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To help save time in the kitchen when I know it is going to be a busy week, I will buy a large amount of lean ground beef at Costco or Sam's. I purchase, say, a 5 1/2 pound package. I bring it home and cook it in a large pot with diced onion and garlic and season it up with black pepper and salt. After the meat is cooked through, I drain it in a colander then add it back to the pan to let it cool down a bit. I then weigh the meat on my kitchen scale to get 1-2 lbs. of cooked meat, put it in freezer bags, and label.
Now all I have to do the rest of the week is pull out a package of the already cooked meat and thaw a bit in the microwave. Add it to a pan along with taco seasonings, spaghetti sauce ingredients, sloppy joe ingredients etc.- whatever your family is wanting for dinner that night. You can even use it to make one of the boxed hamburger helper dinners. Dinner is done in a fraction of the time.
I realized that I start all my ground beef recipes basically the same way with onion and garlic. It just made sense to go ahead and cook it all ahead of time instead of freezing the raw meat.
By KimbrD from Corinth, TX
When using ground beef cooked for a soup, spaghetti or tacos etc., drain hamburger through a colander before adding to your soup recipe. This takes away the extra fat and tastes great, even in chili.
By 123helen from Senoia, GA
When cooking ground beef for a recipe, I simply place the raw ground beef in a microwave steamer basket, then put the basket onto a microwaveable bowl. I microwave the ground beef until done and the grease from the ground beef drains from the steamer basket into the bowl. I have instant grease-free ground beef with no mess or hassle!
My frugal tip is for cooking, but it's also a healthy one. Buy the cheap ground beef and BOIL it! The fat will rise to the top! Just don't pour the water (and grease) down your sink. Just for fun, set the whole pot (after it has cooled down) into the fridge over night then see how much disgusting FAT you are NOT putting into your body and arteries. The ground beef will absorb the flavors of the food you are using it in!
Trust me, you and your friends won't know the difference and it'll save ya from a heart attack (hopefully) in the future! Please let me know how ya'll like it!
By Sheila from Olive Branch, MS
With the recent recall of fresh and frozen ground beef, it's more important then ever to cook ground beef safely. Although the product(s) being recalled should be returned to the point of purchase, consumers preparing other ground beef products should heed the following advice.
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. The very young, seniors and persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.
When fixing casseroles, taco filling, sauces or anything requiring cooked ground beef, use an old fashioned biscuit cutter to mince the beef while it's browning. This prevents lumps.
I use my pie crust maker with the four metal pieces on the bottom to take the lumps out of hamburger. Really good for chili and sauce.
If you pour in a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar, the meat will crumble easier.
By Suzi Homemaker
I just mash it with a fork while it's cooking.
I use the potato masher. Works well. I also add about 3/4 cup water to the pan, and pour off the grease with the water when the meat is cooked. Pour through a colander into a bowl, and then rinse the cooked meat with hot water while still in the colander/bowl. This removes most of the grease. Drain and use the meat. I pour the greasy water in an out-of-the- way corner of my yard.
After draining the fat from ground meat, place the meat on a brown paper bag lined with paper towels. Fold the bag over and squeeze. It's amazing the amount of fat that comes out!
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Here are questions related to Cooking Ground Beef.
Can you cook ground beef in a crock pot?
By Alan from Buffalo, NY
Hi Alan. I cook ground beef in the crock pot a lot! The only thing I wouldn't recommend ground beef in the crock pot for is a dish that needs the beef to stand alone and look skillet browned. (It can look a little gray from the crock pot if not smothered in sauce or gravy or broth, but it does get cooked fully, regardless.)
I often cook up 3 - 5 pounds of raw ground beef in the crock pot with a small amount (just enough to cover) of beef broth. When fully cooked I strain it and divide it into 1 pound portions to freeze for later menus like spaghetti, Sloppy Joes, skillet meals, soups, etc. It's a great time saver and there is no loss of flavor.
If the grayish color bothers you (and you don't mind washing an extra skillet :-) lightly brown the raw ground beef on the stove top before tossing it into the crock pot and all will be well. Happy Eats!
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Does anyone know if it's possible to cook ground beef in a crockpot? To save time and money I usually buy large packs of ground beef, cook it up, add seasonings, and then put single-dinner amounts into freezer bags. Right now it's just too hot to stand over stove to do all this cooking. I'd much rather put the ground beef into the crock to cook outside, but I don't know if it will do the job. Anyone try this before?
Trix from Toronto Canada
In the morning put everything in the crockpot give it a good stir and put on low for 5-6 hours. This is the original recipe. I usually add, diced green or red peppers and celery (whateaver I have on hand) Can be doubled and freezes well.
You can also make your favorite meatloaf recipe in the crockpot, form it into a loaf and cook on low for 5-6 hours. I line my crockpot with tinfoil so it is easier to remove from the crockpot. (08/11/2006)