Cooking for one can be challenging so I wanted to know if I can prepare proteins ahead of time, freeze them in vacuum seals bags and then cook then using the sous vide method. It would be nice to prepare all of the chicken pieces different ways and then cook them as desired. No matter how good something is, after four days, it is boring.
LL, i live alone too and well understand its meal-time challenges. The SV technique was originally developed in Europe for large quantity make-ahead meal components for hotels and restaurants, but not quite as you describe.
I find it’s better to prepare the individual portions according to a variety of appealing recipes and then seal, label each one with product name, cooking temperature, and date. At that time i prefer to SV cook them at the appropriate time and temperature, at least to the point of Pasteurization, mostly because it’s safe, i’ve always done it that way, and i find it’s more effective. Then i thoroughly chill using a 50% ice bath for at least an hour to get the food’s core temperature out of the Food Temperature Danger Zone, that’s below 40ᴼF (4.4ᴼC).
That method reduces the number of relatively lengthy cooks you have to do and leaves you with just a short reheat period at or below your original SV cooking temperature for each delicious meal. That’s why i put the temperature on the label. It also informs me the product is cooked in case it becomes a very old friend.
Once its chilled you have the time-and-space-dependant option of storing the food in your refrigerator or freezer. Short-term, i prefer to refrigerate a few items and freeze the rest. I limit refrigerated storage time to about 10 days. If not consumed then it can be frozen. I place newest items to the rear of the refrigerator to facilitate FIFO.
Cooking once a week provides me with an appetizing array of meal choices. For added convenience and variety don’t forget to SV cook some side dishes too. SV Buttered Corn on the Cob is particularly tender-crisp and delicious with none of it’s flavour diluted by cooking water.
I use blue tape and a marker for my items. I put date it was prepared and what it is on the tape. My refrigerator is not so orderly and anyone who is browsing for food knows what it is.
John, what brand of blue tape stays fixed to the food packages during reheating?
None that I have found. I peel it off before reheating.
John can you tell why are you reheating them?
I often reheat chicken that has been stored for a short time in the refrigerator.
The only draw back I can think of is changing the texture if you reheat it this way. But even then it would only impact something that had a nice crust steak or crispy chicken wings.
For chicken I use a real old air fryer and it does a great job. At closing Costco will sometimes have rotisserie chickens at almost giveaway prices. We pick up a few and eat chicken until we are tired of it. I spatchcock the cold cooked chicken and reheat it. Turns out crispy and moist.