The Best Tools & Containers for Freezer Cooking

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Having the right freezer cooking tools can make your cooking session so much easier and enjoyable. Here’s a quick and dirty list of items to keep on hand.

Favorite Freezer Cooking Tools | Good Cheap Eats

Freezer cooking has been a big part of my kitchen experience for almost 20 years now. I was a young married school teacher, awaiting my first baby, when I heard a radio program about how to cook for a day and eat for a month. It was a game changer for me!

Since then, I’ve made it a habit to cook in bulk whenever I can. Not only does it save me time and money, but it gives me that edge over my to-do list. In at least one area of my life, I am ahead of the game!

I’ve found over time, that having the right freezer cooking tools can make the experience so much easier, whether I’m making a double batch of lasagna or cooking up a storm to last us a few weeks.

Favorite Freezer Cooking Tools

Here are my favorite freezer cooking tools and supplies that I like to keep on hand:

A great skillet – It took me awhile to find a great skillet, but when I did, I bought TWO. I love this Cuisinart line. I have the 12-inch size with a glass lid as well as this a smaller one.

Good knives – It’s imperative to have a good set of knives for chopping, dicing, and slicing. You don’t have to buy a full set; you can do quite well with a chef’s knife, a serrated bread knife, and a paring knife.

cutting board and knife

Big cutting boards – Protect your blades as well as your counter tops by cutting on good counter tops. I have a variety of boards in different colors so I can prevent cross contamination between raw meats and vegetables.

An immersion blender – Vegetable soups and sauces take on a different dimension when you blend them. You can hide all kinds of healthy ingredients in them when you blend them up. An immersion blender helps you do it without dirtying a blender or a food processor. And let me tell you, freezer cooking day makes enough dishes!

Pyrex with lids – I am growing a collection of Pyrex, something I didn’t think I’d ever do 21 years ago when ten people gifted us the same baking set for our wedding. We didn’t have cool plastic lids back then. Now we do! And I am smitten. I love these dishes that stack so well in the freezer and keep contents airtight.

Favorite Freezer Cooking Tools | Good Cheap Eats

Foil pans with lids – When I’ve exhausted my supply of glass dishes or want to give a recipe as a gift, I use foil pans with lids. These lids are sturdier than those clear plastic pieces of garbage you find on grocery store foil pans — don’t buy those. These are stackable and relativity sturdy, while still being disposable. They also seal better than those dumb plastic lids.

You can find pretty colored pans at Party City, but their lids are super sharp on the edges and not recommended. I cut myself pretty fierce with those suckers.

Heavy duty aluminum foil – If I don’t have a lid for a dish, like a pie plate, I only use heavy duty aluminum foil, extra long when I can find it. The standard variety breaks down too easily in the freezer. Even then, I tend to slip that item into a ziptop freezer bag for an extra layer of protection.

freezer bags in five sizes

Ziptop freezer bags – Yes, pay extra for the freezer variety. The other kind are very thin and tend to leak. I have even splurged on the 2-gallon bags so that I can bag up larger baking dishes that don’t have lids.

Reditainer Extreme Freeze containers with lids – I love these for storing soups, sauces, juices, stocks, and cooked meats like shredded pork or seasoned taco meat.

Sharpie pen – A sharpie marker is a must in freezer cooking. You must label your food. A sharpie goes on glass but will still wash off. It also marks well on room temperature foil and plastic bags. It doesn’t work quite as well on cold items, so label before chilling.

enchilada sauce in jars

Freezer jars with plastic lids – I like to use glass jars with plastic lids to store sauces and soups. Since I started using this method for freezing in glass jars, I haven’t had any jars break. Your mileage may vary, so weigh the risk before you decide.

A jar funnel – If you choose to store foods in glass jars, a jar funnel is super helpful to reduce spills and speed up your work.

Bag holder (Honorable mention) – I bought one of these a couple years ago because it looked really cool. Turns out I don’t use it as much as I thought I would, and it’s a pain to store. But, it is cool. Though you can use a bowl to support the food just as much as this holder thingy. Just more dishes. Again with the dishes!

Have you got any favorite freezer cooking tools?

Let me know your favorites so I can try them out, too!

Favorite Freezer Cooking Tools | Good Cheap Eats

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Penny says

    I tend to freeze in single portions as, in my house, there can be anything between 1 and 5 people eating with little or no warning. I use the quart ziploc bags and I have 2 of these bag holders which I absolutely love. I bought the Jokari ones; I can fold them flat an they store very easily in a drawer.

    • That’s a great strategy. Makes it nice when someone comes home late and needs to eat.

  2. Joan says

    I buy cup, quart and pint sized food safe plastic containers from Gorden’s Food Service. They are the ones that Chinese restaurants use, are inexpensive and reusable.

  3. Alice E says

    I would add small sheet pans, cookie sheets or 9×13 pans, especially for folks with chest freezers. I use them when freezing things in plastic bags so that they freeze flat and even to stack easy or when quick freezing things like berries or meat patties. It is much easier to freeze things like broth or buttermilk in a bag when you can lay them out on the sheet pan.

    I also love my Tupperware measuring cups, especially the 2-cup, since the are shaped in a narrow oval and work well for pouring into a zip bag when freezing things like broth or buttermilk. Why buttermilk, well I use it for pancakes on weekends, but with only two of us a quart lasts too long. So I freeze it in 1 cup portions to thaw and use for pancakes or whatever.

    Like Penny I frequently freeze single portions. With just two of us it is an easy way to turn extra leftovers into a quick meal for just my lunch. I have some plastic containers that let me freeze a serving, then pop it out of the container and put it in a bowl to reheat in the microwave, since I don’t like to use plastic in the microwave.

    I love those plastic lids for the canning/freezing jars. I don’t freeze in jars but the lids are super handy for storing things in jars in the pantry and frig. I may have to try the bag holder, it would always be available. My husband has done bag duty but isn’t always home and available.

    May I also ask about the links. I know that if I use the link to buy the bag holder you earn a small amount. But if I am going to buy something else such as a new mystery novel, would you also earn if I used your link to go to Amazon to buy it. I don’t buy from them often because I like to support local businesses, but have occasionally in the past and I was curious. My kitchen is pretty well stocked so most of the links aren’t something I will be buying, although those foil pans are interesting.

    Thanks for all your efforts on the blogs.

    • Melissa says

      You should try buttermilk powder – I buy it at Walmart and store it in the fridge after opening. I use it to make biscuits and my homemade pancake mix.

      Melissa (was in SC – recently moved) in GA

    • Excellent strategies. I love buying big containers and breaking it down into doable portions.

      Re: links, if you click through one of my affiliate links, I get credit for whatever you buy during that shopping session. I think it may be good for an entire 24 hours unless you click someone else’s link. Thanks for your support!

  4. Sandi says

    I’ve gotten some foil pans before from various stores around town but have always been unhappy with them. I followed the link to your suggestions, and… they are out of stock. And they seem to only come in solid silver, not the pretty colors in your photo. *pout* It’s truly not a rush, I can wait until they come back in stock. However, I really doubt I need that many in that size for our lifestyle and number of mouths to feed. Have you ever tried the TigerChef brand that has the cardboard that you put down and fold the aluminum pan around it? They come in a size 1/3-1/2 smaller that I think would be more useful for us.

    I’ve occasionally wondered the same thing as Alice: do you still get referral credit if I buy something else after following a link from you? Reading the link itself looks like it gets dropped off once something else is clicked on so I’m guessing you don’t. If I just add the “&linkCode=sl1&tag=goodcheapeats-20” at the end of it, is that enough?

    • The pretty colors were from Party City. The pans themselves were fine. It was the lids that were crap. Cut me up something horrible. I have tried the cardboard kind but sometimes I want to bake with the lid on and I don’t think you can do that with the cardboard?

      Re: links, you don’t need to add anything. Just click through any link on the site and any shopping is credited to me as a referral. I’m pretty sure it counts for 24-hours unless you click someone else’s link. Thanks for supporting me. I appreciate it!

  5. Kerri says

    Food Savers is my favorite freezer tool

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