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Continuing with our freezer cooking series lets talk about how you should thaw your freezer meals. You have made the meals now what? Depending on the weight of your food you should thaw overnight in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours . This does mean that you will need to plan your meals in advance. I like to pull out my meal the night before (or 2) if it is a heavy roast and place it in the refrigerator. In the morning my meal is either ready to go into the slow cooker or by dinner time it is ready to go into the oven.
You can cook in the oven from frozen however you will need to allow 1/3 to 1/2 more cooking time. It can also dry out your food when you extend the time so a tip is to cover it for part of the cooking time. I prefer to cook from a thawed state personally. Be sure that you check the middle of your dish with a thermometer in the center. The temperature should be 165 degrees F. If you don’t have a cooking thermometer you can pick one up at your local dollar store. It is worth the investment if you are freezer cooking.
If you are cooking in the slow cooker you can place your item into the cooker from a frozen state. I don’t find that I really need to extend the time unless it is a roast or whole bird. I do prefer to thaw before adding to the slow cooker if I remember because it is easier to transfer from the bag to the slow cooker.
I would suggest investing in a foodsaver if you are going to freezer cook. I personally love mine. It is great way to extend the time you can freeze the items too.
You may be interested in our other posts on how to freeze: