Bulk Cooking – A Huge Time Saver

If your family is like mine you tend to eat certain foods over and over.  Some examples of these foods for my family are chicken, rice, fish, and hamburger.   These types of foods are often the foundations of most of our recipes and transform into any number of dishes by merely changing a few ingredients.

So if I know I will be cooking chicken once or twice a week pretty much every week why not just cook a whole bunch at once and simplify my life?   Herein lies the genius of bulk cooking and here is a few tips to make it a snap.

Chicken (I know, first the cutting up a chicken video and now this...oh well, I like chicken)

Grilling – Fire up the grill and put as many chicken breasts on the grill as you can possibly squeeze on – literally.  Cook for 4-6 minutes, flip and cook for another 4-6 min.  Check temp – 165-175 degrees is done.  Remove to large cookie sheet and cover with foil to rest.  Once the chicken is cool chop it up and put in freezer bags or vacuum pack and freeze.  This is my favorite way to prep chicken for yummy salads I can pull together for lunch in seconds (otherwise I end up eating my kids leftovers). 

Bulk CookingOven – Fill a couple of 9x13 pans with chicken and cook for about an hour (check the temp for doneness).  Then cool, cut up, and freeze. 

Crock pot – Fill your crock pot with chicken and set on low for 8-9 hours.  When you come back the chicken will be done and falling apart.  Cool, bag, and freeze.  The crock pot chicken is especially well suited for enchiladas, soups, and casseroles. 

Bulk Cooking

I would suggest freezing your chicken in 1 lb portions since that is approximately what most family recipes call for.  

Consider seasoning your chicken.  I often put dehydrated onion flakes and garlic flakes on my chicken before I precook it. 

Rice – Cook a weeks worth and use it as the side dish for dinner all week.  Season it in different ways to add variety: cilantro, butter and garlic, soy sauce, parsley, etc. 

Hamburger – If I need to brown up one pound for a recipe it doesn’t take much more time to brown up 3-4 pounds.  Simply freeze what you don’t use immediately.

Fish – When I bulk cook fish I use the pre-cut foil squares that you can buy at Costco.  I pull a sheet out, place the fish on it, place another square on top, and then turn down all the edges to make a foil pouch.  I make a whole bunch of pouches and put them on a couple of cookie sheets (as many as I can fit in my oven).  Bake at 425 for 30-50 minutes.  Check for doneness.  Put the pouches in a gallon freezer bag and freeze. 

This principle of bulk cooking can be applied to any number of foods.  Consider what you’re family eats frequently and get creative with how you can cook it in bulk.  

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Tags: bulk cooking  cooking  pre cooking  meal planning  time saving 

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