I want to cook a big batch of food and store it in the freezer. Mainly these meals consist of vegetables and chicken. When I want to eat the meal I will take it out of the freezer and defrost it. The problem is sometimes I forget to do this. Can I cook these frozen meals in the oven and how do I do this? These are not store bought Frozen TV Dinners but diners I make myself.
Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. Your question isn't clear; you're storing cooked food, and plan to slowly defrost a portion at need, but if you forget you want a way to heat a portion quickly?– Daniel GriscomNov 1, 2016 at 23:10
1Sorry, Ill try and be a bit clearer. I cook a piece of chicken and some vegetables and put it in a lunchbox and freeze it.What I would like is to be able to take this frozen meal out of the freezer, stick it in the oven and eat it without needing to defrost it for a few hours. Most articles I read about preparing food like this tell you to defrost it overnight, I want to avoid that part if possible.– user1016950Nov 1, 2016 at 23:19
1Instead of buying TV dinners, you're making them, a great approach. When you pop them right from freezer to oven, you'll have to add cooking time, anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Just as with a TV dinner, you might want to protect areas with foil, knowing that some elements cook faster than others (veg) and some may dry out from too much exposure (e.g., carbs). Have fun experimenting.– GiorgioNov 2, 2016 at 1:19
1Google homemade frozen dinners or freezzer meals– paparazzoNov 2, 2016 at 5:37
1To add to comment by @ChrisH if you have meat in it, cooking meats in bite size pieces (instead of one big chunk) and having some wet sauce/gravy with it help a lot with quick defrosting.– RonNov 3, 2016 at 17:56
It depends on how fast you want to eat. If it's a matter of quite a bit of time, then a safe route would be to have it in an oven-safe vessel, covered with foil, and leave it on the oven at a relatively low temperature (275 to 300) for a long time (depends on serving size and type of frozen meal, 30 minutes to an hour, usually). That's the method with least effort and intervention.
This will allow the food to get hot, all the way through, but not to scorch or overcook.
If you forgot to defrost and want to eat fairly quickly, the microwave, or defrosting in the microwave, and then moving to the oven is a quicker route to eating.