There's one thing we all want at the end of the day - to get some delicious, hot food on the plate and in our bellies. The problem isn't the finish line; it's all the steps and road blocks on the track getting there. So here are some tips to keep those Traeger dishes flavorful, easier to make and in your mouth faster.
1. Wash & dry your produce when you get home
It will take you about 10 minutes initially but will make cooking so much easier and smoother in the long run. After grocery shopping and before you put everything away, rinse and dry all your produce.
2. Pre-chop your veggies
This tip is kind of a two-for-one. First of all, if you're cutting 1/2 an onion for a recipe, go ahead and cut up the whole onion or several onions at the same time. Put them in a container in the fridge and you just saved yourself 5 minutes and stinky hands tomorrow. Second of all, make chopping a heck of a lot easier by letting your food processor do all the work. Just throw your vegetables in and pulse it until they're diced to the right size. Presto. Chopping is done.
3. Read through the recipe first
Have you ever sat down to prepare your meal an hour before dinner only to realize that you needed to brine or marinate your meat for 3 hours? (Been there. Done that.) Or read that you needed to braise the meat and had no idea what that entailed? (Check.) Reading through your recipe once or twice even the day before can save you some time and serious frustration.
4. Make a big batch recipe weekly
Even if there are only 2 people in your family, buy that 15 lb pork shoulder or 10 lb brisket and smoke the whole thing. You can either share your extras (if you are the really generous kind), refrigerate them for quick lunches or even freeze them for much later.
5. Use your freezer
Tip #4 is the perfection segue to Tip #5. Use your FREEZER. It's waiting to be filled with bags and containers of food, frozen at their perfect yumminess. You can freeze everything from leftovers to sauces, chicken or beef broth, herbs, dough, or even pre-chopped vegetables (see Tip #2).
6. Store your spices right
For years I didn't realize that spices go bad. Sounds strange, but it's true. Pre-ground spices stay fresh and flavorful for about a year. Whole spices last about 2 years. In order to get the longest life and taste out of your spices, store them in a cool, dark place away from the stove. Light, heat and humidity will cause them to lose their flavor.
With these little shortcuts and tips your arsenal is stocked and ready to deliver some seriously good eats that will hopefully be quick and stress-free.
Take these tips and get to Traegering!