Meal prep is sort of like paying your future self forward: By doing all the busy work at once, you leave yourself free to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor, without worrying about a stack of dirty dishes in your sink. And when we say meal prep, we don’t mean eating the same exact meal every single day for a week—rather, our version of meal prep maximizes freshness, flavor, and variety, giving you plenty of room to improvise.
Along with a mix of fresh ingredients and pantry items, a set of good-quality cookware is essential for cooking large batches of food. Using pots and pans that distribute heat evenly and keep your food from burning or sticking can keep meal prep from feeling too much like a chore, and ensure that all of your meals will taste delicious. We’re not sure about you, but nothing makes us less inclined to want to meal prep than the idea of eating a week’s worth of overcooked beans or burnt chicken breasts.
At its core, meal prep involves cooking large batches of food ahead of time, so that you’re not preparing every individual meal from scratch. You don’t have to cook an entire week’s worth of meals at once, however. Instead, you could prep a few jars of overnight oats for breakfast, or make a large pot of soup to reheat throughout the week.
Other than saving you time during the work or school week, one of the major benefits of meal prepping is that it saves you money. With all or most of your meals planned out, you’ll know exactly what—and how much—to buy, which cuts down on wasted ingredients. Plus, not having to decide what you want to eat for every meal = less decision fatigue.
The right cookware is essential for keeping you motivated in your cookware journey. Love the thought of scraping burnt chicken fat or congealed oats out of a pot or pan? Yeah, us neither. Luckily, cookware that distributes heat evenly and responds quickly to temperature change can prevent meal prep misfortune. Plus, using well-designed cookware can even make meal prep fun—or at least less cumbersome.
Some people use cooking to relax at the end of a long day. For everyone else, however, the requisite chopping, stir-frying, and cleanup probably sound like the last thing they’d ever want to do after work.
This is one situation where meal prep comes in clutch—with all, or most, of the work already done, you can enjoy your free time a little bit more. And with solid cookware options, you won’t have to wait half an hour for a pot of water to boil or a griddle to heat up, making the actual meal prep experience even quicker and easier.
One of our favorite tools for meal prepping—or for cooking in general—is our Non Stick Frying Pan. Use this incredibly versatile pan to sear chicken breasts for sandwiches and salads, stir-fry veggies and tofu, and quickly reheat your prepped meals and ingredients. When we want a slightly heavier sear, we reach for our Carbon Steel Griddle: This wide, flat pan gets really, really hot, helping you get a deep, grill-like char on your proteins and vegetables.
For prepping large batches of grains, beans, soups, and stews—aka, the cornerstones of our meal prep routine—a large stock pot and/or Dutch oven is where it’s at. We love the ample size and excellent heat distribution of our Stainless Clad Stock Pot, while our enameled cast iron Dutch Oven offers the added ability to sear proteins before adding them to slow-simmered stews—also known as braising.
For some people, meal prep calls to mind a stack of identical tupperware containers filled with portioned-out proteins, vegetables, and starch, ready to be reheated. This might work for some people, but to us, variety and flexibility are key components of meal prep.
To keep our meal routine fresh, we like to cook up a pot of rice or farro, sear or roast a couple of different proteins and vegetables using our Non Stick Frying Pan or Sheet Pan, and combine them in different ways throughout the week—preferably with a homemade sauce or vinaigrette. Not only will this keep your meals from feeling monotonous, but keeping ingredients separate until you’re ready to heat and eat helps preserve their flavors and textures.
One of the best ways to maximize your meal prep time is to use high-quality cookware. A pot or pan that heats quickly and evenly will help cut down on total cook time, along with giving you more control over the final results. We design every piece of cookware—from our Non Stick Frying Pan to our Stainless Clad Stock Pot—with efficiency in mind, so you can churn out consistent meals week after week.
Another great time saver? Mise en place. This simple technique consists of getting all of your ingredients prepped before you begin cooking, making for a more streamlined and efficient cooking process. We especially like to do mise en place when meal-prepping multiple dishes at once, which can get a little chaotic if we’re not careful. Along with keeping your work space neat and organized (i.e. no piles of chopped parsley getting mixed up with your grated ginger), our Mise en Place bowls also look and feel elegant, making meal prep a pleasure rather than a chore.
If you already spend a lot of time in the kitchen, you know that a good meal is the product of patience, time, and a little bit of skill. And while the same goes for meal prep, cooking all your meals at once shouldn’t feel any harder than cooking on a daily basis—at least not with the right tools. If you haven’t already updated your cookware collection, now is the perfect time. Each of our durable, professional-quality pots and pans is designed to make meal prep as easy and delicious as possible.