I love pre-cooking ground beef. Many of my survival meals depend on it. Maybe I’m the only one who, even when she has a menu plan, finds herself with only 15 minutes to get a meal ready.
But sometimes, I need my ground beef to not be pre-cooked. Freshly grilled-by-hubby burgers are much tastier than defrosted-by-mommy ones. And for cooking with my kids, I want them to know how to cook the beef, not just assemble a recipe using what I already cooked.
Here’s my method for freezing raw ground beef. It’s nothing earth-shattering, and is pretty much the way my mother always did it. But I have come up with a few tricks that make it work well for us.
I cover a cookie sheet in wax paper. Then I form the raw hamburger meat into patties, and place them about an inch apart on the paper. Once the cookie sheet is filled, I put another layer of wax paper (or parchment paper) on top of the formed patties, and make another layer. I keep stacking it up until I’ve used all the meat. (Or until I’m afraid it will topple over.)
I then cover the entire thing tightly with aluminum foil and place it on a flat surface in the freezer until the first time I need it.
At that point, I put the extra frozen patties in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.
I consider each patty to be ¼ pound, but I don’t actually measure them. I just grab whatever seems like the amount for a recipe. Since most of the ingredient amounts in my recipes end in “ish” . . . it works fine for me. My mother always used a patty mold to get exact amounts.
Our menu plan this week:
Tuesday: Leftover chicken fried rice brought home from the lake (I pre-cooked all of the ingredients and made this as our meal for the extended family).
Wednesday: Leftover hot dogs from the lake (We don’t turn down free food ’round here).
Thursday: Tacos (my 7yo’s meal for the summer)
Friday: Out to Eat
Saturday: Grilled burgers
I’m linking this up to Menu Plan Monday over at Orgjunkie.com. I’m also participating in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays over at Tammy’s Recipes. Also at Works for Me Wednesday at Wearethatfamily.com, and the Homemaking Link-Up at Raising Homemakers.
The Amazon link to hamburger patty molds is an affiliate link.