The one distinction between meal prepping and common cooking is the dimensions of the batches concerned. Technically, it’s all the identical work, however high-volume cooking requires a barely totally different strategy than smaller parts do—particularly when it’s a must to retailer and transport per week’s price of meals.
On the subject of large batch cooking, the correct instruments make all of the distinction. You don’t want something fancy or costly; probably the most helpful meal-prep tools is affordable and simple to search out. In reality, you in all probability have already got most of this stuff kicking round someplace. Right here’s every thing it’s worthwhile to prep, cook dinner, retailer, and transport giant portions of meals like a professional.
Step 1: Prep and cook dinner
For those who’re critical about meal prepping, these 4 workhorse gadgets will save your life. Dig them out of storage if you have already got them or monitor them down on-line; you received’t remorse it.
Half-size aluminum sheet pans
Truthfully, what can’t you make with a half-size sheet pan? Whether or not you’re roasting greens, cooking a number of kilos of bacon without delay, slow-cooking hen breasts for salad, baking chickpeas for a crispy garnish, or doing no matter else it’s worthwhile to do within the oven, it’s virtually at all times the correct device for the job. Large enough for critical batch cooking, sufficiently small for residence ovens, and cheap sufficient to purchase a minimum of a couple of, I exploit half-size sheet pans for actually every thing—and so will you.
Oven- and/or microwave-safe cookware with lids
With the ability to cook dinner and retailer a meal in the identical container cuts down on dishes and makes wrangling your fridge rather less nerve-racking. I really like with the ability to make lasagna, enchiladas, or an enormous ol’ casserole in a stoneware dish, pop on its lid, and put it within the fridge for later. For sheet desserts and anything I’d fairly bake in aluminum, I’m deeply dedicated to my Nordic Ware lidded covered baking pans—the lid snaps on tremendous tight and doubles as an additional sheet pan when not in use as a lid. They’re pricier than different gadgets on this listing and might’t go within the dishwasher, however they’re so helpful I don’t even care.
A salad spinner
Salad spinners are helpful for extra than simply leafy greens. They make it simple to clean, rinse, and most significantly, dry nearly any type of produce you possibly can consider. Contemplating that washing produce is likely one of the most tedious elements of meal prepping, an inexpensive salad spinner is a worthy funding that can prevent a ton of time.
An even bigger slicing board
Please cease making an attempt to chop per week’s price of onions on a tiny little slicing board from IKEA. You deserve higher! Deal with your self to a spacious, heavy-duty, and ideally dishwasher-safe mannequin from the restaurant provide retailer (or the web). Professional tip: Measure your dishwasher earlier than you hit “place order” so that you don’t understand too late that it doesn’t match.
Step 2: Retailer
When you’ve prepped per week’s price of lunches, you’ve acquired to determine how one can retailer them. That is the place they get you, as they are saying: Specialised “meal prep” containers might be costly, they usually’re not likely mandatory. So long as you possibly can see what you’re working with, you’re good—and you actually solely want two gadgets for that.
Tape and a Sharpie
Moreover a decently sharp knife, the one most essential meal prep device is an effective labeling system. Tape and a Sharpie price little or no cash and allow you to see precisely what you’ve got within the fridge, freezer, and pantry in a single look. I exploit masking tape, however painter’s tape is one other well-liked possibility that works actually properly.
Stackable, see-through containers
The proper meal-prep storage is simple to stack in your fridge and simple to see by. Interval. A number of varieties of containers match the invoice right here: Deli containers, aluminum pans with clear plastic lids, Pyrex or different glass containers, and even repurposed containers from different meals merchandise would all work nice.
Step 3: Transport
For those who’re getting ready meals to go, you want a solution to get them from level A to level B with out their contents ending up throughout your bag, lap, automobile, practice or bus seat, or some mixture of the above. In different phrases, you want a lunchbox that doesn’t suck.
Everybody likes barely various things in a lunchbox, however a tight-fitting, spill-proof closure is non-negotiable. Past that, search for one thing that meets your particular wants: Do you favor one thing mushy and versatile or inflexible? Would you like insulation? Does it must be dishwasher-safe? It doesn’t matter what type of container you’re in search of, the excessive demand for meal-prep-friendly lunchboxes means the right possibility is certainly on the market.