How to Freeze Ground Beef

How to Freeze Ground Beef (Super Easy!) at ASlobComesClean.com

I’ve written a similar post before, but I’ve come up with an even better (faster!) method.

You know that I pre-cook the vast majority of our ground beef to use in spaghetti, soups, tacos, casseroles, etc.

Oh. You didn’t know? Well, I do.

But I like to have some that is not pre-cooked (especially in warmer weather) so I can make things like burgers.

Fine. Who am I kidding? So Hubby can make burgers.

Anyway, this means I need to divide it up for freezing since freezing a six pound chunk of ground beef isn’t a good idea. Trust me. It’s not. But I buy it in six-pound chunks since it’s cheaper that way.

I’ve always divided it into quarter pound portions to freeze, but I recently came up with an even easier way to do that.

Prepping Ground Beef for Freezing at ASlobComesClean.com

Press three pounds of ground beef evenly onto a cookie sheet with sides.

(I don’t weigh. I just use a halfish portion of a sixish pound package of meat. You can do the math according to your package.)

Then, I use a flat, but not-sharp, utensil (it’s the plastic paddle that came with my rice-cooker) to “cut” the meat into twelve evenish pieces.

The Best Way to Divide Ground Beef for Freezing at ASlobComesClean.com

(It’s not as awkward as it looks. Unless you’re trying to do it with your left hand so you can take a picture with your right hand . . . )

I cover the cookie sheet with foil and freeze.

Once it’s frozen, I pry the meat off and break it easily into pieces to store in the freezer in a gallon freezer bag.

Ground beef frozen in Meal-Sized Portions at ASlobComesClean.com

Now, I can grab four pieces when I need a pound of ground beef, or let Hubby throw them straight onto the grill.

Note: I did put aluminum foil under the ground beef this time, but I don’t think it’s necessary and was kind of a pain to peel off after frozen.

 

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Comments

  1. you should put parchment paper underneath freezes and then just lift and throw

    • Jo Peters says:

      Waxed paper also works well. I usually leave it on, so the patties are easier to separate. When you throw it in the pan or on the grill (paper-side up,) you can peel the paper off easily after the first minute or-so of cooking.

      I AVOID aluminum as much as possible as it is linked to the development of Alzheimer’s Disease!

    • Separated with paper, I stack ‘em like bricks and they take up much less space in the freezer.

  2. Great idea. That would make the meat thaw faster since it’s smaller pieces. I’m going to do that! Thanks for sharing.

  3. That’s another great idea! For burgers, I always add onion soup mix to my ground beef. Makes them very flavorful and so easy!

  4. Great idea! I don’t have to worry about this as I come from a farm and we have a whole beef processed at the local locker each year so it comes pre-portioned however we tell them we want it. But, when cooking up a ton (like 150+) burgers for a family reunion, I used store bought meat. I think this method would really help as I had to transport the meat across the state first then cook it on-site at the reunion. Having it pre-portioned in 1/4 lb pieces already would be really helpful!

  5. I weigh it out by the pound and squish it flat (probably the same thickness I see in your photos) in Freshsaver bags the vac them up. I can either dump the sealed, vacuumed bag in the sink for a bit for a quick thaw or just throw it in the skillet as is and thaw and cook at the same time.

    Best part of that is when you find some marked 2010 in the deep dark recesses of the freezer in 2013 there wasn’t a touch of freezer burn and it tasted as good as new. :)

    • HOW DO YOU SEAL THE BAGS WITH OUT IT SUCKING THE LIQUID IN TO THE SEALER?? I have broken 2 food savers sucking liquid back up it! It SUCKS. I have tried a paper towel layer pre freezing it, that is just a bad idea as I forget, then then the bag does not get sealed. Help!

      • My machine has a drip tray and a wet/dry setting. I try to remember to have it on wet, and I try to stop the suction when the juice starts to move toward the seal. (One press of the button stops the suction and then moves to sealing.) Often I miss that though, and I end up washing the sealed ends to get the raw meat juice off.
        I’m guessing though that there are lots of models and set ups?

        • I have the ziploc vacuum sealer, and it has a pulse setting that lets you control how long the suction goes (it’s designed for squishy things that you don’t want to damage like berries or cake) and that works great. I just vacuum until the juice starts moving toward the opening, then stop and seal. Yours may have a setting like that too?

      • Are you leaving enough extra bag at the top? I have a FoodSaver and it recommends an extra 3 inches. I also have the drip tray, but I rarely have anything get in it.

  6. Love this idea! I buy in bulk as well. I usually make a meatloaf mix, meatball mix and a plain bag and freeze it all. But then Im stuck with meatloaf or meatballs and sometimes Im just not in the mood. This post solved my problem!! Thanks!

  7. Christina says:

    I’m just lazy. I scoop out what I estimate to be about a pound, throw it in a freezer ziplock bag, seal it almost all the way up, and then squish it flat until it takes up the whole bag and zip it completely closed. they lay flat and take absolutely no time to defrost.

    • Anne-Marie says:

      I do the same. Once I seal the bag I score it with the handle of something long like a wooden spoon or spatula into 4 equal segments. Then when I want to just pull out anything less than all of it I can snap the sections apart easily. As a single person it’s great for when I just want one or two burgers.

  8. Like you, I freeze smaller portions sometimes. Wax paper/parchment paper works nicely to freeze….works well to separate patties but maybe a bit more of a pain to use b/c have to cut into the paper into small pieces. Truthfully, I have more often not used anything and have just frozen the patties or whatever smaller amount of ground beef, and it seems to work fine. :) Sometimes I just grab even-ish chunks off of the big chunk and press them into patties in my hands and toss in a freezer bag. Super quick and easy! I should mention that the freezing smaller portions in advance thing for me come in spurts and I am NO expert!! haha ;)

    I LOVE your blog. :)

  9. I put 2-3 of the 5# rolls of ground beef into the crock pot ( unwrapped, of course) and cook for an hour or so, stirring once in a while. I then package the cooked meet in gallon zip bags and freeze. When I’m making chili, or some such dish, I just throw in frozen meat and let it thaw as it cooks. No mess all over the stove, and faster meal prep! BTW I find the ground beef in the rolls to be better quality, and much fresher than the GB in the usual saran covered package.

    • My husband is a hunter and we grind up all of our own venison. I’m definitely doing this next time! I hate waiting for big chunks to defrost :(

    • Anne-Marie says:

      I buy in the rolls as well. I sometimes slice burgers out of it. If the roll is 5# or more it’s big enough around for the slices to be just the right size. Saves a lot of work.

  10. My mother always taught me to portion the meat and mash it flat in freezer bags then zip them shut so you seal the air out, they’re easier to manage, and they freeze evenly faster. When my partner, the grill master carnivore, and I moved in together he was *horrified* to see me doing this.

    He said that over handling the meat like that will make it tough. I thought he was crazy and it made me nuts to open the freezer and see them in such an untidy state but…he was right. Now our freezer has oddly shaped lumps of ground meat in it. A small price to pay. Google “perfect burger don’t over handle the meat”.

  11. I’ve frozen it flat by the pound, then when thawed cut with a pizza cutter. The rolling action keeps from dragging raw meat in chunks all over. :D I love the idea of freezing in single servings, though. The less I have to handle the raw hamburger meat, the better!

  12. Good idea! I do something similiar with my kitchen scale but I like how uniform those pieces are! I have to say, the pre-cooked ground beef has been a bit of a game changer for me. I’ve been doing it for a few months now and it’s great! Thanks for the great tips!

  13. LOVE this idea!

  14. Wow such a great idea. I never would’ve thought of this. Thanks so much.

  15. Fabulous idea! Definitely need to do this in the future. I wonder if parchment paper would peel off easier than the foil did?

  16. what a great idea! I so have to try this with my ground pork.

  17. Rae Garmon says:

    I found out the local grocery store gets their ground beef in 10# rolls. They then run it through their grinder to put it on a tray. Got them to weigh and label an entire roll when they had a good sale. Like the idea that it’s handled one less time. For burgers I just get out my electric knife and slice thru plastic wrap and all! Pop in a bag and freeze.

  18. My boyfriend, who has been a hard working single Dad for years showed me his trick to freezing ground beef. We buy it when it goes on sale cheap in 10# tubes then divide by 5 and put it in gallon zip lock bags, rolling flat with a rolling pin. Yes this makes 2 # packages but he cooks all of it on grill in one big square then cuts into burger sizes with spatula or cooks in a square pan on stove. He likes having leftovers for nights he works late and now that kids are college age they eat a lot more

  19. I love his idea!! I have ground beef in the fridge now that needs divided up and frozen. Definitely going to give it a try. Thanks!

  20. Aimee Vandiveer says:

    This is a great idea. I get 40# of ground beef from Zaycon, as well as the chicken. I usually cook up 10# and have that ready for tacos or whatever. I also make burgers and meat loaves with 10#. The other 20# gets divided up in 1# packs, wrapped in foil. This looks much easier than trying to wrap the chunks!

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