Batch cooking: keys to cooking in a few hours for the whole week (and save a lot of time to be with your children)

Batch cooking: keys to cooking in a few hours for the whole week (and save a lot of time to be with your children)

There is much talk lately about batch cooking, an anglicism used to refer to the action of cook in a few hours for the whole week. Although this technique may seem novel, the truth is that there are many families who have been doing it for years, due to the amount of advantages that this form of cooking brings.

If you have not yet succumbed to the fashion of batch cooking but would like to start putting it into practice, we tell you everything you need to consider when it comes to prepare a weekly lunch and dinner menu for the whole family, optimizing the resources you have in your kitchen.

Although initially the idea may seem complicated to carry out, it does not require more than proper planning and organization, but the results are surprising. You dare?

Advantages of batch cooking

batch cooking

Cooking meals and dinners throughout the week in just a few hours has many advantages, although when we have children I think it could basically be summed up in one: gain time to dedicate to them. And if we already have the dishes prepared to heat and consume, we can extend the playing time with our children and take advantage of more family leisure time.

But in addition, batch cooking allows us to:

  • Save energy or gas, since we will not need to turn on the hob, oven or gas daily and several times a day to prepare our meals.

  • Have the kitchen always clean and tidy, since we will only dirty the day we start cooking for the whole week. The rest of days, our kitchen will always look untouched, with the savings that that also means water, detergent and time.

  • Eat in a healthier and more balanced way, since having improvisation organized has no place, and thus avoiding pre-cooked dishes, ultraprocessed or fast fried.

  • When cooking and refrigerate / freeze by portions, is less likely than food is wasted, with savings at all levels that this means.

  • Every time there is more offices or companies that have enabled areas with microwave and refrigerator so that workers who want it can eat your own food brought from home. If this is your case, with the batch cooking you will always have a ready healthy tupper to take to work.

What should we consider before cooking?

batch cooking

A priori, batch cooking is a fantastic idea, but my advice is not to start cooking "crazy" without having previously considered the following:

  • Check that we have enough containers to keep cooked. This point is key, so that food retains all its properties and do not spoil They must be saved correctly. Tuppers (preferably glass) with airtight closure are the best solution.

  • In line with the above, I recommend having tuppers of various sizes and stackable, in order to optimize space in the fridge or freezer. Small tuppers come great for freezing individual rations or stir-fry, while circular jars are great for broths.

  • The planning of a menu is another of the fundamental points before we start cooking. To do this, I recommend that with the help of your children, you elaborate a healthy and balanced menu of lunch and dinner for the whole week.

  • Before we start cooking we should check the menu that we have previously prepared, and check that we have in our pantry each and every one of the ingredients We are going to need to prepare the dishes. If not, It will be time to go shopping!

  • Although it may seem obvious advice, I recommend you check if you have enough space in the fridge and freezer to store everything cooked, it may be necessary previously clean in the refrigerator and order in such a way that we optimize space.

  • And finally, you have to keep in mind that batch cooking is designed to cook as much food in less time, so think about all the tools you have available to optimize your resources: express pot, kitchen robot, traditional pans, oven, microwave … Do not stay alone with one and take advantage of all cookware employees at maximum capacity!

And once the dishes are cooked, how do we keep them?

batch cooking

As I said above, once we have cooked all the dishes of the week we must distribute them in tuppers, taking into account that the amount we add in each container corresponds to the number of family members that will consume it. The tupper must be labeled with the type of food it contains and the day it was prepared.

With all tuppers or containers filled and labeled, we can do three things:

  • Store in the fridge only those food containers that we will consume in the next three days. Beyond this time food begins to lose quality and alter its taste, and even they could get bad and contaminate other foods.

  • Alternatively vacuum pack food containers and then refrigerate them. The vacuum packed it extends the life of the food and will allow us to consume it beyond the three days of rigor recommended in the previous point.

  • And the third option would be freeze those dishes that we do not know with certainty when we will consume, or whose consumption will occur after several days. My recommendation is to opt for this technique whenever possible, because the correct freezing It guarantees that the food is well preserved.

Of course, before consuming the dish that we have frozen it is important to know how should we defrost it correctly, because a bad defrosting can alter the quality and safety of the food.

If you are going to get started in the batch cooking technique, we hope you find these tips useful. Soon we will share more tricks and ideas for cooking, in a few hours, a weekly menu for the whole family.

Photos | iStock