On average, I get about one email or message every single day asking for tips, advice, blog post links, or information about planning and executing a massive freezer cooking day.
I get even more freezer cooking questions this time of year, when people here in the States go crazy cooking, baking, and cramming their freezers full in preparation for another long cold winter.
Massive freezer cooking days are quite popular these days (just search Pinterest and see how many links you find)! This is not a huge surprise for me — after all, I know how fabulous it is to have a well-stocked deep freezer full of delicious meals, pre-portioned ingredients, and multiple containers of yummy baked goods.
However, you might be surprised to know that I’ve never done any sort of massive freezer cooking day… ever!
For me, the massive freezer cooking days seem extremely overwhelming, exhausting, and REALLY messy!
Not exactly my idea of “simplifying my life through freezer cooking”.
I know the massive freezer cooking days work for some people — and for others (specifically those who work full time outside the house) these freezer cooking days are the best way to fill a freezer when time is of the essence.
However, my own personal preference (probably not too surprising) is that of continual and gradual forward progress.
I put a few things in the freezer every week and also use a few things from the freezer every week — so our freezer is never empty, it’s never overly stuffed, I never need to spend an entire weekend making 30 or 40 meals, I never need to buy $500 worth of groceries, and I never need to wash every pot and pan in my kitchen at the same time!
If I make cookie dough, I’ll make a double batch and put half in the freezer.
If I bake brownies or muffins, I’ll immediately put half in the freezer.
If I make a freezer-friendly meal, I’ll double it and put half in the freezer.
If I decide to make rice for one meal, I’ll make a little extra and freeze it for later.
If I chop peppers or onions, I’ll chop a few extras and put them in bags for the freezer.
If I need to brown a bunch of sausage or ground beef, I brown more than I need for one recipe and put the rest in the freezer.
If I roast a turkey, I’ll shred the leftover meat and pre-portion it out for the freezer.
This continual and gradual process of freezer cooking requires almost no extra effort on my part (and usually zero extra dishes) but it saves me a ridiculous amount of time in future weeks when I can simply pull out a few muffins for breakfast, add a bag of already cooked rice and ground beef to a casserole, toss my already-chopped onions and peppers into our favorite soups, or bake up fresh-from-the-oven cookies when unexpected guests stop by.
I literally save hours and hours of time cooking and cleaning up each week, thanks to my continual and gradual freezer cooking method.
(this is right after cleaning out our freezer to make room for our quarter of a cow!)
Of course, I don’t think the massive freezer cooking days are bad (they would also save you hours and hours of cooking and clean-up during the week) but they just aren’t my style.
If massive freezer cooking days aren’t your style either, I would highly recommend trying my “continual and gradual freezer cooking” method of doing a little bit every few days. It might take you a month or so to get in the habit of making double batches of things, but your freezer will eventually be filled with just as much food as someone who did a massive freezer cooking day — and you won’t have to wash every pot and pan in your kitchen 🙂
For those of you who want tips or ideas to execute massive freezer cooking days, search around on Pinterest.
And for those of you who simply want to keep your freezer stocked with as little time and effort as possible, you’ll find all that information right here on my blog!