Freezer Cooking in an Hour: Sweet Barbecue Chicken, Single Serving Chocolate Chip Cookies, Whole Wheat Pancakes (and why you were SO right!)

I finally had another Freezer Cooking in an Hour session, after taking a few weeks off from doing much freezer cooking. I made the Sweet Barbecue Chicken and would recommend being careful when sprinkling the cayenne pepper on it. :) I ended up having to wash the pieces of chicken off — and it was still spicy!

We served half the recipe for dinner and I froze the rest for another meal. I think next time I’ll leave the cayenne pepper out entirely since it was on the spicy side for some of us.

I was anxious to try the Perfect Single Serving Chocolate Chip Cookies since the pictures of these looked SO good online.

Unfortunately, my end result looked quite pathetic compared to the original pictures. But it was still yummy.

However, I thought it was a lot of work for just a few cookies (the recipe said it only made two, but it made 5 for me — maybe I made them a lot smaller?). I think it’s a better use of your time to just make a big batch of your favorite cookie dough or cookies and freeze it.

Did you notice something out of the ordinary in this photo?!?

Yes. I finally got a griddle — thanks to my husband surprising me with one even though I was sure I could survive just fine without one. (I’m the kind of person who will basically never buy anything or replace anything when it comes to kitchen stuff. I’ll just make do with whatever I have for as long as I possibly can!)

But oh wow! Every one of you who have been encouraging me to get a griddle for months and months and months were so very right. I cannot believe I waited this long to get one. It only took one time of making pancakes to have me completely and utterly sold on the practicality of this appliance.

We had to move around some of the kitchen drawers and cupboards to make space for it, but it has been every bit worth it. I can now cook 4-6 pancakes at one time!!! I’ve been doing them one at a time for so long that I just complete forgot it was possible to do them so much faster.

And not only that, but the pancakes turn out so much more beautifully than my other pancakes ever did. Plus, they aren’t constantly burning!

So yes, I should have listened to you all years ago! I would have saved myself to much time and effort!

Recipes Made:

Perfect Single Serving Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sweet Barbecue Chicken
Whole Wheat Pancakes

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Comments

  1. Reba says

    And griddles make THE best and fastest grilled cheese sandwiches. So uniform and fast. We’ll occasionally throw some reubens and quesadillas on the griddle as well. Perfect for grilling everyone’s sandwiches at once.

  2. says

    I somehow got one given to me–and I love it too! For my 5 kids, I do 6 c. flour (quadruple the recipe), and freeze all the leftovers for quick breakfasts. And mine will flip over for a electric grill on the other side. I would have never bought mine either–but I am so thankful for it!

  3. Jacqui says

    I keep mine on top of the fridge, due to size. Which I guess is better than where my parents kept it when I was a kid, which was on top of the dishwasher (we had a really old one that was portable since our house was from the 30s).

    Honestly though, this is probably one of the best inventions ever. I am so glad you finally got one!

      • Lindsay Ackerman says

        Us too! Since getting it for Christmas 2 years ago, my husband has used it every morning for his breakfast. It is much easier than cleaning up the stove.

  4. JenMarie says

    I’m so glad for you! I think it is so worth it as it is such a HUGE time saver when you are trying to make big batches.

  5. Erin says

    Yay! You will Love it! It will make grilled cheese sandwiches and quesadillas fast too. My 14 yr old got me a griddle for Christmas. I had no idea what I was missing, now I’m completely spoiled by it!

  6. Amie says

    French Toast – BLT Sandwiches – Cheese Tortillas – We use ours all the time. With 3 hungry boys it has been a wonderful tool.

  7. Michelle says

    Love mine! I used to dread making pancakes because it took so long but now its no problem at all! I have cooked bacon on mine, and quesadillas and grilled cheese, they are fantastic! There are usually really good deals on griddles on Black Friday if anyone is looking and can wait a few months. My mom bought it for me for Christmas but she bought it on Black Friday.

  8. Heather says

    Congrats on the new kitchen appliance and high five to the hubby for the nice surprise! I love our griddle and I just got ours through the Kohl’s rebate deal from last Christmas time otherwise I wouldn’t have bought it either. So easy peasy to use! I made your pancakes today too, plus some pineapple/coconut homemade popcicles while I crock pot cooked some taco seasoned chicken for tonight’s dinner and some to freeze. Just starting to do the freezer cooking in an hour (vs. scattered throughout the week) and I am liking it so far!

  9. says

    My parents had a griddle, so Brad and I bought one when we married. 7 years later it just died on us. Thanks for reminding me! My husband loves to cook on it, so maybe I’ll get him a new one for Father’s Day or his birthday. :)

  10. Kim Mozdzen says

    I bought a griddle this past Christmas to give to someone. I never wound up giving it and its been sitting in the box by my door. Well, since tonight I have potato pancakes planned, I think I’m going to open the box!!!!

  11. Jesse says

    Ours pretty much lives on the counter. I make pancakes, grilled cheese, quesadilla’s, turkey melts, eggs, bacon, french toast. We probably use it 6 days a week at various times of day, at least! Definitely worth the investment. I actually just got a new one since my old one (10+yrs.) died. I upgraded the the big monster one and it is amazing!

  12. Amy says

    I have to say I think your cookies look better than the flat ones in the original picture.

    • Becki says

      I think I’m on my 3rd (maybe 4th) griddle since being married. Besides the crock pot, it’s the appliance I don’t like to be without. For 4 children, I wouldn’t make pancakes otherwise. Also grilled cheese is so much more reasonable as a lunch option – not much slower than cold sandwiches when I can cook them all at once. I let my oldest children pour pancake batter and flip on the electric griddle (6 and 8) even though I don’t let them use the stove yet. It’s great for them too.

  13. Jessica says

    My husband prefers silver dollar pancakes, so my regular griddle works for that (I fit 9 pancakes onto it at a time) and for grilled cheese (4 sandwiches at a time). It’s not an electric griddle, it goes onto the stove.

  14. mindy says

    Maybe someday you will bump up to a cast iron stove top model. You can then just leave it on the stove and will use it constantly. Plus its like a hot pad when things come out of the oven. This has been a staple in Mexican households for generations. Tortillas! mmmmmm!

    • Maria says

      I came to recommend the cast iron griddle too. :) Perfect for eggs too.

      I found a fabulous deal on a 5 burner gas stove a few years back; I love it! It came with both the grate and griddle, but the griddle has taken up permanent residence. I love that it doesn’t take up my very valuable counter space and the grate can be stored out of site out of mind.

      With that being said, I so enjoyed the ease of pancakes with the electric griddle when I had the electric stove.

  15. Kim Mozdzen says

    I opened the griddle and made chocolate chip pancakes for my dd and gd. Oh my!!! I think I feel like my mom did when she got her first microwave.

    Potato pancakes will be a synch tonight with that baby!!!

    Kim

  16. says

    I love my griddle. I can cook 6 large pancakes at once (4 or 5 inches across), and they are beautiful. I never have the first pancake completely falls apart b/c it stuck issue any more either.

  17. Diana says

    You’ve been making one pancake at a time all this time?!?!?!?! While I don’t have a griddle myself I can fit three pancakes in my huge cast iron pan, four small ones. We will be moving a lot the next five years on account of my husband’s job but as soon as we’re settled it’s one of the first things I’m buying! (Along with a kitchen aid.)

  18. RuthS says

    I find the griddle love amusing. We got one as a wedding present and it was such a pain to use, I gave it to Goodwill. I have two non-stick pans–I can easily make 5 or 6 pancakes at a time in those :)

    • says

      Now that I’ve come out from the dark side, I’m pretty positive I would love *any* pan or appliance that makes more than one pancake at a time. :)

      • RuthS says

        Haha :) I use my large non-stick pan all the time for many meals–I’d be lost without it!

  19. Kathy says

    Yay for your griddle! I love mine..it was a wedding gift, and I finally got to make mine and The Hubs’ pancakes at the same time! I know you will appreciate it more and more as you use it.

  20. says

    I bought my first griddle about 7 years ago (perhaps 8, I’m getting old and can’t quite remember stuff lol) but I was the same way with, “Why didn’t I get one of these before!” I also love cooking bacon on it because mine has just the littlest bit of a slope with a catch tray instead of having bacon fat popping up everywhere and I can strain and save that (which sounds gross I know) for when we fry up ham for sandwiches or I make potato soup. — Look you throw a girl with a German background into the South you get some weird foods okay. LOL
    Great! for grilled cheese like your other readers have said too! I can do 6 at a time on mine which means I’m not spending half the evening in the kitchen trying to flip them with cheese burning to the sides of a pan.
    Between that and my crockpot I’m still in debates on which one was the best investment ever! LOL.

  21. Emily says

    So what kind of griddle are you all talking about? An electric one that has a removable plug? We use one of those to make pot roast, but it never occurred to me to make pancakes or anything else in it. I absolutely HATE washing that thing. It can’t be submerged or else the part where the plug plugs in will get wet. How do others deal with this issue? Are there ways around this?

    • says

      Emily, I was wondering the same thing. Is it an electric griddle or a griddle pan that you put on top of a couple burners. I got an electric one as a wedding gift, and I loved the idea of it. However, the heat was somewhat uneven, the non-stick surface very quickly wore off (and I only ever used teflon tools), and it was SUCH a pain to wash. I felt like I couldn’t get it clean. It was easier just to use a couple of my skillets on the stovetop. I eventually sold it in a yardsale! I would love to try a non electric one.

    • chelsea says

      Mine has a removable plug for cleaning. If I clean it soon after finishing, it takes literally 30 seconds to wash and rinse it. I only cook things like eggs and pancakes, not hamburgers or anything like that.

    • Maria says

      Emily, forgive me if I sound presumptuous, but are you referencing an electric skillet instead of a griddle? I ask because I’ve never heard of putting a roast on it other than to brown it or how you could cook it with so much of it exposed.

      • Emily says

        Yes, Maria, that is what my appliance is called, an electric skillet. THank you! So, is that not what a griddle is? I don’t know why, but I assumed they were the same thing, no?

      • Emily says

        Yes, mine is an electric skillet. THanks (couldn’t think of that name). Is that not the same thing as a griddle? I always thought they were the same.

        • says

          Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think an Electric Skillet has sides and is more square whereas an electric skillet is more rectangular and flat with no sides?

          Here’s what Amazon shows as an Electric Skillet:
          http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=electric%20skillet

          I think that the two can probably be used fairly interchangeably? But the Electric Griddle would work better for things like pancakes since it’s bigger and can cook more at a time.

          Again, I’m not at all a griddle or skillet pro, so someone with more knowledge could probably give us a much better definition and explanation. :)

          • Maria says

            Crystal, you are right. :D The only things I could add is a lid with a skillet and years ago they were without the teflon coating.

            Emily, the thing with the griddle having no sides makes it wonderfully easy to flip your food and cleaning is easier too.

          • Emily says

            I just had a conversation with a girl from work about this, and she pretty much thinks the same way as you do Crystal. An electric skillet is more square and has higher sides, whereas an electric griddle is flatter, more rectangular and has shorter sides. Still, I see a problem with washing either one of them, as you can’t submerge them in water since they are electric. Even though the plug comes out, you couldn’t submerge the actual griddle/skillet it in water, could you? What did you do with yours to wash it, Crystal? If someone out there knows of an easy fix to this problem, I’d love to know it.

    • Heather says

      Nowadays they make them easier to wash. Mine is even dishwasher safe (after removing the plug). But it’s so big I do it by hand.

      • Emily says

        Mine isn’t old – just a couple of years. You remove the plug, but I still can’t see ever submerging it in water let alone putting it in the dishwasher. There is still the part that the plug goes into that you wouldn’t want exposed to water. Maybe there is a difference in what is removable on mine verses yours? Maybe I need to get a better one. I just have a cheapie that I got practically free after rebate and Kohl’s cash at Kohl’s.

        • Heather says

          Mine is about 7-9 years old. I think it also came from Kohl’s. Presto brand. Same plug thingie as the kind my mother had decades ago that you couldn’t get wet. It really did say dishwasher-safe on the box! Seems like it wouldn’t be, but apparently so. At any rate I’ve been sticking it in the sink for years without worry.

          • Amy says

            I also have I believe a presto one but you are not supposed to submerse the plug part . You could wash the rest of it in the sink but mine was a family sized one and it’s a pain to fit! My solution: While it’s still warm! I wet a wash cloth or paper towel and wipe up the mess (rinsing after a bit and wiping til it’s clean). Works great every time, just watch that your cloth doesn’t get too hot! :)

            • Emily says

              Thanks for sharing how you clean yours Amy. I may have to try that. I look ridiculous trying to wash my skillet, and I never really feel like I get it truly clean.

              • Amy says

                Yes I loved my griddle but hated to wash it so didn’t use it much til I thought of that! :) just like at the hibachi places! It is easier to wash right after you use it but I’ve even done it a day later and it works pretty good.

  22. Corri says

    I just used mine last night to make salmon patties. I have also used it to make fried pork chops. For both, I just use a little bit of olive oil and a pastry brush to be sure the oil is where I want it. The griddle makes for fast cooking, easy clean up and best of all everyone gets to enjoy their portion hot off the griddle.

  23. says

    That griddle is going to change your life! You can make hamburgers or turkey burgers all at once, and you can use it as a big pan to cook large quantities of anything uniformly — from browning ground beef to “grilling” up sliced vegetables (think peppers and onions) with no oil and hardly any work.

  24. chelsea says

    I adore my griddle. Pancakes, eggs, grilled cheese…the possibilities are endless. We were given ours used, and it is a pretty basic model, but works beautifully.

  25. Jen says

    I have that same Chicken recipe pinned… I clicked through to see where your recipe was from and immediately recognized the site. I’ve been planning to try those recipes for a few months now. Glad to have an outside review of one before hand. My husband and I like a little bit of a kick to our food, so I think I’ll keep the cayenne pepper around.

    And a griddle is on my list, too…

  26. Donna says

    I think an important thing to remember is that cooking for your family is a full time job, and great equipment is an investment in your job. Some things, like a griddle, seem like an outlay in money, but sometimes saving time and energy – yours and utilities (I can’t imagine how long it took to make pancakes one at a time, how long did you have to run your stove?) along with making your job enjoyable is so worth it.

    I don’t know how many friends have told me they hate cooking, and I would too if I have the crummy equipment they were using. Having a kitchen well stocked with quality, helpful equipment is saving time and money, because you will be more willing to do things from scratch, and spend more time in the kitchen.

  27. says

    I still don’t have a griddle and I haven’t been able to rationalize the purchase because I’m only cooking for three. However, when I make a big batch of pancakes to put in the freezer, I’m standing at my stove forever.
    But, your post has convinced me that maybe it would make sense to get one. I know I would save time and I would probably save on energy costs too.

  28. Heather says

    I have a “vintage” electric skillet I got at a garage sale for $1. It’s like a griddle but with much taller sides and a lid. It looks old but it works great and it’s extremely versatile. Like a griddle, it makes pancakes so much better than a pan on the stove!

  29. Emily says

    AND you can use it for quesadillas, pizzadillas, grilled sandwiches, and SO much more – we have ours always on the counter because we use it SO much!!

  30. Brenda says

    I LOVE my griddle and usually give it for a housewarming / wedding shower gift. Once we have it out for pancakes or French Toast – I leave it out and make hotdogs, hamburgers, sandwiched, ham, eggs, whatever on it until I feel like giving it a good washing and putting it away. Also love that the kids (13 yrs. ) feel that it is an easy appliance they can cook with too.

  31. Leanne says

    I resisted getting a griddle too (storing so much stuff drives me crazy) but I was convinced last year because of a Black Friday sale. I love it! What a time saver!

  32. Christine M says

    I bought a griddle 2 years ago on Black Friday and wondered where it had been all my life! I can make 6 pancakes or 6 french toasts or a bunch of grilled cheese sandwiches all at once. Best $9 I have ever spent!

  33. Amy P says

    Oh my. I don’t have a griddle either because like you I don’t “need” it. Now I am starting to hope for a surprise present!

  34. says

    My in-laws gave us a griddle for Christmas one year, and it quickly became the appliance I never knew I needed! We use it all the time, for pancakes once a week, and usually for grilled cheese as well. We’ve also made grilled quesadillas on it. I love how evenly the pancakes turn out, and with a big family (expecting #6 next week!), the fact that you can make so many at a time is a big time-saver! LOVE it! I’m so glad you got one too!

  35. says

    Griddle is a great thing! Ours broke, after many years of use, and was most fortunate to recently buy one, with a Kohl’s $10 rebate back, making said griddle all of $9.99, of which I received the rebate check today! We use it too, to fry up bacon, to make steak subs with with shredded steak from meat counter (Cheaper here then what is prepackaged elsewhere, etc!)
    Have fun with yours!

  36. Staci says

    I do grilled cheese, tuna melts, french toast, eggs, sausage, & pancakes on a grittle. not all at once. Plus with pancakes we can eat hot food all at the same time. BONUS>

  37. Lois says

    Wow! You all have opened my eyes about using the griddle! I got one many years ago when my kids were growing up and hated it. Never occurred to me to use it for anything other than pancakes or bacon and eggs and they always seemed to stick way more than they should have (before Teflon was REALLY non-stick!). And, with 3 kids, hubby and myself, it wasn’t really big enough to do a lot at once. Bought my 2nd, the biggest I could find, just about 5 or 6 years ago and by then was only cooking for myself unless the kids and their families were visiting so I barely used it. Never once thought of cooking burgers or anything else on it! Oh, and between uses, I put it in a big trash bag to keep the dust off. Looks like I need to get it out and start using it again since I’m now living with my youngest daughter and her 3 kids. With all the different things you ladies have mentioned cooking on one, it would finally get a real work out!

  38. Cheryl says

    I’ve been debating asking for a griddle for a present, but the idea of storing it has kept me from asking for one. Now that I see all the positive comments, I’ll have to make room for one. I, too, having been making only 3 pancakes at a time in the skillet. I’m always up for doing things more efficiently. Thank you!