The One Gift Our Test Kitchen Manager Is Buying Everyone: Souper Cubes
This is the gift for the cook in your life who already has a stocked kitchen.
Developing and testing 500-plus recipes per year requires the EatingWell test kitchen to be more than well-stocked with pots, pans, appliances and kitchen tools. Then there are all the hot gadgets that companies send to show off their new products. In fact, we have so many samples that we have an extra room with ceiling-high metal shelving to house the overflow. But this year my favorite kitchen gadget wasn't sent to the office in hopes we'd be interested—it's the one I've been hoping someone would develop for years. I reached out to them because I was excited about the product—and I've already purchased six of these.
Yes, you read that right: I've purchased six for my very own home that's also already overrun with kitchen supplies.
Hear me out.
I love making chicken stock. At least once a week, we make chicken—with bones—for dinner. A whole roasted spatchcocked chicken, braised chicken legs, oven-fried wings or drumsticks … you get the point. After we eat the meat, the bones could be discarded or, even better, they can be made into stock. Since we use stock almost every day to deglaze a pan or add flavor to grains, I can't help but make more stock. Using my handy pressure cooker, the bones go into the pot, along with celery, carrot, onions, thyme and a bay leaf, and a few short minutes later, I have another batch of homemade chicken stock, ready in about the time it's taken for me to clean up the kitchen and put in another load of laundry.
Don't Miss! Vegetable Stock with Kitchen Scraps
Now here comes the dilemma: how do I store all this stock I cannot seem to stop making? I've tried gallon-size plastic freezer bags, but then I have to defrost the whole bag (when I need only a few tablespoons) and transfer it to another jug once it melts, since freezer bags don't sit up very well on their own in the fridge. I've frozen stock in glass mason jars, but that inevitably leads to at least one broken jar and stock that has to be thrown away. I've used a vacuum sealer, but I never can seem to get the seal quite right for liquids and have, more than once, ended up with a slow leak that turns into a puddle in the bottom of my freezer.
Then I found the Souper Cubes.
Souper Cubes are silicone trays that are the same size as ice cube trays, but they come in 1- and 2-cup sizes. You can buy Souper Cubes from Amazon for about $20. Perfect for stock, but also for freezing anything else that you want in easy-to-deal-with portions. Just pour it in, snap on the lid, and stack them in your freezer until the liquid is frozen. You can either leave them in the trays or pop them out into a large freezer bag so you have easy access to smaller portions of stock.
Related: A Beginner's Guide to Meal Prep
And here comes the really fun part.
Since I've become so obsessed with these trays, I'm now using them for a lot of other foods. I freeze soup, pesto, garlic confit, beans, spaghetti sauce and huge flavored ice cubes for parties in my trays. I'm even wondering if I can make layered ice cream desserts, all perfectly portioned, in my beloved trays.
So if you're looking for a gift for your friend or family member who is an avid cook, check out these Souper Cubes. And if it's not their favorite new gadget this holiday, send them to me.
Keep Reading: 30 Days of Healthy Meal Prep