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Cooking for two is a bummer.

Colin1230

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It just being the wife and I, we can't eat all I want to cook. We vac/seal a lot of left overs but they eventually have to be consumed. I give smoked meat to the neighbors and our kids every chance I get and they just love it. Thank goodness for this forum providing a lot of different ways to prepare meals using leftovers. But still, the freezer gets full and I have to lay low for a while. Does anyone else have this problem? Discuss.
 

MJB05615

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We're in the same boat. I got a Vac Sealer last year, and that helped us to freeze a lot of leftovers for later use.
We started sourcing smaller Briskets and Butts to prepare, and there's still leftovers. My Wife is Italian, and it's impossible for her to prepare some dishes any smaller than she's used to doing for many years. She says if she makes smaller dishes, they won't taste right, lol. It is a bummer cooking for 2. We invite our Son and DIL every week, but DIL doesn't like a lot of foods, and they're busy most weeks. Once the Covid is over for real, we hope to be able to have Family and friends over again. We had exactly 1 big Dinner in the last year, that was the Pre Wedding Dinner for Son and DIL last August. We cooked for 22? I think and it was a pleasure. Still had leftovers, lol.
 

Wurstmeister

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Same here for us. Continue to purchase in primal/resturant cut meats and canned items thinking about multiple uses of the products. Then break it down into manageable quantities to cover 2-3 meals and vac u seal them. Meat packs generally last about 3-4 months since I reduced the quantity of the meats I use at one time. When you have premediated leftovers, it's a lot of fun coming up with multiple uses of the meat(s) selected for the week. 🍻
 

kruizer

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It is just my wife and me and she doesn't eat much of what I cook primarily because her appetite is very small. Every time I smoke a rack of ribs, I have to vac pac most of them because I only have two bones at a time. Pulled pork gets mostly shared with my neighbors and kids as we can't consume that much food over a short period of time. I am doing two whole chickens this weekend and most of it will be vac pac'd and frozen for future use. My smoking habit is too much and I may have to put much of it aside for the future.
 
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GaryHibbert

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Yeah, we have the same problem--just Miss Linda and me. We buy and butcher a pig and half a beef every year, and the rest of our meat comes from Costco. All our meat is packaged for one meal and a leftover meal for 2. If we have company, we just take out the extra meals, and send most of the leftovers home with our guests. With larger cuts like roasts, butts, and loins, the leftovers are divided into 2 meal portions for 2 and vac sealed and frozen. We're lucky, in that both of us love leftovers, and just consider them an quick, easy meal, so we don't really consider leftovers a problem. The whole secret is to just smoke or cook smaller amounts of meat each time.
Gary
 

GaryHibbert

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Same issue as the rest. Just the 2 of us. Lot of the vac'd stuff gets taken to either the brothers or MIL.
Limited on doing anything spicy also as the wife's pallet is against it. :emoji_disappointed:
Same problem here, too. If I want spicy or seafood, then it's just me eating. But.....with leftovers in the freezer, Miss Linda can pick whatever she wants for that meal.
Gary
 

pineywoods

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Same here but the neighbors like everything we've given them. I don't smoke near as often as I used to. We do vacuum seal and freeze some stuff for quick easy meals
 

chopsaw

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Me and 2 adult kids here. When I do large cuts , it's salt and pepper only at cook time . That way I can season leftovers for the meal. Like Mexican or into soup or whatever . Some always gets vacd for my mom .
 

thirdeye

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Have you ever explored home canning of meat? I only can chicken, pork, corned beef, fish and smoked fish, broth and pizza sauce. It's an option because not only do you have delicious meat to use for many things, the portions are controlled because you can choose pints, 1.5 pint, and quart jars. I can make an endless number of meals with canned meats. Chicken is probably the most versatile.
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But back to your question.... It's hard to cook small portions of some things, for example if my only option was to cook a 3# Boston butt, or some pork steaks.... I'd opt for the pork steaks. So when I cook a 10# butt I plan ahead on re-purposing the meat. Some will be frozen, and some might be used for making burritos, enchiladas, breakfast burritos, pizza topping, soup etc for the freezer.. One thing I do differently for my frozen pulled pork is I don't pull the meat I plan to vacuum seal. I still cook it to pullable, but I remove the amount we will have, and chill the remainder in a chunk. Later I slice it, par-freeze the slices, then vacuum seal them. This way when I do reheat (usually in a sous vide bath) it looks and behaves like 'freshly smoked' pork. It literally comes apart as it comes from the bag but it does not resemble a "left-over" kind of thing. Here is an example.
This might be 1/3 of a 10# butt that we will eat for dinner, and maybe have a wrap the next day.
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These are some slices from the remainder of the same butt that I did not pull, but I chilled down before slicing, then I par-freeze them and vacuum seal.
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noboundaries

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Hmmm. It's just me and my wife, but I still cook like I did for our family of four, including two athletes. Leftovers are the rule in our house, now, because they basically didn't exist when our kids lived at home. Those two swimmers ate non-friggin-stop.

Since I do the VAST majority of the cooking/smoking/grilling/baking, my wife knows we'll be eating the same thing for two to four nights in a row. Mixing up the veggies is a good way to add variety. If the meal is something that you can vary with sauces, that's a good trick.

I do vac-seal and freeze leftover brisket, pulled pork, soups, and au jus, but that's about it. I smoke full packers and two butts whenever they are going on the smoker.

BTW, my dad rarely ate leftovers. My Italian mom cooked a lot of food that she froze and incorporated into fresh dishes. I never asked dad why he hated leftovers. He was a Depression baby, and refrigeration wasn't something they had on their small rural family farm. They did have a root cellar. Dad was one of six kids. I figured his childhood was probably the reason he hated leftovers because they'd go bad without the refrigeration.
 

cmayna

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Just the wife and I as well. Since we both do a lot of fishing, both of our standup freezers are typically loaded with fish packaged in smaller size pieces to take care of the two of us. We also feed a very elderly neighbor who happens to also likes fish. Still no matter how we try to control the size of each meal, we end up with lots of leftovers.

What, we don't cook every night? Nope! :emoji_blush:
 

Fueling Around

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Empty nest and the kids are too far away to share on a regular basis.
Most of our meals are scaled down for 2 unless when we want leftovers.
My wife does not like leftovers off the charcoal grill, so those are mine.
We still grill 2-4 times per week. Wife prefers her meat mostly naked.

Smoked? Wife is iffy when she likes it so most is given away.
A lot goes to our egg lady that gives us fresh chicken and duck eggs. I last gave her pulled pork and next round is cured and smoked pork loin (Canadian Bacon) as her children love all of it. That is an easy win for me. Wife prefers fresh cackle berries and will even eat quack berries.
 

Inscrutable

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We are going to need a bigger boat for all of us in the same boat LOL.
Richie
Yup, still not big enough. And here I thought I wouldn’t be on a big cruise ship until 2022. :emoji_grinning:
Same issue as the rest. Just the 2 of us. Lot of the vac'd stuff gets taken to either the brothers or MIL.
Limited on doing anything spicy also as the wife's pallet is against it. :emoji_disappointed:
Fortunately wife likes somewhat spicy (albeit less than me).
SIL is gone a lot for work, but he likes cooking when he is home, and daughter and small grandkids don’t eat a lot nor spicy nor more than a light smoke profile ... so a few small vacpacks from select cooks about all she can consume each week or two.

All our meat is packaged for one meal and a leftover meal for 2. If we have company, we just take out the extra meals, and send most of the leftovers home with our guests. With larger cuts like roasts, butts, and loins, the leftovers are divided into 2 meal portions for 2 and vac sealed and frozen. We're lucky, in that both of us love leftovers, and just consider them an quick, easy meal, so we don't really consider leftovers a problem. The whole secret is to just smoke or cook smaller amounts of meat each time.
Gary
That’s the way I package leftovers, as we like easy meal leftovers too. But all freezer space is full now, I guess if I want to cook more often with nice weather coming, I’m going to have to do smaller cooks (though I hate wasting most of the smoker or grill space). Hopefully we will get back to having company later this year :emoji_fingers_crossed:
 

Norwester55

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Try doing it alone!
No kidding! I haven't figured out yet how to cook less than a 6 qt kettle of chili, spaghetti, clam chowder etc. Then again its nice sometimes
to just snag a vac packed bag of one of the above out of the freezer and not have to worry about cooking.
 

DRKsmoking

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Again just the 2 of us also. And i find it hard to cook in small portions because when i start at looking at what i want to smoke , I think what else can I add to smoker for the whole meal. And because I am just learning to use the smoker I want to at least use normal size cuts ( because I am practicing ) of meats etc. Thank god the MIL comes out every other weekend or so. And we always make sure they go home with doggie bags . I have to start to learn to portion up the food and freeze, because most of the time i just keep eating it until it is gone.
David
 

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