Preparing a big batch of something — regardless of what it is — is a great way of putting your cooking skills to the test. It’s also an excellent option for prepping meals for the entire family or putting together dishes for later consumption. Either way, there are many advantages of big batch cooking, but there is also a myriad of ways it can go wrong.
The last thing you want to do is waste tons of ingredients because you made a grave culinary mistake. To save you from all that trouble, here are some tips to consider when batch cooking.
Use the Right Recipe
Before anything else, you should plan your recipes carefully. Batch cooking is entirely different from regular cooking, so it’s best to stick with meals that you are familiar with. If you’re cooking for your friends and family, you may want to opt for recipes that are popular with them to ensure that the batch won’t be a waste.
It’s also worth noting that batch cooking can put a strain on your wallet. And while there’s nothing wrong with splurging on meals, you should try and look for recipes that call for inexpensive cuts of meat. Not only will these allow you to prepare more dishes, but they also freeze the best, making them easier to store in the fridge if you’re prepping meals ahead of time. Here are some recipes that freeze well.
Be Mindful of the Level of Spice and Other Flavors
One of the trickiest things about doubling — or even tripling — recipes is incorporating the right amount of spices and seasoning. Be sure to add them in moderation, and make it a point to taste as you go. If you insist on being methodical about it, MyRecipes notes that the rule of thumb is to start by multiplying by 1.5 and then tasting and adjusting from there.
Whatever you do, don’t overseason, as it will be incredibly hard to correct it later on. And if you want to add more spices, it’s a good idea to “bloom: them first, which involves heating spices in a separate frypan and cooking until they’re fragrant before adding them to the meal. This technique helps out the flavor of the spices and eliminates the raw texture. If you want an example of cooking with other spices, check this out.
Choose the Correct Equipment
When you’re cooking big batches, keep in mind that not only the ingredients matter — the equipment does, too. And while it’s possible to use regular cooking tools, you’re better off utilizing large capacity equipment. After all, you wouldn’t want to keep repeating the same step because you have been using the wrong cooking apparatus the whole time. This is especially true for staples like rice, which you should throw into a large capacity rice cooker. Today’s rice cookers can handle these big batches without a problem and can be left running in the background while you work on other parts of the meal. For more information on different rice cookers, check out this review site.
Apart from your large pots, pans, and cookers, don’t hesitate to use other gadgets to make meal prepping faster and easier. You may want to consider breaking out your stick blender for pureeing soups or sauces, or even your stand mixer for shredding chicken. Outlined here is more equipment you can use for batch cooking.
Written by Irene Leonard for burn-blog.com