about leftover poultry, but I’ve never cared much for it. I’m thinking of trying it with turkey and gravy after Thanksgiving though.
Dana White says
It’s different, which is why I generally only use it “in” recipes rather than eating grilled chicken breasts that have been simply thawed. And I am fanatical about not re-cooking it in the microwave. This means I either just barely thaw before adding to a recipe, or like with the shredded chicken, I just added it in frozen to white chili.
Kristy K. James says
That makes a lot of sense. I think I’ll try it with a little first, and then see what recipes I can come up with to use it in. My kids love chicken tacos, so that’s one. I’ve never tried white chili before, so that could be two. Hmmm…I can see I’m going to be forced to do some thinking…
Thanks for the tips. 🙂
I do the frozen turkey and gravy alot and it always reheats wonderfully on the stove. I freeze mine in rinsed out cereal bags (the thick ones that for example cheerios come in) I do not get a spot of freezer burn and they are free! I lay them flat to freeze so they stack nicely.
emily grace says
Reading ASCC before 6am (EST) is not slob like behavior…but these early morning hours give big impact, so I’m up and in my home office purging emails and working today and most weekdays. Thank you for explaining the “big impact” factor to me. I’ve often wondered why I get up early, bulk cook and organize the freezer, but trip over shoes and walk passed stacks of paper repeatedly – okay chronically. I am going to need to recalibrate the big impact meter!…amazing Monday morning solution. Thanks, Nony!
I love to freezer cook! It is one of my most favorite things to do. I love the organizing, the planning, looking for recipes. Its probably the only time I like to do math :). I even like the cooking part of it. I like to open the freezer and just stare at the wonder of all I did (Maybe I’m being a little dramatic), but I have small pains when I have to take them out of the freezer to actually use them!
Veronica Lencinas says
yup. That’s also my kind of freezer cooking and since I’m working out of the house most of the time, it’s the opportunity for my kids to throw in a few ingredients in a saucepan and get a fast and healthy meal without fussle.
I will try the mixer thing. I regularly use my large KitchenAid mixer with the paddle to shred pork sirloin after I have pressure cooked it and that works GREAT. 30 to 60 seconds and BAM, done. this would be less cleanup.
This news just may change the world. Imagine there’s a clean kitchen. It’s easy if you try. No food below us above us clean sky. Imagine all the people shredding chicken so easily Imagine there’s no dishes! It isn’t hard to do. No scrubbing, no drying, and no laundry too. Imagine all the people sitting so quietly. You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one….. Sorry got carried away for a bit.
Dana White says
Suzie Q says
That was crazy good Girl ! Loved it
CMS Sultana says
Nonny, Sounds like you could be a fan of these gals, http://www.amazon.com/Make—Mix-Cookery-Make-Mixes/dp/0895860074/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383595933&sr=8-1&keywords=make-a-mix+cookery
They’ve updated their book as of 2006 but my 1987 version has all sorts of homemade versions of packets you get in the center of the grocery store, including pre-prepared meats like your roasts and chicken to add to other casseroles/entrees. So far I’ve only made up the taco seasoning but it tastes like my favorite from Chi-Chi’s! Really a charm for those with an extra freezer to fill.
Get. OUT!!!! I never in a million years would have thought of the stand mixer. That is a major game changer. I want to run out right now and buy tons of chicken just so I can cook it and shred it and freeze it. Thanks for the tip!!
Dana White says
It’s amazing. And I cooked the chicken in the crock pot. Equally easy.
I’m sorta crock pot challenged, how long did you cook it in the crockpot for? And was it high or low? Thanks for your help!
Dana White says
Do you mean the chicken? If so, I cooked it in the crockpot (from raw) on low for six hours. I just seasoned with salt and paper.
After all this time, I finally “subscribed” to get you in my email. I love it! Your Mom.
I found out about the stand mixer thing last year. It changed my life.