Grilling chicken for the freezer is a great way to save money and time. It also allows you the luxury of tasty grilled meats at a moment’s notice.
Yesterday we unplugged the deep freeze to allow the ice crystal build-up to thaw. A few hours later when I went to wipe it down, my girls lamented the fact that there was “no more snow.” Yes, I think that’s a good thing!
I plugged it back in last night and am on a mission to refill it. Our school year is starting this week which means that our days will be busier. In a few weeks we’ll be adding swimming, hockey, and science classes into the mix. This means the temptation for take-out will be greater. So, I’m on a mission to fill the freezer.
Power out on freezer cooking.
I’m taking the power session approach to freezer cooking this month. I’ll be doing short cooking sessions throughout the week in the hopes of getting the freezer filled with plenty of pre-made meals and meal components to last us for several weeks.
Each day this week, I’ll post the different things I’ve made as well as a quick and easy tutorial so you can play this game at home. I’ll round it all up at Freezer Cooking Days at Life as MOM on Friday afternoon.
Ways to save on grilled chicken for the freezer
Buy the chicken on sale - This week boneless, skinless breasts and thighs are on sale at Vons, our Safeway affiliate, for $1.97/pound. You can buy packs of just breasts or a combo, so if you don’t want dark meat, pay close attention. I bought 8 pounds, knowing that I would be cooking and freezing in bulk. I spent $16 on chicken.
Multitask - Since we were already going to turn on the grill for dinner, I planned it so I cook everything at once. This made best use of the propone that I was using. It also did not really take me that much longer to cook 8 pounds of chicken than it would to cook 2 pounds. But, now so much work is done for me!
Make lunches ahead of time - My husband has requested grilled chicken for his lunches in an effort to improve his diet. While I made meal-size packages of chicken, I also made lunch-sized portions for him, weighing out 4 ounces on a scale and packaging those portions separately. In this way, the main protein of his lunch is made ahead of time to add to sandwiches, salads, or wraps, and we save money on his lunch budget.
Recipe: Grilled Chicken for the Freezer
- a lot of chicken (I bought 8 pounds, about three large flats, which is about 4 times what my family normally eats at one time)
- your favorite seasoning rub (try this Spicy Chicken Rub that you can make yourself)
- quart size freezer bags or freezer-safe containers with lids
- Light your gas or charcoal grill.
- Rinse your chicken pieces and lay them out on a large rimmed baking sheet.
- Season the chicken generously with the spice rub. Just the tops is fine for now.
- Place the chicken on the hot grill, spice side down. (Depending on your grill, you may need to oil the slats first.) Season the back sides of the chicken pieces.
- Cook over medium heat, covered, until the chicken is cooked through. The internal temperature should read 165 degrees.
- Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to rest. In this way the juices will redistribute throughout the chicken.
- Chop, slice or leave the chicken pieces whole, depending on how you want to use them. Cool completely.
- Divide the chicken into meal-sized portions in freezer bags or freezer-safe containers. Label with the date and contents. Chill the chicken in the refrigerator before freezing.
Grilling chicken for the freezer is a great way to save money and time. It also allows you the luxury of tasty grilled meats at a moment’s notice. Provided that you don’t overcook your chicken, that you cool and chill it properly, and that you wrap and store it appropriately, your grilled chicken for the freezer will be just as good as the day you cooked it.