There are a lot of lists in the blogosphere with must-have items for freezer cooking. While many of the items are certainly quite helpful (a slow-cooker, for example), others (like a FoodSaver) are easy to do without.
Four of my top 5 tools for freezer cooking are tools I have even used from the beginning. If it ain’t broke…
Must-Have Freezer Cooking Tools
A good permanent marker. I love Sharpies because I love the variety of colors. Pick your favorite.
Freezer tape is my favorite way to label foods. Labeling directly on freezer bags is good but sometimes the ink rubs off. Ditto on aluminum foil. I’ve never had that happen with freezer tape, though. Don’t make my mistake, though! It looked just like masking tape, so I thought I could use that since I already had it. The masking tape hardened up and fell off my food!!
Foil pans make it so that all your casserole pans aren’t occupied in your freezer. My favorite pans are the 5×7 pans from Weber Grill. 1-1 1/2 pounds of shredded barbecue or shredded taco meat fit perfectly in these pans. (Buying the deli section trays of meat that you heat in the oven inspired me to track down these pans.) The pans are washable for reuse. These 5″ round pans are a great size for individual pot-pies, quiche, etc.
Freezer bags and aluminum foil are the standard storage method for freezer cooking and for good reason. Reliable, well-sized and the ease of use make them a perfect tool. Any bag that didn’t have raw meat in it and isn’t extra messy, I do wash so I can get more than one use out of them. And, here, I do find name-brands to be superior. Check your warehouse club, I find them to have the best prices. (I’m interested in trying out these reusable freezer bags.)
Okay, freezer jars I’d really label as optional but, after using them for more than five years now, I can’t imagine my freezer without them. I did go more than 10 years without using them, though. I love them for soup, broth, tomatoes…and individually-sized frozen margaritas & daiquiris! (Yes, those are a standard part of my freezer cooking every summer!!)
And that’s it!