Think meal planning is only the territory of green-centric Pinterest addicts, calorie-counters, and bland family-style meals? Wrong. Carnivores, foodies, and the grill-addicted can work the week’s menu just as well as anyone else by planning, cooking, and maximizing where it counts. We’ve got five big tips to help you make amazing meals without pillaging the all-important protein from your plan; it’s meal planning for meat lovers.
Make meat your hobby, and make it work for your life! Putting your smoker to work on Sundays is not only way a great way to hone a skill and an excuse to drink a couple of beers in the yard, it can be part of a full week’s meaty goodness. Barbeque is comprised almost exclusively of big, sharable cuts of meat — pork shoulder, beef brisket, ribs, etc. As you get into the hobby, you won’t ever want to make “just enough” anyway — store your perfectly smoked creations in the fridge and dole them out for the family throughout the week. We’re seeing barbeque nachos, pulled pork pizzas, brisket sandwiches, and more in your future.
Reheating the Meat
Making extra steaks/chicken/roast/everything when you cook is obvious. Knowing how to reheat your meat without drying it out is divine. Follow our easy guide for everything you need to know.
The Slow Cooker is Your Friend
That slow cooker you got for your wedding isn’t just for chili! It’s a great way to bring big flavor to big pieces of meat that you can use throughout your food week. Here are some of our favorite ways to turn slow cooker classics into one, two, or even three meals.
- Corned Beef Brisket -> Corned Beef Hash -> Deli-Style Sandwiches
- Pork Roast -> Carnitas-Style Pulled Pork Tacos
- Shredded Chicken -> BBQ Chicken Sandwiches -> Chicken Soup
Grill Your Lunch
Grill, baby, grill! We’re pretty sure you love to get in front of the flames as often as you can, so make the most of it and keep lunch in mind, too. Grilling ribeyes? Make an extra and then thinly slice it for easy steak sandwiches in your lunch. Chicken? Do the same, but leave the pieces whole and pair them with a simple salad. And extra grilled vegetables make office lunch a heck of a lot less boring.
Meat is amazing, of course, but a lot of preparations leave things behind. Bone-in steaks, whole chickens, rib roasts, lobsters… there’s evidence of these meals left over even after all the delicious meat is eaten. So be smart — use them to make stocks for that week’s soup. Almost anything can go in a stock — chunked ends of vegetables you didn’t use, dried herbs you’re not going to eat, etc. We don’t recommend mixing meats, but start with what you have and build from there. Some general guidelines:
- Bring the meat/bones part of your stock to a boil first and skim off the bits that rise to the surface.
- Once that’s done, add vegetables/herbs/extras and bring back to a simmer. Skim it for protein bits/oils etc. regularly and add water as necessary to keep everything covered.
- Last, strain your chunky ingredients out and bring it back to a boil to reduce slightly.
- Use your beef stock or chicken stock or seafood stock to create a soup that will last all week and taste FAR better than one made with stock from the store.
Meat feast, anyone? (Don’t forget, you can buy all the best beef in bulk, too.)
More steaks, more savings. Get the lowest per-item price when you buy enough for the whole season!