We all want to come home to the delicious scent of meat on the grill every night, but most of us don’t want to take the time slaving in the kitchen to prepare it. Sure, vegetarian meals might be cheaper and quicker, but I know I’m not ready to give up meat-based dinners. If you’re like me, you’re looking for a happy medium, a way to treat yourself to a delicious dinner without giving up your free time to cooking. Here’s three great tips for cooking meat quickly and easily, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the result of your minimal labors.
- Cook for the week – with hot-off-the-stove meat
We’ve all heard this one before, but the fact remains that after day two your leftovers just don’t seem that appealing. You can fake your way to that “just cooked” quality by making only your side dishes in advance, and cooking the meat every day. Sides like rice, pasta, and veggies reheat well, and luckily light meats like chicken, ground beef, and seafood can be cooked on the stovetop and ready to go in 10 minutes or less. Your rice dish won’t taste like leftovers when it’s topped with perfectly pan-seared shrimp still steaming.
- Buy meat in bulk
At the grocery store, go ahead get the best deal by buying large bulk packages of your favorite meats. At home, immediately divide the meat into single serving portions and put each in its own ziplock bag. You can even add seasonings or marinades right in the bag. Then, pop the bags in the freezer so that they’ll last until you need them. Now you have instant entrees ready to go that just need to be grilled or baked!
- Use pre-cooked meats
If even the 10 minutes to cook meat is discouraging, don’t worry! Better yet, you can always rely on pre-cooked meats at the grocery store. The deli counter can cut extra-thick slices that are suitable to cut into chunks and add to any meal. You can buy ready-to-eat rotisserie or baked chicken that can supply several night’s worth of meals, and likewise you can find pre-cooked shrimp and other seafood at the fish counter. Some companies are even starting to sell pre-made, seasoned, and packaged chicken strips that will last a week in the fridge. Look for them by the pre-packed lunch meats.
Now get cooking! Check out more tips for speedy meals here.