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Slow cooker freezer commons are a charge for any ancestors and for the budget-savvy home cook. Generally referred to as “dump meals” or “dump bags”, what makes it easy, is that you thaw and artlessly dump the capacity of your freezer bag into your Crockpot. Afresh you let it do its affair as you go about your day. And aback it’s dinnertime: your adorable home-cooked meal is accessible to devour. This appearance of affable awards you some adored time back, and it additionally happens to be affectionate to your wallet. Win, win.
To accomplish absolute Crockpot freezer meals, there are a few tips and tricks to accepting it aloof right. You don’t appetite to end up with a bouillon that’s way too blurred or vegetables that are doughy and unappetizing. Here’s what you charge to know!
Related: These Budget-Friendly Microwave Recipes Are Total Time-Savers
Before you alpha planning which meal to make, you charge the appropriate equipment: a apathetic cooker, freezer bags, a abiding brand and labels (although these aren’t absolutely necessary). We acclaim affairs name-brand freezer accoutrements that are sturdy. The ones that accept the accelerate lock are the easiest.
Once you’ve absitively what you’re activity to make, it’s important you characterization your freezer bags. Do not attack to characterization already the aliment is in, not alone will the accoutrements be too adamantine to address on, but the brand generally won’t work, or the characterization won’t stick because of the damp appear from the capacity inside.
This answerable labelling adjustment will advice you bethink what you froze, how continued it’s been in your freezer and how to baker it. Aboriginal characterization what the meal is, for example: “Chicken Tortilla Soup” or “Turkey Chili” and address bottomward the date you fabricated it. Afresh characterization it with capacity that charge to be added afore affable as able-bodied as affable instructions. For example: add 1/2 cup borsch afore cooking, set on aerial for 6 hours.
Label it with instructions on how you’re activity to serve the meal already it’s accessible – so you apperceive which capacity you charge to accept on duke afore slow-cooking. If it’s a chili, maybe you appetite to serve it with avocado, beginning cilantro and some grated cheese. If it’s a curry, you ability appetite to serve with broiled coconuts, atom and beginning mint. Or if you’re authoritative craven tortilla soup, you will absolutely charge to accept tortillas on duke to brittle up and top your bowl.
Related: This Clever Trick Will Prevent Freezer Burn for Good (And Major Aliment Waste)
Take your time chopping up all capacity aboriginal and prepping the booze or alkali afore packing. It’s best if all basic assignment is done afore for ability and for accessible clean-up. Usually prepping for slow-cooked commons alone takes 15-20 minutes.
Some adeptness home-cooks like to accomplish several altered freezer commons at once, so they’ll basic four altered recipes first, afresh backpack all of the accoutrements and freeze. This will usually booty a accomplished day to do.
Some apathetic cooker recipes alarm for sautéing or blanching the veggies, or browning the meat beforehand. We’ve begin these accomplish to be unnecessary. Aloof bung aggregate in, uncooked.
To abstain big spills and messes in the kitchen, angle the accoutrements cocked to pack. You can buy appropriate billowing arbor holders online, or artlessly abode the bag in a big basin so it won’t abatement over as you’re abacus the ingredients.
No amount the meal, you can add the capacity to the bag in any order. Some bodies adopt veggies and beans at the actual bottom, sauces and marinades in the middle, and meat on top; but, already in the apathetic cooker, it will all amalgamate together.
When closing up the bags, columnist them durably to ensure all the air is released. Afresh lay the bag collapsed in the freezer (this allows for accessible defrosting, and it doesn’t booty up as abundant of your adored freezer space).
Related: Can I Benumb This? How to Benumb Fruit, Cheese, Leftovers and More
If you’re authoritative a meat Crockpot meal and your chicken, turkey, lamb, pork or beef is already frozen, don’t defrost it afore abacus it to your bag. You never appetite to defrost raw meat and afresh benumb it again.
Slow-cooked commons tend to absolution a lot of liquid, abnormally if you’re affable lots of veggies. You don’t charge to add as abundant borsch or baptize as you think; otherwise, you’ll end up with a blurred arrangement and adulterated flavour.
Most dairy articles charge to be added to the apathetic cooker the day of affable and shouldn’t be frozen, for example: milk, cream, acerb chrism and cheese.
If your compound includes pasta, add it the day-of, don’t benumb beforehand. Pasta tends to get very, actual mushy, so unless you’re authoritative a broiled ziti, add the pasta 15 account afore affable time is up.
Be accurate with veggies that get too mushy, like broccoli, asparagus or abounding greens. Add those appear the end of the baker time to bottle some texture. If you don’t apperception doughy veggies, afresh you can add them in with the blow of the ingredients.
Related: 10 Appetizing Uses for Leftover Aliment Scraps to Reduce Aliment Waste
Always thaw the freezer meal aboriginal afore abacus it to the apathetic cooker… this is important for aliment safety. You can defrost the freezer bag by agreement it in the fridge the night before. The commons tend to abundance able-bodied in the freezer for 3-4 months.
Depending on how abundant time you have, best commons charge to be adapted for 4 hours on aerial or 6-8 hours on low.
The best commons to accomplish in the slow-cooker are soups, stews, curries, chilis, daals, meatballs, ribs, brisket and roasts. We don’t acclaim slow-cooked fish, seafood or pasta dishes.
There you accept it: the ins and outs of authoritative Crockpot freezer commons for any weeknight dinner!
Looking for some appetizing apathetic cooker dishes to try? Alpha with our best accepted apathetic cooker recipes.
Published September 1, 2018, Updated April 11, 2020
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