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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
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.
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 Vivian from Southern Vermont
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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How long can you keep cooked ground beef in the freezer?
By debra anding from MS
Here's a link with some info:
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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)
I recently had a 'duh' moment. My homeworker was here and it was our cooking day that week. We were almost done, the only meat left out of what I set out, was a one pound roll of hamburger. I had not planned anything special for it, so I told her to just brown it, drain it, and put in freezer. I could use it at a later time when she wasn't around.
Then the 'duh' came, why not do this more often. I can use it for BBQ, soup, pasta, etc. when I needed to fix my own full meal. I would have some on hand, ready to use on the nights my 14 year old granddaughter is here and wants to fix supper. She likes to make Hamburger Helper type meals, so now it will be easy when I set it out to thaw for that night. Sometimes it takes awhile to realize the simplest ideas.
By Linda from Bloomington, IL from Bloomington, IL
How do I freeze cooked ground beef?
Tami from TX
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)
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)
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)
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