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    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

     

    What if I try FreezerFit and it’s not for me?

    We offer a 30-day money-back guarantee so there is no risk in signing up. After 30 days, we will no longer issue a refund.

     

    What Do I Need (Other Than Ingredients) To Start Freezer Cooking?

    There are three things you must have in order to start your freezer cooking journey: 1) good quality, gallon-sized plastic freezer bags, 2) your favorite chef’s knife, and 3) a cutting board. For the full experience, you should also buy a pressure cooker (Instant Pot) or a slow cooker (Crockpot). These come at various price points to fit most budgets, but here is the Instant Pot and Crockpot I use. I also strongly recommend buying some bag holders. These make the experience much more enjoyable, make meal prep quicker, and keep your kitchen cleaner.

     

    Should I Thaw My Freezer Meals? Is It Safe To Cook Them Frozen?

    Yes, it is safe to cook your freezer meals completely frozen in the Instant Pot, but I typically do not. I suggest thawing your meals in the fridge overnight, under cold water for a few minutes or putting them in a pot and giving them a quick cold-water bath. Why do I do this? Because I cook my recipes for a serving size of six, it can be difficult to fit the entire meal into my Instant Pot or Crockpot when its completely frozen. By thawing my meals even for just a few minutes, I can break them apart into much smaller pieces and have everything fit. If you’re low on time or you have no issues getting your entire meal into your Instant Pot, then feel free to cook it frozen. Just remember that your meal will take a little more time to cook if it hasn’t been thawed. When it comes to Crockpot, always thaw our freezer meal before cooking it. Cooking frozen food in the Crockpot can lead to growing bacteria in your food or even breaking your Pot.

     

    Is It Safe To Freeze Raw Meat With Fruits And Vegetables?

    Yes, it is 100% safe to freeze raw meat with fruits and vegetables. According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, “freezing to 0 °F inactivates any microbes – bacteria, yeasts and mold present in food. Freezing keeps food safe by slowing the movement of molecules, causing microbes to enter a dormant stage.”

     

    What’s The Easiest Way To Adjust The 6-Person Serving Size?

    The easiest way is by simply adjusting the “Servings” and “Meals” totals within your FreezerFit shopping cart, once you add the meal of your choosing! This will automatically adjust the ingredient totals in your shopping list. If you are trying to adjust the serving size after you have already done your shopping, then adding an extra pound of meat for up to three additional servings is your best bet. If you add an extra pound of meat, you may need to use an additional freezer bag for storage and/or an extra Crockpot or Instant Pot on the day of cooking if you intend to cook it all at once. To decrease the serving size, I recommend dividing your ingredients into two freezer bags instead of just one. Cook one and save the other for another delicious meal at a later date!

     

    Why Is My Meal Too Hot / Too Cold?

    This question will likely never apply to you. More than 97% of the time, our recipe instructions will be spot on and you will not experience this. There may, however, be the rare instance when your meal temperature is not to your liking. This can be due to the fact that some pressure cookers and slow cookers behave differently than others. It can also be due to your meal being more or less thawed prior to cooking. Always check the temperature of your meal prior to serving and add cook time if necessary.

     

    How Are FreezerFit’s Meals Different? I’ve Heard Crockpot Meals Are Mushy, Bland, And Taste The Same.

    Let me be the first to tell you, there was a time when I felt the same way about Crockpot meals that you do. For years, the rumors you’ve heard about them were true. Not anymore! I have put my heart and soul into perfecting these recipes and I personally eat them most days during the week. They are extremely flavorful and I know you are going to love them. One thing I sometimes love to do is invite friends over and give them a blind taste test. The reaction I get when I tell them their meal was frozen and prepared in a Crockpot or Instant Pot is one of complete shock. Do this with your guests and I promise you will enjoy seeing this reaction as much as I do. I doubt you will ever find one of my recipes to be mushy, but if for some reason you do… mix in something crispy on the day of serving such as carrots, tortilla strips, nuts, etc.

     

    What Are The Labels For? Do I Have To Use Them?

    You do not have to use the labels, but let me tell you from experience… they are EXTREMELY helpful. If you prepare a lot of meals in bulk, it can be confusing telling them all apart once they are frozen solid. The labels should display the recipe name, cooking instructions, and most importantly…a USE-BY date (90 days after meal prep) to ensure freshness. Labels for the meals included in this cookbook have been included. I recommend printing them on computer paper or water-resistant stickers and taping/attaching them to your bags PRIOR to meal prep. For your convenience, I have included some blank labels as well.

     

    I Want To Use These Meals To Help Me Get In Shape… Should I Be Adjusting Any Ingredients? Do You Have Any Exercise Tips?

    My recipes are very healthy, but occasionally include an optional more indulgent ingredient for taste. Eat in moderation or remove an ingredient when necessary. Check out FreezerFit’s exercise program, FreezerBurn, here!

     

     

    FREEZER COOKING WITH A CROCKPOT

     

    Is Crockpot Cooking Safe?

    Yes, definitely. Slow cookers reach a simmer temperature of 209 °F which, along with a lengthy cook time, safely kills common bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella, and botulism. Be sure to cook each recipe for the recommended cook time, especially those that include meat to insure the quality of your food.

     

    What Is The Difference Between A Crockpot And A Slow Cooker?

    None. The term “slow cooker” is a generic term for the name brand “Crockpot”, which is a registered brand by the Rival parent company. Any other brand is simply called a slow cooker.

     

    What Is My Favorite Crockpot?

    My absolute favorite is the Crock-Pot – 7qt Digital Slow Cooker – Platinum. I love it because it holds enough to feed four to eight people, and the oval size fits pot roasts, whole chickens, and other large cuts of meat much better than a round slow cooker.

     

    What Is The Difference Between The LOW and HIGH Setting On My Crockpot?

    Both HIGH and LOW stabilize at the same temperature: the difference is how long it takes to reach the simmer point. Once hat point is reached, total cook time depends on the cut and weight of meat to reach its maximum flavor and desired texture.

     

    What Are The Typical Cook Times For Slow Cookers?

    Typical times to reach the simmer point (209 °F) are six to eight hours on LOW and three to four hours on HIGH. (Note that these times are approximate, as slow cookers can vary slightly.)

     

    Can I Convert Cook Times Between HIGH and LOW?

    Yes! Here is a conversion chart to show you the comparative cook times for HIGH and LOW.

    LOW SettingHIGH Setting
    7 Hours3 Hours
    8 Hours4 Hours
    9 Hours5 Hours
    10 Hours6 Hours
    11 Hours7 Hours
    12 Hours8 Hours

    Note, I don’t recommend converting recipes with cook times less than seven to eight hours on LOW, or three to four hours on HIGH.

     

    Do I Need To Stir While Cooking In My Crockpot?

    For most recipes, stirring is not necessary. On the contrary, opening the lid to stir decreases the heat inside the slow cooker so it increases your cook time! Unless your recipe requests stirring, don’t! If it does call for stirring, open the lid, give it a quick stir, and close the lid rapidly to prevent too much heat loss.

     

    Is It Safe To Leave My Slow Cooker Cooking While I Am Not At Home?

    Most modern slow cookers are designed to cook unattended on a countertop. To ensure safety, place your slow cooker on a clean, flat surface with nothing touching the pot. Tuck the cord up and out of the way so it’s not hanging off the counter. (Curious pets may be tempted to investigate the yummy aroma while you’re not at home! It’s best to close off the kitchen, if possible.)

     

     

    FREEZER COOKING WITH AN INSTANT POT

     

    Is The Instant Pot Safe?

    Yes! It has built-in safety features including automatic pressure controls, shut off fuses, overheat protection, lid-locking, and temperature controls. (It is nothing like your grandma’s pressure cooker!)

     

    Instant Pot vs. Slow Cooker?

    A slow cooker heats food at a lower temperature than other cooking methods like broiling, baking, or frying so it takes longer to cook the food. An Instant Pot heats food at a higher temperature in a sealed cooking environment so it cooks faster. (Note that an Instant Pot also offers a slow cook function.)

     

    The Instant Pot is Hissing and Leaking Steam When It’s Coming To Pressure… Is This Normal?

    While the Instant Pot is coming to pressure, it may make some hissing sounds and you may see some steam coming out of the steam release mechanism or the float valve. As long as you’ve put the steam release in the Sealing position and you have enough liquid in the inner pot, the Instant Pot float valve will rise up in due course and the Instant Pot will be pressurized. Until then, the Instant Pot says On. Once the Instant Pot is pressurized the Instant Pot will start counting down the pressure cooking time. Just be patient, the more liquid you have or the colder the ingredients in the Instant Pot (frozen meat), the longer it takes to come to pressure.

     

    How Do I Set The Instant Pot Timer? 

    There’s three types of timers you can set in a Instant Pot, here’s the most common ones:

    1) Cooking Timer

    • Counts down the pressure cooking time.
    • After the Instant Pot has pressurized, the display goes from On to the programmed cook time (e.g. 10 minutes or 00:10).
    • The timer then counts down from the programmed cook time (e.g. 00:10) to 00:00.
    • Once the countdown is complete, the Instant Pot goes into Keep Warm mode if the Keep Warm function is on.

     

    2) Keep Warm Timer

    • Shows the amount of time the contents of the Instant Pot are being kept warm.
    • The keep warm timer only comes on if the Keep Warm function has been turned on.
    • After the cooking timer reaches 00:00, the keep warm timer counts up from 00:00 until you press Cancel.
    • Keep Warm function can be used to keep food warm even if you’re not pressure cooking.

     

     3) Delay Start Timer

    • Allows cooking to begin at a future time. Shows the number of hours and minutes until cooking begins.
    • Begins counting down once the delay start functionality has been enabled.
    • Enabling Delay Start function is different for each model. For most models, you select the cooking program, time and pressure level and then select Delay Start and enter the amount of time you want to delay the start of cooking. Finally, you press Start.

    Note: some older models have a Timer button which is the same as Delay Start.

     

    The Instant Pot Just Says “ON”… What Should I Do?

    Once you program the Instant Pot to begin pressure cooking, the display panel of the Instant Pot will say On. It will remain On until the Instant Pot is pressurized. Once the float valve comes up, it may take a few minutes for the Instant Pot display to change from On to counting down the pressure cooking time. For example, to pressure cook for 10 minutes, select Pressure Cook and set the pressure cooking time to 00:10. (On some models, you may need to press Start.) The Instant Pot will say On, and once the float valve comes up it will eventually begin counting down from 00:10 to 00:00.

     

    How Do I Release Pressure On The Instant Pot?

    There are a few different ways you can release pressure on the Instant Pot:

    1) How To Do A Natural Release / Natural Pressure Release

    • Allow pressure cooking to complete (cooking timer counts down to 00:00).
    • Wait for the float valve to drop and the pressure to come down on its own.
    • Press Cancel and open the lid.
    • Natural release takes 5 to 30 minutes or longer, depending on the quantity of liquid in the Instant Pot.
    • The food continues cooking even after pressure cooking is complete because contents are still under pressure.

    Uses: meats, beans, foods with longer pressure cooking times.

     

    2) How To Do An Instant Pot Quick Release

    • Allow pressure cooking to complete (cooking timer counts down to 00:00).
    • Release pressure manually by putting the steam release mechanism in the Venting position.
    • Steam is released in a steady stream. Keep hands and face away from the steam.
    • Wait for the float valve to drop and the pressure to come down. The cooking process stops immediately.

     

    3) How To Do An Instant Pot 10-Minute Natural Pressure Release

    • 10-minute pressure release is a combination of natural release and quick release.
    • Allow pressure cooking to complete (cooking timer counts down to 00:00).
    • Wait for 10 minutes.
    • Release pressure manually by putting the steam release mechanism in the Venting position.
    • Steam is released in a steady stream. Keep hands and face away from the steam.
    • Wait for the float valve to drop and the pressure to come down. The cooking process stops immediately.
    • Press Cancel and open the lid.
    • You can do any variation of the time, e.g. 5-minute or 15-minute natural release.

    Uses: when a natural release is called for but you’re short on time or you don’t want the food to overcook with a full natural release.

     

    What Is The Minimum Quantity Of Liquid I Need To Have In The Instant Pot? 

    The Instant Pot requires steam, and therefore liquid, to come to pressure.  The official word from the Instant Pot company has been 1 ½ to 2 cups.  I usually add a minimum of ½ cup of liquid.

     

    Do I Need To Double The Pressure Cooking Time If I Want To Double A Recipe?

    Doubling a recipe doesn’t require changing the cooking time. Cooking times are more dependent on the density and thickness of the ingredients rather than the weight. So, if you’re cooking 8 chicken breasts instead of the 4 breasts that a recipe calls for, you won’t need to change the cooking time in the recipe (so long as you’re not overcrowding the pot and the liquid has room to circulate). Keep in mind that even though you are not increasing the cooking time, the Instant Pot will take longer to build pressure due to the increased quantity of ingredients.

     

    Should I Double All The Ingredients If I Want To Double A Recipe? 

    Changing the quantity of a recipe is not always straightforward.  Some recipes call for ½ cup of liquid, but when you double the recipe, you may not need to double the liquid because that ½ cup is the bare minimum quantity of liquid required to pressure cook that dish. Doubling the liquid could make the dish less tasty because it’s too watery  So, depending on the recipe, you may not need to add more liquid as long as there’s enough space in the Instant Pot for the liquid to circulate.

    On the other hand, if you’re reducing the quantity, you need to make sure you have the minimum quantity of liquid for the Instant Pot to reach pressure. For example, if the recipe calls for ½ cup of broth, but you’re halving the recipe, don’t make the quantity of broth ¼ cup, because the Instant Pot may not come to pressure.

     

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