Easy way to save by freezing meat including cooking chicken in the crockpot or instant pot.
Even though there are only 2 of us in our family, we still enjoy beef and chicken as much as the next guy. So when I find them on sale and that is usually $1.99 or less a pound where I live, I grab quite a bit and either cook or make patties and freeze. Such a frugal way to save on meat and always have some on hand.
Most of the time I will just freeze 2 chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag which will make one meal for us. But, I also use a lot of shredded chicken for Chicken Salad, casseroles and other recipes.
The easiest way I cook chicken for that is to just put a few breasts in the crockpot with some salt and pepper and in about 3 to 4 hours, don’t overcook. No need for any liquid. I will let them cool and then shred them with a fork or cut into small cubes and then transfer to Ziploc bags or reusable bags and put them in the freezer. This is so easy to just grab, let thaw and enjoy so many different ways. Don’t forget to add the date to your bag. You should use this up in 3 to 4 months. Whole chicken parts last about 9 months in the freezer.
For the Instant Pot –
- Place frozen chicken breasts in the pot.
- Add in 1 cup water or chicken stock.
- Season with salt and garlic powder.
- Set pressure cooker to 10 minutes on high pressure and turn the valve to seal in the steam.
- It will take longer for your pressure cooker to reach pressure due to meat being frozen.
- Once cook time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally. This seems to be the key to moist chicken.
- Remove the meat from the liquid and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
- When its cool to the touch, I take 2 forks and shred each breast and store in freezer containers or bags.
Since we love to grill and watch sports pretty much all year long, we love to have a really good burger. Sam’s seems to have the best ground beef prices in our area and when I buy 2 of their large packs, one goes for pre-patty burgers and the other goes for 1 lb packages.
My husband is such an expert at dividing the meat into the same amounts, he gets the job of making the patties. Truth be known. I have never enjoyed making hamburger patties. I do use a patty maker which makes the job so much easier.
I will tear off sheets of wax paper a bit larger than the patty so that I can get about 4 of them in a Ziploc bag. We will fix all the patties, lay them on a large sheet pan and flash freeze them in the freezer. They are easier to put into the Ziploc bags if they are pre-frozen. So easy to grab a bag of these to thaw for dinner. These will last about 3 months in the freezer, along with 1lb bags of ground beef.
Freezing meat does take a little planning and work but is so worth it in the end. You have a stockpile for a few months and the price is cheaper than going to buy a pound of beef or chicken in the spur of the moment. And if you are a member of Sam’s, in our area of Florida, it seems to be the best place to buy meat. Not only for the price but for flavor too.
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I’m just a country girl loving my geeky life with my wonderful husband, always taking pictures, getting my hands dirty in the garden, being crafty, exploring with travels and enjoying all this on a budget. But above all, living my faith as a child of God!