Fine dining is all good, when and if you can afford it. A nice cooked meal is something you’ll probably not going to say no. Ever. But, due to various circumstances, most of us need to turn to frozen entrees. There’s nothing wrong with it. It is a high-quality food. Its only flaw is that it’s frozen. But, there are ways to go prepare it to be tasty as if it was served in a restaurant. Of course, to do this you’ll need to learn how to properly cook frozen entrees.
Have you ever tried to cook this type of food? Considering that you’re reading this article you probably haven’t. That’s fine. As we are about to share with you these nine tips to know about cooking frozen entrees. It is not rocket science so you shouldn’t be afraid. But, if you want to have a nice meal you need to be careful. Food is not meant to be wasted even if it’s frozen. So, the next time when you have frozen meal entrees on your menu, here’s what to do. Let’s start with the basics.
Start by Washing Your Hands
Frozen food is still food. It needs to be treated accordingly. You wouldn’t mess around with fresh beef with dirty hands, right? Yes, it is believed that the ice killed all the germs that could be present, but what about your hands? You’re already forgetting. So, we are going to start simple. We said it. Basics first. So before you even think about your next meal, think about washing your hands first. That’s how things are done.
Read The Labels
First, you need to know what you’re eating. So read the labels and inspect your meal. Also, pay attention to small details but risk nothing. There are some pre-prepared meals. But don’t be misled. They still need to be cooked. No frozen meal can be eaten by only defrosting it. No, you need to have it under thermal conditions. Just think of it as if it was raw food. It’s raw? It needs cooking. It was frozen but pre-prepared? It still needs cooking.
Follow The Instructions
Not all frozen entrees should be handled the same way. That is why manufacturers leave instructions. Don’t be lazy. Wash your hands, read labels, and align with instructions. By following instructions, you are ensuring one major thing – the quality of your meal. You need to prepare it by instructions to get the best result possible. Do not slack in this department. After all, as we said, this meal can be as good as the one you’ll eat in a restaurant. But, only if you prepare it the right way.
Defrost it Within The Package
So, first defrosting, later unpacking. That’s how you should do it. There’s no other way you can go around it. If you try to unpack it before defrosting you could contaminate it, or even worse ruin it completely. So, it was frozen for a reason. Leave it to defrost, and remove the package afterward. Some foods will dry out if you first remove the package and then leave it to defrost and you do not want to eat a dry meal under any circumstances.
Use a Thermometer
What people usually do when they prepare frozen dishes is that they overcook them or burn them. They do this because they believe it is necessary to do it. After all, the food was previously frozen. This is not the case. After you defrost it, you should prepare it the same way you would with fresh ingredients. The best way to avoid overcooking or burning your food is to have a thermometer nearby and act like you’re doing regular pork or lamb.
Cook Fruits and Vegetables
Here we have another common misconception. Most people that buy frozen fruits or vegetables believe that they do not need to cook them. That only defrosting will do the trick. This is not the truth. When frozen it needs to be cooked. You can’t do this. You’re risking contacting various kinds of germs. Frozen dishes need to be cooked at the right temperatures. Just read the manufacturer’s instructions as we suggested. By no means only defrosting will suffice. It doesn’t matter that we’re talking about fruits and vegetables that you would usually eat raw.
Remove All Packaging After Defrosting
People tend to make simple mistakes when it comes to frozen entrees. Yes, they should be left intact when defrosting. But that’s the end of the journey for the package. No food should be prepared together with the package in which it was delivered. So, you need to remove all parts of the package after it is defrosted. No paper or plastic should remain.
Inspection in this department should be thorough. Sometimes paper can stick to meat or vegetables. You do not want it to ruin the taste. So, be careful when dealing with frozen goods in all stages of preparation, but ensure that you don’t miss anything in this one.
Regularly Check You Meal While Preparing It
Frozen foods usually act the same as their standard counterparts. But, because they’ve been frozen or you missed something while defrosting, they could contain additional water, or simply have slightly different properties. This is why you must look after it a little bit more than you would about a regular meal.
Use The Right Dishes
As we already stated a few times, we are talking about regular foods and standard meals. Yes, they have been frozen, but in essence, they should be prepared the same way. This is how things are done. So, you must use your standard dishes, pans, and other accessories.
If you want to prepare your frozen entree the right way that’s how you’ll do it. We’re not talking about meals that can be prepared and eaten without doing the dishes afterward. Also, if you want to have a proper meal, you need to follow all the instructions, guidelines, and common sense, and use your finest silverware.