Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Freezing Individual Servings

As regular readers of Save 4 Fun know, I like freezing food. It helps to have ready-made meals prepared as well as a means of stocking up on sale items. However, I've found that sticking a whole package of meat in the freezer isn't always the best idea. Once you thaw it, you have to cook it. Maybe I don't want or need the whole package. Something I tried recently has worked well to help with this problem.

The first tip involves bacon. If you freeze a whole package, you can forget trying to pry one or two strips out until it's thawed. I don't always need a full package at once. So, the last time I bought bacon, I pulled apart the individual strips. Then, I laid them out on a baking sheet and put it in the freezer. Once they were frozen, I put them into a freezer bag. Now, I can just pull out a piece or two when I need it. The other night we had baked potatoes for dinner. I took two pieces of bacon out and cooked them. It was great on the potatoes. The rest of the bacon stays in the freezer until I need it another time.

The second tip is for chicken breasts. On Sunday when I purchased a package of skinless, boneless chicken breasts on sale, I decided not to freeze the whole package. Instead, I cut the three breasts length-wise. That created six thin but good sized chicken breasts. I froze them in the same way as I did the bacon. I'm kind of picky about my chicken. So, I was able to clean it up even more than how it sold before freezing it. Now, it is all ready to be cooked - either one piece or a bunch of them, depending on what the need is.

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crazy coupon lady said...

I have been doing this for a long time, but never thought about freezing the individual bacon strips!

Something that I do also is freeze individual portions of really time consuming side dishes when I am making them for the family get together's or church suppers. I have great recipes for broccoli casserole and mashed potato bake that I freeze.

I take a small casserole dish 4"x 6", line it with saran wrap, place the unbaked food inside. Pull up the saran wrap around the food and freeze.

Once the dish is frozen I take it out, run hot water over the bottom, and pull out the food. I take the saran wrap and tightly wrap it over the frozen food and then wrap in aluminum foil.

This works for a number of great side dishes that are time consuming and I only like to make every so often. I normally just cook for 2 so this works out perfect.

Kristen said...

Another thing that I do is cook a whole package of bacon ahead of time, just to the point where it is almost done, and then freeze it that way. Then when I need it, I can reheat on a pan in the toaster oven, and it crisps up really easily.

Erika said...

I LOVE the idea of freezing bacon or chicken on a baking sheet and then putting in a bag for longer freezing. I will do that!