If you’re wanting to master freezer cooking, you need these clever freezer storage containers and meal prep tools to save you even more time and money! Once you start using some of them, you might even wonder how you ever lived without them!
(This post probably contains affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is quite boring, but you can read it here if you’d like!)
Do you every single one of these? Nope. But some of them are seriously clever (like the Rockcrok, seriously check it out below) or will make your life so much easier (hello, baggy holders I’m talking to you).
Mealtime – especially dinner – can be a stressful, panic-stricken time of day. Usually preceded by “crap, what’s for dinner?”
Freezer meals are your friend, my friend.
Since you’re here, I know you understand the key is being prepared, especially at dinnertime. Whether it’s meal planning or just making some crockpot freezer meals (or a combination of the two), mastering mealtime will tremendously help save your sanity.
And these freezer cooking tools are the best of the best (or at least the cleverest of the clever!).
Here are the clever freezer storage containers and meal prep tools you need:
FREEZER STORAGE ORGANIZATION MUST-HAVES
When I changed my freezer from a free-for-all to labeled, organized bins it was such a relief! I could quickly find what I was looking for, I could easily see if we were low on something (Outshine Creamy Coconut fruit bars, perhaps), aaaaaand I saved money by not letting things go to die in the back.
Just measure your freezer sections and head to Target or the Container Store, or even the dollar store. You don’t have to do fancy labels, you could even write on the baskets with a sharpie before putting them in the freezer. My categories were meat, seafood, snacks, premade dinners, and misc, but you could also do breakfast, lunches, snacks, freezer dinners, and dessert. Whatever works for your family!
Oh, how I love to see some bright colors in my freezer, and these do the trick! Silicone ice cube trays make it nice and easy for whatever you happen to freeze to slide right out without wanting to smash it because that last ice cube wont.come.out. Ya know? And they clean up nice which means you can freeze pesto, then tomato paste, then herbs in olive oil, then cookie dough, and you won’t have cookies that taste like an italian pasta dish. They come in all different sizes but my favorite is the 15-square one.
Now these bad boys are pretty awesome. They’re like half label and half ninja-material. You can write on them with a sharpie and then erase it with the included eraser or with some rubbing alcohol. The label also says they’ll live long on your container from freezer to fridge to dishwasher as long as you give it some time to ninja-stick before getting it wet (I haven’t tried this yet but I can’t wait to!). There are three sizes in the package that are perfect for all different containers.
BEST CONTAINERS FOR FREEZING INDIVIDUAL MEALS
Glass freezer containers are awesome! They’re much better than the environment than plastic ones, they’re thicker than plastic ones (which will protect your food from freezer burn and make it last longer), and they can be defrosted then go into the oven.
There are many different sizes and basically 3 different section-types. Here are my favorites:
REUSABLE FREEZER TO OVEN CONTAINERS
I like these because they’re made of aluminum and not plastic, so are better to recycle. Make sure you get the kind with the paper flat lids (not plastic!) – this not only saves room but also means you can write directly on the top of them. Make sure to put a label on the side too though so you can see what’s inside each one without un-stocking the freezer!
These babies are awesome – they go straight from freezer to oven and are disposable. There are various different sizes from individual to family size so whatever you’re making, I bet you can find one of these in the right size.
These are some of my favorite glass containers because the lids are just so easy, being silicone and kinda stretchy. My favorite size are the ones with the teal lids – so useful!
SUPER CLEVER FREEZER COOKING TOOLS
I never would have thought to use this for cooking but…duh! You can basically turn your crockpot into a timer crockpot – you can control it from Alexa or your smart phone. Brilliant!
Genius. I mean, who ever thought of these seriously deserves a medal. No more lining up all my mixing bowls on my counter, still holding the bag since I really don’t trust it not to fall over, hoping that I pour all the contents into said bag without making a giant mess. If you’ve met me, you know this is probably not gonna happen. Enter stage left, these handy-dandy hands-free bag holders that do all the handy work for you. (how many times can I say hand, hands, or handy in this write-up???). Anyhoo, I really love these, do yourself a favor and get 6 of them so you can make almost a week’s worth of dinner with your hands behind your back. (had to throw that last one in)
You probably have never heard of these babies before, huh? In one of my former lives, I was a Pampered Chef consultant and there are a few tools of theirs that I still use and love. This Rockcrok pot is one of them, and there’s an entire family of Rockcrok-ery. They’re made of a special glazed clay which makes it able to go on the stove, in the oven, in the microwave, on the grill, in the freezer, and (most importantly) in the dishwasher. That means you can make a french onion soup on the stove, put the bread and cheese on top and throw it under the broiler, then put the rest in the fridge.
One pot = less dishes. I’m all for less dishes, if you didn’t know.
Ok, but the real reason it’s on this list for freezer meals is because if you get home from work and realize you forgot to thaw a freezer meal that was supposed to go in the crockpot (oh, it’ll happen!), you could thaw it out a little and then cook it in the microwave. I make a pork roast in mine and you’d never know it cooked in the microwave, pinky swear. And it’s all because of that specially patented clay mix. Amazing.
KITCHEN ESSENTIALS THAT WILL MAKE FREEZER MEAL PREP EASIER
I used to use the ever-popular Pampered Chef chopper but 1. it makes soooo much noise and 2. I hate having different sized pieces of whatever I’m chopping. This one gives you lots of evenly chopped pieces, and can hold more at one time. If you hate chopping onions, get this one asap.
I finally got one of these last year and it’s pretty awesome! I love the 6 qt one but I’ve seen the 8 qt side by side and it’s only about an inch bigger all around. If I bought another one, I’d probably just go with the 8 qt so I can make bigger batches of broth or spaghetti sauce.
If you don’t want a pressure cooker/slow cooker combo, read on. I’m not even going to tell you how many slow cookers I own. For some reason, I hoard all different sized slow cookers. But I will say that this one is the top dog, my main squeeze, my numero uno, my…okay you get the idea. The six-quart size is perfect for a family of 4 (or more) and the timer is a necessity when you want to let it cook while you head to work.
And don’t forget the Slow Cooker liners – they’re a HUGE time saver!
Man, I can’t even explain how much I love having an large indoor grill pan. I had mine packed away for a bit when I moved and I literally missed it. Like, how can you miss a pan? It’s just one of those useful things that you never knew you needed and then once you have it you don’t know how you ever survived before, you know what I mean?
This is the perfect size for making a double batch of anything – chicken fajitas, burgers, grilled vegetables, fancy grilled cheese – and freezing the rest, of course!
Whether you’re wanting to start freezer meals, or you’re a freezer meal pro, new recipes are probably high on your want-list. I put together this list of top-rated freezer meals that are not only delicous, but they’re kid-friendly and use mostly clean ingredients.
Check it out here (there are 3 other lists too but look for the freezer one!).
FREEZER COOKING SUPPLIES YOU PROBABLY HAVE ON HAND
Plastic zip-top bags (only the ones made for the freezer!)
A box or two of both gallon and quart size bags are all you need to hold some freezer meals! Make sure you get a good name brand and ones made for the freezer because the thicker the plastic, the better your food is protected from freezer burn. Kinda like sunblock for your, uh, freezing cold food.
Sharpies (in rainbow colors, of course!)
Do you need every color sharpie imaginable? Well, no, not really. Basic black will do. But what if you want to color-code your packages?
- meat = red
- chicken = blue
- vegetarian = green
- soup = pink
- breakfast = aqua
…oh, trust me, I could go on. Do me a favor? If you actually do this, please, please, pretty please send me a picture and a friend request. Because we obviously need to be besties.
Extra aluminum foil + plastic wrap
An extra roll on hand is always a good idea, especially if you’re wrapping up individual breakfast burritos or covering a pan of lasagna.
TIP: when covering a pan of anything, add a layer of plastic wrap before the foil because it adds some extra protection.
REAL LIFE (don’t do what I did) TIP: make sure you write a warning about the plastic wrap on the foil or you’ll end up with a lasagna topped with gooey plastic-ness.
Well, there you have it, folks.
Everything you need, and some things you don’t neeeeeed but are pretty awesome, to take your freezer meal-making to another level!