How To Prep and Freeze Meals For Your Instant Pot!
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Everyone has fallen in love with the Instant Pot, and it’s easy to see why! From sauteeing to slow-cooking, this amazing kitchen appliance rolls an impressive number of cooking functions into one, and it cuts out the need for lots of pots and pans, making mealtime quick, easy and convenient.
One way your Instant Pot can make mealtime even easier is by pairing your Instant Pot with some good old-fashioned meal prepping. Meal prep means lots of different things to different people, but when I tackle meal prepping, I like to think long-term and make meals to freeze and finish cooking later. Luckily, the Instant Pot makes this process easier than ever. Read on to learn how to prep and freeze meals for your Instant Pot!
Tip #1: Use your Instant Pot to pre-cook some components of your meal! Many foods can be cooked ahead and frozen to be reheated later, and most of those foods can be cooked in your Instant Pot. You can cook rice, beans, soups, stews, meats, eggs and other components of your dish before adding them together and freezing them, leaving you with very little work to do outside of the initial washing and prepping of the food.
Tip #2: Aim for saucy recipes. Despite the Instant Pot’s versatility, you can only compensate for so much when cooking or reheating frozen meals. You’ll quickly learn that meals including a sauce reheat much better than drier recipes. Similarly, chilis, soups, and stews often fare well when reheated, so don’t be afraid to add a few more of these to your weekly menu rotation!
Tip #3: Avoid foods that just won’t work well. The Instant Pot is praised as a miracle appliance, but it isn’t perfect. Veggies or fruits with lots of water won’t hold up – they’ll emerge limp and soggy – and dairy products are generally not a good idea to freeze, either. You should also be careful with foods like pasta that require a very specific cook time, as it’s easy to overcook.
Tip #4: Choose your storage containers wisely. Most meal preppers freeze ingredients and meals in resealable plastic bags for easy stacking in the freezer, but this doesn’t work as well for the Instant Pot. It’s rigid, round shape means you might need to defrost your meal first, adding extra time and energy into the process. To make things as easy as possible when working with your Instant Pot, freeze prepped meals in round holders – plastic containers or silicone molds work perfectly. This way, you can simply pop out your frozen dish, add it to the Instant Pot and begin!
Tip #5: Let your food cool completely before freezing. This is more of a freezer meal tip than an Instant Pot tip, but it still applies! When freezing meals for later, it’s extremely important to let your ingredients cool before you store them. If you don’t, you’ll risk altering the texture and taste of your meats and veggies, leaving you with a less-than-ideal dish. For quicker cooling, carefully transfer liquids out of the Instant Pot and into a separate container and stir often.
Equip yourself with these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to prepping and freezing delicious dinners for your family to cook in your Instant Pot in no time! Have you picked up any tips or tricks for freezing Instant Pot meals in advance? Share in the comments!