Meal prep is all about preparing whole meals or even just parts of meals in advance. Meal prep is often used by those that have busy weekdays. With a little ahead of time prep on the weekends, things are so much easier for weekday dinners. From chopping veggies ahead of time to measuring out ingredients into one container, there are all kinds of ways to meal prep. There are also several pieces of food prep equipment that will make the job easier for you.
Essential Food Prep Equipment
If you are passionate about home cooked meals and you love the little kitchen accoutrements that make food prep quicker and more efficient, then you will love these suggestions!
Having the right food prep equipment for preparing meals in advance is an ideal way to maximize both preparation efforts and storage efficiency.
Food Prep Meal Storage Containers
A big part of food prep is cutting things up or measuring things out so they can be stored efficiently and be ready for quick use. This advance work makes it possible for you to throw a meal together with very little time. You need several food prep storage containers so you can stack things up in the fridge or freeze meals for easy grab and heat later. I suggest getting a large set with only a couple of size options. That way they stack nice and store easy when they are not in use or when you want to make equal size meals ahead of time. I like glass storage containers that are Microwave, Oven, Freezer and Dishwasher Safe.
Glass Prep Bowls With Lids
Glass prep bowls are great additions to your meal storage containers because they can be used to store sauces, measure out spices, or hold snacks. So many uses! It is nice to be able to slap a lid on and stick them in the freezer or take them out and about on the go. Look for ones that are dishwasher safe and have lids.
You can use a glass prep bowl to make a sauce, put on the lid and put it in the refrigerator to cool, and then serve. By using the same container for preparation and storage and serving, you are saving time and you are taking steps to prevent dirty dish pileups.
I also use pyrex glass mixing bowls with lids so that I can mix things up and store for later easily. Then after serving in that same bowl (a salad for instance), I can refrigerate the leftovers too! Pyrex glass is safe in the oven, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher.
Squeeze Bottles Or Mason Jars
In his blog on kitchen tools and gadgets, a chef known as the Food Woolf examines ways in which we can be more efficient in the kitchen. The chef shares that we need to have sauces and oils nearby and in a container that’s easy to access for multiple uses throughout food preparation. He says that using a squeeze bottle like the ones mustard and ketchup are traditionally kept in are great ways to avoid opening caps or bottles while getting access to frequently used liquid ingredients. Furthermore, it will provide greater ease and help keep clutter off the countertops. My husband loves this tip and loves preparing sauces ahead of time for use and storing them in his squeeze bottles. I prefer just using a mason jar with a lid. Choses whatever works for you!
A Good 8″Chef Knife
An 8″ chef knife is a great all purpose knife that can be used for chopping up veggies and cutting meat. Get a good quality knife with good reviews. Along with a chef knife, I suggest a small paring knife, a peeler, and a lemon zester as basic kitchen tools.
A nice large sheet pan can be used both in food prep and in easy food cooking. There are lots of recipes you can find where with just a bit of veggie and meat preparation, you can just lay it out on the sheet pan and cook it all together on that one dish! Very funky fresh, as my daughter would say.
Food Prep Tips
Think about how you cook, and the steps you take in preparing and storing your food. Then make a list of the plastic containers and other prep tools you need in place to accommodate your culinary needs. You will find that this food prep equipment is so helpful! You will likely wonder how you got along without it during all those previous years of shuffling through a unorganized kitchen. I hope you find that these tips help to make food prep easy!
Do you think you will try to reduce your food preparation time during the week when you are busy by doing your meal prep in advance on the weekend? In this way, you can wash veggies, peel them, chop them, and store them in handy containers. Having good quality prep tools like a good peeler, and a nice chefs knife will help you get your veggies processed and ready quickly. Having the right food prep storage containers will keep you organized. Finally, having handy food prep cooking options like sheet pans and slow cookers will help you get those family dinner nights done!
Sweet Potato Nourish Bowl Recipe (perfect recipe to meal prep)