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
You can also do this too with the non-frozen family pack bulk ground meat from Costco or grocery store. We split into 1 pound sections, use the food saver to vacuum seal it into pouches, then flatten it before freezing. It thaws very quickly in a sink of warm water.
You can go one step further. I make hamburger patties, and put each one in a sandwich bag, and then place them in a large freezer bag. This allows you to make one hamburger, and the meat is protected by TWO bags.
If you decide to use it for meatloaf, hamburger helper, chiii, etc, just thaw several patties.
You can also speed thaw them by setting your microwave on defrost for 30 seconds. Use additional time as needed.
I do that, too, and it really cuts down on thawing time.
Good for you grinding your own hamburger. A lot of that cheaper ground beef is water sprayed off the bone, and comes from many different cattle. A lot of the time it is done under less than sanitart conditions and dipped in amonia to clean. Hamburger is not really a safe product unless your store grinds it ir you grind your own. I use chuck roasts for mine. Often you can get them on sale.
I have the Tupperware containers that you put hamburgers in. Makes it a good size for hamburgers or you can use several of them for your spaghetti or chili. When you put them in the tupperware another hint is to poke them with your finger several times. This makes them easier and faster to defrost too. Granny
I do the same here with the big rolls of ground chuck accept I cut each roll into ten chunks, place in a plastic grocery bag and flatten out then roll up the plastic bag around the meat into a neat, flat, pack and tape the handles down. I have a chest freezer so I use five gallon buckets to keep everything organized and neat. The ground beef packets go in one, chicken leg/thighs in another (buy those in bulk, too) catfish in another. (we have a catfish pond out back) veges divided up in even more buckets. I never have to keep the door open for long this way.
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When buying pre-packaged hamburger, notice how the meat always seems to have a big lump at one end from the way the machine extrudes it? Use your hands to flatten it and disperse the meat evenly in the package (being careful not to break the wrapping).
Alternately, remove the meat and place it in a 1-quart freezer bag. Then flatten and spread it to fill most of the bag, then squeeze out as much air as possible by zipping most of the bag, pressing out the last of the air through the open corner, and then completing the zip.
Either way, the packages will stack better in the freezer, take up less room, and defrost quicker and more evenly. And no more defrosted hamburger except for that last solid chunk inside the big lump!
By Mary from Hummelstown, PA
I have been doing this for years! Much better tasting dishes than precooking it. Those teflon coated trays they sell for defrosting meats are wonderful for these packages also. Takes little time to thaw. If you are going to fix chili, hamburger helper, goulash, etc. just throw them in a pan frozen, cover and they will be thawed in no time. (01/25/2009)