How to… batch cook

Batch cooking is such a good thing to do. Nothing will give you a greater feeling of being smugly organised. You’ll be so glad you did it each time you feel ill/hungover/busy/just plain lazy (delete as appropriate). You’ll probably save money too – allowing you to justify at least one pair of new shoes. Here are some tips.

1. Just cook more

It’s not true that you need to put time aside to batch cook. Simply cook more of whatever you’re cooking for dinner providing that it will freeze well.

2. Get savvy with supermarket deals

If your supermarket is running a promotion, buy more, cook in bulk, and freeze the leftovers.

3. Be organised

Buy foil containers for batch cooking like these. They stack neatly in the freezer and you can label the lids – some meals can look very similar once frozen so labelling is a must! It’s a very satisfying feeling opening the freezer drawer and seeing a variety of stacked home-cooked meals all labelled nicely. Just me? Ooooookay.

4. Take inspiration from the supermarket

If you’re not sure what to cook, simply check out your supermarket’s ready meal aisle (you can do this online too!). These recipes from my blog are perfect for batch cooking:

Ratatouille
Shepherd’s Pie
Thai Green Curry
Luxury Mac and Cheese
Melanzane Parmigiana

Other dishes I batch cook are things like Lasagne and even Bolognese. It takes a while to cook a good Bolognese, so make batches and freeze and then all you have to do is cook some spaghetti to go with it.  Soups, stocks and sauces freeze well too

5. Stay safe!

Quite simply:

- Let the food cool before you freeze it
- Defrost it thoroughly before reheating
- Reheat until piping hot throughout
- Don’t refreeze again once defrosted or reheated
- Remember you have to be careful when reheating rice. For this reason I just don’t bother to batch cook any rice dishes

Finally, remember to take your meal out of the freezer in the morning! There’s nothing worse than sitting down at your desk and then suddenly shouting out ‘SHEPHERD’S PIE!’ across the office the moment you remember you haven’t defrosted it!

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “How to… batch cook

  1. James Smith

    Good stuff.

  2. fab idea – i must get some of these foil trays – i tend to plastic box up the leftover portions of dinner and then hubby takes it to work the next day for lunch. Did you see Nigel Slater’s new programme this week? He did a whole bit all about batch cooking lasagne, was a really good piece & inspired me to have a go – then I read your post too – it must be a sign! x ps. did u see I tried your Banana & Nutella pasties? http://www.mrsbishopsbakesandbanter.co.uk/2013/11/banana-and-nutella-pasties.html

  3. They look fab!! Your crimping is way better than mine! Though I seem to remember bring quite tired when making them and needed a Nutella fix pretty quickly!

    The foil trays are great and make me feel like a proper caterer :-) nacho foil make them. I haven’t seen Nigel Slater new series – will have to check out – thanks!

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