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Freezing Ground Beef

Freezing Ground Beef

When ground beef goes on sale it is a great time to buy extra and freeze some for later use. This is a guide about freezing ground beef.



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Tip: Dividing Up Your Ground Beef

I cook up 10 pounds of ground beef at a time and then divide it up into one pound packages (our family's size). Then I freeze it. When I get home from work, all the hard stuff is done and I can make tacos, casseroles, or whatever quickly.


Tip: Reusing Plastic Containers For Freezing

I recycle cottage cheese and sour cream containers to freeze bulk purchases of ground beef in. I have discovered that 1 lb. of ground beef fits in a 16 oz. container. I have also found that ground beef frozen in a circle (like the container) thaws much more quickly (especially in the microwave!) than if I freeze it flat in rectangles in a freeze bag.

By Stefanie from Orem, UT

Tip: Freeze Ground Beef as Patties

When I prepare ground beef for freezing, I make patties using a hamburger press. I place wax paper on each side of each patty to keep them from sticking together then I stack them in a gallon zip lock bag for freezing and place it on a flat surface in the freezer until the patties are frozen. Freezing the hamburger like this, I can use it for hamburgers, spaghetti or whatever I want to use it for. With it being in patties, it's easy to thaw and I can take out one patty or as many as I need.

By Litter Gitter from NC

Tip: Freeze Ground Beef

I am not a person who enjoys cooking, so I spend as little time in the kitchen as possible. When I buy a large quantity of ground beef, I always brown it and divide it into quart size zipper bags then put it into the freezer for impromptu pots of chili or spaghetti sauce.

By Marty D. from Knoxville, TN

Tip: Freezing Your own Hamburger Patties

When I freeze my own hamburger patties, I cut pieces of freezer paper into squares a little bit bigger than the patties. I put two pieces of the paper between each patty, slick side towards the patties. When I go to use the frozen patties, they don't stick together because of the freezer paper.


Tip: Freeze Bulk Ground Beef In Flat Serving Sizes

When we buy burger in large packages, we part it out, usually in 1 pound packs. We put each section into a gallon size freezer bag, then flatten it out in the skillet like a large burger, zip the bag and freeze. This makes thawing, cooking, and browning so much easier. We don't have to thaw it in the microwave. We just put it straight in the skillet and cook it.

By vtmama from Southern Vermont

Tip: Flatten Ground Beef Before You Freeze

I used to buy 5 lb rolls of ground beef, cut them into 5 portions, wrap and freeze them in solid hunks. But it was not conducive for quickly thawing, and if one fell out of our well-stocked freezer, it could break a toe.

Now I grind my own meat, but this would still apply to the rolls and freeze it "flat" in thick freezer bags. It's much easier to stack neatly in my freezer and thaws more evenly if I need a "quick thaw."

By Kelli from Sentani, Indonesia

Tip: Freezing Bulk Ground Beef

When I buy meat in larger quantities, this is how I package them for the freezer. I patty up my 8 oz. burgers. You can pull them out 2 at a time, for meals that call for a pound. I also poke a hole in the middle to ensure quick and even burger cooking!

Place on cookie sheet and place in freezer. When frozen, I can put them in the freezer bag and place in freezer to be taken out as many as needed at a time. Same with chicken, dogs, chops, ham slices. All I have to do is grab how many I need!


Tip: Browning Ground Beef in Microwave

When my grocery store puts ground beef on sale, I buy the larger size package and separate it at home. Using my kitchen scale, I weigh out about 3/4 pound chunks. Most recipes call for 1 pound, but I prefer to use a tad less than the full amount. I put each chunk into a plastic bag to refrigerate until it is time for that chunk to be browned.

Using my Tupperware 3-part vegetable steamer (it's about 8 or 9 inches across, maybe 3 inches deep total, with an interior flat-bottomed bowl with holes in it that doesn't go quite all the way to the bottom of the exterior bowl, and a nice lid), I break up the ground beef into the interior bowl. Put it in the microwave on "cook, ground beef" or whatever your instruction book says. I stop it about half-way through and stir with a fork, to break up big chunks, and make sure everything is browning well.

When it is all cooked, I take the interior bowl out of the steamer and scoop the now browned ground beef onto a cookie sheet lined with newspapers covered by a layer of paper towel to drain the last of the fat off. CAREFUL, it's hot and greasy! Wipe out the bottom of the steamer and the strainer basket and repeat with the next chunk of ground beef.

When the browned ground beef is cool, I put it into freezer bags, labeled with date and contents and freeze it FLAT in the freezer so I can stand the bags up like file folders when they are solid.

If I have been planning ahead, I like to hang onto an empty can or milk carton into which to dump the grease and greasy paper towels.


Tip: Freeze Ground Beef Flat And Cut For Sliders

Another tip for easy burger "sliders". Buy ground meat in bulk and divide it into quart or gallon-size freezer bags. Lay the bags flat and either knead with your palms or use rolling pin to spread-out the meat 1/2 inch thick to fill each corner of the square bag. Seal and freeze. This takes up very little space in the freezer when the bags are frozen and stacked.

When ready to use for sliders, thaw, then use either a pizza slicer, sharp utility scissors, or sharp knife to cut right through the baggie (tic-tac-toe style!) to make as many or few square "sliders" that you need, according to the size rolls on hand. Meat is frozen quickly and thaws quickly using this method. Meat can be used for other recipes, of course.

Source: My own idea. :-)

By Pinksa from Annapolis MD

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Here are questions related to Freezing Ground Beef.

Question: Freezing Ground Beef

How long can you keep cooked ground beef in the freezer?

By danding from MS

Most Recent Answer

By Melanie10/03/2009

Here's a link with some info:


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Freezing Ground Beef

When dividing large packages of hamburger meat to freeze, place each portion in a large zipper freezer bag, squeeze out excess air and roll out flat! This saves space in the freezer as you can stack the "meat pancakes" and it thaws quickly.

By Tracy Johnson

Archive: Freezing Ground Beef

How do I freeze cooked ground beef?

Tami from TX

RE: Freezing Ground Beef

I cook 5 or 6 lbs. of ground beef at a time. I drain the fat and let the meat cool before I bag it up in 1 lb bags. Squeeze the excess air out and place in freezer. It sure is handy for a fast meal. (02/05/2007)

By Judy

RE: Freezing Ground Beef

I have been doing this for years and love the convenience. I buy hamburger in bulk, crumble and fry it till browned, drain any grease, layer it on one or more cookie sheets lined with foil or waxed paper. Put in freezer. When it has frozen, break into pieces and place in Ziplock bags (any size) and keep in freezer. You can remove as much as necessary for your recipe, leaving the rest in the freezer. (02/05/2007)

By beth302

RE: Freezing Ground Beef

I cook it and season it for either Italian or Mexican with onions, garlic, and salt, and pepper. Then drain it, and put it in Ziplock bags. I keep it in a line in the bottom of the bag, and roll it up and then Ziplock it. Make the amounts just right for each meal. When you want to make tacos or spaghetti, take out one bag and put in the fridge ahead so its all thawed and put in a bowl in the micowave to heat up. (02/06/2007)

By Lily 59