I've been trying to cook in bulk and freeze ready-to-go lunch portions for meals for the week.
Normally I use these glad-ware cheap food containers and have been microwaving lunch in it. I know that microwaving in plastic is bad and I've never really liked doing it, but it is really convenient.
Anyway, I didn't have enough of the plastic containers ready so here's what I did: I slow-cooked 8 pounds of chicken thighs for 7 hours overnight. I separated the meat from the bones. I spread it out on three plates so it would cool faster. I put one in the fridge, and the meat got down to about 100 degrees. I then put 4oz in a generic ziplock bag (which had 2 zip seams, rolled the chicken to get rid of the air, and close the bag. I put in freezer.
It was pretty fast and took up much less freezer space than my half-filled plastic containers.
And, because I was able to squeeze the air out, I think it will be less subject to freezer burn (though too soon to tell).
I certainly won't nuke my chicken in the plastic bag so my vision is I'll take a portion to work, hopefully by lunch I'll be able to get the frozen chicken out of the plastic bag and into a ceramic bowl. If it turns out the plastic is rolled into the chicken, I guess I'll have to leave it out some time before so I can get the chicken out.
I intend to freeze 6oz broth servings in the glad-ware plastic. Hopefully, I can pop it out of the plastic while still frozen and put in the same ceramic bowl.
I'm going to be cooking white rice and I think I'll freeze it in plastic bags like I did the chicken, and likewise put the frozen rice in the bowl and nuke the 3 components together.
I kinda wish I could manage assembling the meals before freezing but I cook the broth 10 hours more after separating the chicken.
However, using the small glad-ware isn't really big enough for lunch for me and the larger size is too large and there's too much air inside and I think it's worse from a freezer burn perspective.
Anyway, sorry for this rambling account but I was hoping for any tips for any of the steps I've identified.
I don't think I want the hassle of a vacuum sealer. I was able to put the chicken in the plastic bags pretty quickly and I'm not freezing for more than a week or 2.
Thanks for any tips!