Fall Freezer Prep Checklist
Inventorying your freezer? Here's a few helpful tips to see what you and your family need to stock up for the fall and winter ahead.
Tips to start:
Eat what's oldest first. While frozen items are indefinitely safe to consume, we recommend about a year for how long meat should keep at it's best, most optimal quality in the freezer. For cured cuts like bacon and ham, we recommend 6 months for the best quality, though they are certainly still safe and tasty beyond that.
Have a variety. Change it up! Have some chicken, some beef, maybe even some lamb on hand to keep dinners interesting throughout the week.
Consider dietary needs. Are you limited by red meat? Consider which proteins are best for your family. Chicken, fish, pork, beef, lamb.
Think in categories. There will be times when you need a quick dinner and when you want a cozy, comfy traditional dinner. Check out our breakdown of categories below to help you plan for what needs you and your family might have ahead.
Taking a Closer Look:
1. Dinner Dilemma Saves
What items do you have on stock for quick dinner needs? Ground beef, pork, and lamb are perfect for a quick dinner fix! Tacos, spaghetti, casserole; ground meat really does save dinner in a pinch.
Ham steaks are also great to have on hand. Because they're cured, they're easy to pull out of the freezer, heat up, and enjoy with little to no preparation needed. Dice and fry them up with broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots and top with cheese for an easy, cheesy, delicious skillet dinner.
Have an InstantPot or pressure cooker? You can have tender, fall apart beef stew in less than an hour with some simple, timeless ingredients.
2. Lunch and Snack Essentials
Headed out for a picnic lunch, a hunting trip, or need some healthy snacks for your lunch boxes? Summer sausage, salami, beef sticks, and assortment of charcuterie make for a perfect snack on the go. Ham sandwich slices are perfect for lunches. Frying them for breakfast is pretty tasty, too!
3. Slow Cooker Bests
Make dinner easy on yourself - set up the slow cooker! Sloppy joe, pork shoulder roast, pot roast, ribs, cheesy casserole, lasagna; whatever you and your family enjoy most, check your freezer to see if you have what you need. Bundles of ground beef and pork are perfect to make a big batch of BBQ that can be frozen and last a few meals.
4. Fall Comfort Favorites
Rump roast, chili, stew, brats, hot dish and casseroles. Which is your family's favorite? Do you have what you need to cook up a warming, delicious, wholesome family meal on the perfect fall day? How about bacon ends for the perfect creamy potato soup?
Breakfast sausage and bacon makes for an amazing Sunday brunch, as well.
Turkey bone broth is not only a super food, but a dinner and lunch save. Make a simple soup easy with this already made broth. If you'd prefer, cook up your own broth with soup bones, neck bones, meaty chicken backs, or chicken feet.
Lard makes the perfect pie crust for chicken pot pie, apple pie, pumpkin pie, shepherd's pie - any pie! Make a Herdsman's Pie (recipe here), using ground beef, ground lamb, or chicken....whichever is your family's favorite.
5. Seasonal Holidays and Celebrations
Do you host holidays or bring a certain dish to any? How about sausage and brats for football parties and tailgating with friends? Or maybe there's a special birthday or anniversary is around the corner for you to celebrate...take a peek at the calendar and make sure you have what you need for these special days, too.
What tips do you have? Any "must haves" you keep in your freezer at all times, or particularly heading into winter? Share below. We'd love to hear from you! Thanks! :)
PS: If any of the above sounded tasty, you can find all of the cuts in the store here.