How To Create a Capsule Kitchen - The Freezer

WOW - last week was so much fun! I am a sucker for spices and herbs! I just love how diverse they are and how pairing them together creates flavors that transport foods to new heights! I hope you are beginning to see how this capsule kitchen is going to be so beneficial for you and your family! Make sure to share your progress and successes with my on Instagram using hashtag #PNLCapsuleKitchen. I can not wait to see what you are accomplishing!

Week Three - The Freezer

Alright, now that we have all of our shelf stable items organized and feel confident with them, it is time to move to the perishable foods. We will start with the freezer today and hit the fridge next week!

If you are just getting started be sure to check out the details of what a CAPSULE KITCHEN is and check out the week one post with all the challenge details!

The freezer is a special place as it can be used it a multitude of ways. A deep freeze is a great storage place for large quantities of meat, vegetables that you have “put up”, and those extra foods that you find on sale and can stock up on for later use.

*”put up” vegetables are those that you get fresh from your garden, the farmers market, etc and have processed for storage.

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Getting Started…

We are going to use the same principals for this week’s area as we did for the pantry and the spice cabinet - get it all out, make a list, check it twice, put it back, and keep it going.

The freezer can be a great kitchen tool, but it can also be a never ending tundra of freezer burned food too! We want to create a space that is going to be beneficial for your style of cooking, planning, and stocking!

This may look very different for everyone and I am going to walk you through a couple different ways you can use the freezer.

  1. Use your freezer as a food prep haven. Cooking large batches of meals and freeze them in family or single sized portions for later use.

  2. Use your freezer as a way to keep leftovers for the next week. If you have leftovers that won’t feed your entire family but is too much to just have for lunch the next day - try freezing those leftovers and pull them out next week when you have a couple meals stocked up and offer a “free for all” meal on a busy weeknight.

  3. Stock up of meats and vegetables that have yet to be cooked.

You can also find a way to do a version of each of these or even find something totally different that works for you!

I find that it works best for my style of cooking to simply stock my freezer with uncooked meats and vegetables! I love knowing that I always have high quality fresh meats in the freezer that I can toss into the instapot on a busy night or can thaw in the fridge for grilling or stove cooking! Keep reading to see what I do stock in my freezer!

FIRST STEPS

Clean it out!

When working in the freezer we want to be pretty quick as not to allow foods to thaw. As you pull foods out of the freezer sticking them in the fridge to keep them cool! If you work quick enough - nothing will have time to thaw!

Here is a quick step by step on cleaning out your freezer. I have mentioned this each week, but I really love my Mrs. Myers cleaning supplies and use them for this project too! Check out Mrs. Myers all purpose spray and grove co. walnut scrubber sponges.

STEP TWO

Take a look at what you pulled out of the freezer. Do you have items wrapped up in tin foil and in zip lock bags that you have no idea what they are? TOSS THEM. There is no need to even try to open it all up - unless you know you put it in there last week!

As you are looking over what was in your freezer, think through how you use the freezer and what would be the best method for you - look back to the scenarios above.

If you are going to buy fresh meat weekly then stocking your freezer with frozen meat may not be for you! If you are going to batch cook twice a month and then pull from your freezer for quick and nutritious meals, then you need space for those frozen meals and don’t need too much freezer stock!

This is a very individualized step - maybe more so than any other area of your kitchen! However, you can always change it up should it not serve you well over the next few weeks! Don’t allow yourself to stress about this!

Once you have your mind made up about how you will utilize your freezer create a list of the items you want to keep in the freezer. This may look like 4 casseroles, 2 lasagnas, 2 types of soup, and a chili - or 3 pounds of bacon, 10 pounds of chicken breasts, and a beef roast. It is totally up to you!

My freezer is stocked with high quality frozen meats from Butcher Box. This company has saved my life! Each month I get the cuts of meat that I want sent straight to my house and the quality is amazing. The best frozen salmon I have ever had - and I am from Seattle so that is a big thing!

Learn more about Butcher Box RIGHT HERE! They are always running a new member special so be sure to take advantage of that! Right now it is FREE SCALLOPS AND BACON in your first box!! Yum!

Here is what I stock on my freezer

  • Ground Beef

  • Bacon

  • Chicken Breasts

  • Chicken Thighs

  • Shrimp

  • Salmon Fillets

  • NY Strip Steaks

  • Eye of Round Roast

  • Pork Tenderloin

  • Veggies - green beans, carrots, & cauliflower (all other veggies we eat fresh)

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STEP THREE

Let’s get it all organized.

I like to use clear bins in the freezer for like items so that I can quickly see what I have and what I need to restock on. Check out the bottom of the page for a couple of my favorite storage items for the freezer.

If you don’t want to invest in bins, simply gather like items in groups on shelves or in drawers! This will be so great when you are looking for something. No more digging under 3 pounds of frozen foods to find that bacon that you tossed in last week!

STEP FOUR

Okay, by now you know what the last step is - create a tool to keep this going! I love having an inventory list of my freezer stock that I update weekly. This list might look different for each method of freezer utilization - simply find a method that works best for you!

I like to keep so much of each type of meat on hand; 10 pounds of chicken, 5 pounds ground beef, at least one roast, 4 NY strip steaks, 8 salmon fillets, and 4 bags of frozen shrimp. Veggies vary for me as I usually just stock up on those when they are on sale! We do not utilize frozen vegetables very often but they come in hand when I have put off going to the grocery for a day or two too long!

When it is time to order my Butcher Box, I simply look in the freezer to see what has been depleted over the month. Anything that needs to be restocked goes on the list - if I have 4 pounds of chicken on hand then I order 6 pounds of chicken for my next box! Super simple!

YOU DID IT!

You now have a clean and organized capsule freezer! Congratulations!

Be sure to post pictures of your progress on Instagram using hashtag #pnlcapsulekitchen and I will see you back here next week when we go through the steps of creating your capsule Fridge.

Bye for now!

Devon Jenkins