7 Meal Prep Tools You Need to Make Batch-Cooking Easier
Meal prepping sounds like a great idea in theory and it is effective if you do it right. But, it can turn into a total nightmare if you’re not careful.
Cooking all of your meals for the week takes a lot of work, and often, you may find yourself using and cleaning various kitchen tools over and over.
This process is meant to save you time during the week and make healthy eating easier.
However, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your entire Sunday night (and a bit of your sanity) just to meal prep! The more you enjoy cooking all your meals, the more effective the entire process will be.
Here are 7 meal prep tools you need to make all the steps a total breeze.
1. A Weekly Planner
For some people, the worst part of meal prepping is actually the grocery shopping.
You can easily waste an hour going up and down different aisles in the grocery store, especially if you don’t have a clear idea of all the items you need for the week. Not to mention, it’s not very fun to shop with the weekend crowd.
But, you can get in and out of your local grocery store in a short amount of time if you go in with healthy meal plans for the week written down.
Whether you do all your shopping on Sunday night or mid-week, using a planner to write down your meals will transform the way you meal prep.
This makes your shopping process simple and straightforward. It also eliminates any guesswork in the kitchen.
With a weekly meal planner, you never have to wonder what your meals for the day are or question which ingredients to pair together when cooking.
2. A Slow Cooker
Once you get into the cooking process itself, you’re going to be juggling a lot of things. Between chopping up ingredients and prepping other items to cook, you have your mind on a lot of different steps.
If you use a slow cooker, you have one less thing to worry about. Slow cookers are super reliable, consistent cooking tools.
They allow you to perfectly time full meals and/or side dishes without having to check if they’re done or not.
This is a great alternative to cooking everything on a stove top or in the oven. Plus, you can prep slow cooker meals in plastic bags, then pop them in the slow cooker to cook while you’re at work every day.
This allows you to enjoy diversity with your meal prep and to provide fresh-cooked meals for family dinners every day.
3. A Multi Cooker
The only downside to using a traditional slow cooker is that it can only cook one thing at a time. It is possible to mix different foods if they all go together – like in a big pot of chili or if you’re making fajitas.
If you want to cook things like vegetables and rice separately, though, you’re better off with a multi cooker.
This is just like a slow cooker except that it comes with different compartments meant for different foods.
Most multi cookers allow you to cook 2-3 different sets of food at various temperatures and times. This can cut your meal prep time in half!
4. An Air Fryer
Another way to cook all your food in a faster manner is to use an air fryer.
Air fryers are basically super fast and reliable conventional ovens. They’re a life-changing alternative to traditional frying, and they’re great if you’re a fan of crispy fries or if you’re making a special cheat meal.
Either way, you’ll be glad you have this meal prep tool in your home. Air fryers come with various functions to get all of your different dishes just right.
They’re easy to use and clean, and they can cut down your cooking time significantly.
5. A Personal Blender
Sometimes, it makes more sense to prep individual meals for the week than to cook a big batch. Such is the case with breakfast foods like smoothies and omelets, and it can apply to quick foods like salads, too.
The best way to “prep” these foods is to buy a personal blender. A small, mini blender is much easier to use and clean than a standard model.
It’s more appealing to use if you’re trying to whip up a quick salad dressing for dinner or make a smoothie before you head out in the morning.
Even better, you can prep different meals in different blender cups.
Many personal blender sets come with various cups to use on the machine. This means you can prepare one cup with your smoothie, another with your omelet mix (without the egg), and one more for your salad dressing.
Then, all you have to do is reach in the fridge and turn on your blender whenever you need one of these items!
6. A Kitchen Conversions Chart
If you like mixing up your meals every week, you probably follow different recipes from other avid meal preppers. But, it can be hard to determine how much of each ingredient you need depending on the size of your home.
You can’t follow a mother’s meal prep instructions for a whole family if you’re cooking for one person.
It’s also hard to determine how much food you should buy for you and your spouse if you’re following instructions for one person.
As such, you need a kitchen conversion chart. This is going to be your go-to point of reference when you’re not following recipes exactly as they’re written.
A conversion chart will ensure you get everything right whether you’re cooking for more or less people than a recipe has been made for.
7. Containers with Various Compartments
Regardless of if you’re meal prepping for yourself or the whole family, you need to invest in containers with various compartments.
This will make on-the-go lunches and packing snacks for the day so much easier.
It gives you fewer things to keep track of when organizing and cleaning everything in your kitchen. It also cuts down on the amount of space that your containers take up in bags/purses whenever you take them on-the-go.
Choosing the Right Meal Prep Tools for You
It’s one thing to understand all the meal prep tools you need to have in your kitchen and another to know which options are the absolute best.
After all, you’ll get more value out of a top-notch slow cooker than a subpar one. The same goes for personal blenders, air fryers, and even containers.
You should only invest in the best of the best no matter what it is that you’re bringing into your kitchen.