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The best tools to meal prep successfully – Chicago Sun |

The best tools to meal prep successfully – Chicago Sun

The school year has just started and you’re probably already stressed. Between work and bringing the kids to and from school and their various activities, is there even time to cook dinner? Or maybe you’re just trying to eat healthier, but time and hunger lead you to order pizza…again. But with planning and preparation, your meal struggles can be solved with a little meal prep.

Typically, meal prepping involves taking one day to make multiple meals to eat throughout the week ahead so you can have more free time after work and school. You can prep every meal or just prep one or two meals of the day so you have one or two less things to worry about—the options are endless.

If you’re new to meal prepping, it can feel a little intimidating and it honestly will probably take some experimenting to figure out what will work for you. For instance, some foods do reheat better than others, so you might want to avoid prepping quesadillas that’ll just get soggy before you eat them.

It’s also important to keep in mind that a meal-prepping session will take more time than cooking a single meal. To streamline the process, the right gadgets, appliances, and accessories will make cooking all that food so much easier. Here are nine things you can use to start meal prepping like a boss.

1. A planner

The easiest way to fail at meal prepping is to not have a plan. It’s essential to decide your meals ahead of time and make a grocery list before you head to the grocery store.

2. Sharp knife

When preparing multiple meals at once, it’s a good idea to get all of your chopping out of the way first, so everything is ready to go when you start cooking. To avoid tiring your arm out while cutting up various vegetables, fruits, herbs, and meats, you’re going to want a sharp kitchen knife.

3. A quality cutting board

You also don’t want to use a gross, old cutting board when chopping through your ingredients—it’s probably filled with bacteria. We love a bamboo cutting board because it’s stable and easy to maneuver.

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4. Measuring cups

Find measuring cups, and spoons, in all sizes so you can get the appropriate portions for various meals while prepping for the week.

5. A food chopper

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6. Baking and roasting sheets

Prepping lots of ingredients at once, whether you’re cooking veggies or meat, can be a lot easier when you have enough baking sheets to cook them all on. For that, you’ll want to have at least two or three baking sheets on hand that can handle your ingredients.

7. A pressure cooker

Efficiency is essential for making meal prepping as quick and easy as possible. Electric multi-cookers, often referred to as pressure cookers, are great because they have all the functions of a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, and more. With a good pressure cooker, you can cook anything from rice to soup to chicken, leaving your stovetop and oven free for other tasks.

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8. A kitchen scale

If you’re tracking what you eat or you’re really into making sure every portion is the same size, or your meal prep calls for precise baking, you’re going to want to invest in a kitchen scale.

9. Storage containers

After whipping up a big batch of meals for the whole week, you going to need some good, microwave-safe containers to store them in. It’s important to avoid containers that have BPA or other toxins that can leach into the food you’re reheating.

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