How to Package Your Freezer Meals

by Katie on October 13, 2010

This is one of the most important steps. If you neglect to freeze things properly you will likely experience a freezer burnt meal. Nobody spends all day cooking to have meals that have to eventually be thrown away, so take the time and protect your food.

 

Packaging Methods

 

1.Freezer Bags

This is my preferred method
It saves a lot of freezer space

Here are some ideas for this method:

Soups
Baked Goods
Casseroles
Cooked Meats (Plain or in Sauce)
Marinated Meat
Fruit and Veggies

 

2. Foil Containers

Great for meals that need to hold their shape
No dishes
Easy to take a meal to a friend

Here are some ideas for this method:

Lasagna
Casseroles
Enchiladas

 

3.Glass Dishes

Two different ways for this method:

1.Put meal in dish and freeze

2.Line dish with foil
Place meal in dish
Freeze until firm
Remove from pan, wrap in foil, freeze
To thaw, place meal back in dish

Ties up dishes
Takes up a lot of freezer space
Uses same ideas as foil containers

Here are some ideas for this method:

Any food that needs to maintain shape.

Enchiladas
Lasagna

 

4.Flash Freezing

Great for fruit
Use for things that would freeze into a clump
Place food on lined baking sheet and freeze until firm

Here are some ideas for this method:

Hamburger Patties
Fruit
Cookie Dough
Meatballs

 

5.Vacuum Sealer

I use this method all of the time when it comes to freezing meat
This method will increase the freezer life for months and months
It is a little more costly than some methods…you have the initial investment and then the investment of bags.

Here are some ideas for this method:

Meat
Meat in marinade
Fresh Vegetables that have been blanched
Soups
Really…I would say pretty much the same things as freezer bags…it will just extend the life!

 

How do you package your freezer meals?

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Kimi October 13, 2010 at 8:26 am

I have to make them first!! Ok, I do have a couple things in the freezer. Marinated pork & beef steaks and they are in freezer bags. My twice baked potatoes were flash frozen, wrapped in saran wrap & them put into a freezer bag. (does this make me an over achiever?!) lol I seriously think that's all I have in the freezer that isn't bought frozen & in it's own packages. I am working on that however. Today is applesauce day. I have little plastic freezer containers for it if I get it done. (been a week daily project that doesn't get done this week) AND I think I will have yet more coffee so I can ramble on and on and on!!

Reply

Katie October 13, 2010 at 11:14 am

You are too funny, Kimi :)

Sounds like you package your meals about like me. I love the whole freezer bag thing.

I hope your applesauce turns out yummy :) I need to get my apples in the crock pot here this week and whip some up, too.

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Bitterroot Mama October 13, 2010 at 12:25 pm

I have done a few foil packets and plastic containers, but I really love plastic freezer bags. Great post!

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Tightwad Mom October 13, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Great ideas! I love that the Dollar Store always has a good selection of foil pans!!!! I love being able to throw away the cooking pan instead of having to wash it!

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The Saved Quarter October 13, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I'm surprised that you didn't mention using a vacuum sealer. It makes a big difference in the length of time my frozen meals last in the freezer!

My mom made me a bunch of meals when my son was born and she did the freezing in foil in the pan method. The nice thing was that she froze every meal in the same 8"x8" pan so they stacked beautifully in the freezer.

I try to use things I can reuse (I can reuse vacuum sealer bags a few times) so as not to waste and make extra garbage, but frozen meals make my busy life easier!

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Mom2fur October 13, 2010 at 3:33 pm

I love my vacuum sealer, too! On the flash freezing front, don't forget cookie dough (already made into 'balls') and meatballs! In fact, whenever I make cookies I always flash-freeze a dozen or so dough balls. Once they are hard, I put them in a baggie (I don't actually shrink wrap everything) and write the cooking instructions on the bag. There's nothing like being able to just put already-made dough in the oven when you are in the mood for cookies and don't want to haul out the mixer!

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Katie October 13, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Bitterroot Mama,

Thanks! I just love the convenience of freezer bags…it doesn't get much easier!

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Katie October 13, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Tightwad Mom,

Yeah, I found that out quickly. The dollar store has a great selection. When I first tried that method I went to Walmart and I couldn't believe how expensive they were…crazy!!

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Katie October 13, 2010 at 4:59 pm

The Saved Quarter,

THANK YOU! Thanks for reminding me of my precious vacuum sealer…how did I forget about it??!!??

I fixed that post, because that is a great way to package things for the long haul. I always do my meat that way.

Thanks for the tip on reusing bags, I had no idea you could do that!

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Katie October 13, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Mom 2 Fur,

Yes, I added in the cookie dough balls and meatballs…they are both great things to flash freeze!!

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Tiffanee October 13, 2010 at 5:19 pm

These are great ideas..thanks for the great reminders. I have a vaccuum sealer and forget to use it!!

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Katie October 13, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Tiffanee, I often forget about mine, too. Especially when it comes to using it for things that aren't going in the freezer. There are so many uses for that thing…

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Janet October 18, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Thanks for the tips. They'll be very useful as I do more freezer cooking. I have a vacuum sealer that I love. I mostly using when I buy meat in bulk but plan to use it more now that I've started OAMC.

Reply

Katie October 18, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Janet,

Good luck with your freezer cooking. I know you will enjoy all of those meals you made!

Reply

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