28 September 2010
Easy Freeze & Thaw Ground Beef Packets
Here's a quick tip for buying fresh ground beef in bulk-size packages. Once The Man threw the entire thing in the freezer and it was a bit of a nightmare to carve off rock hard frozen slabs for meals. If you want to divide up the meat into individual meal size packets and freeze, try this idea that has worked quite well for me since then.
Cut the meat into approximately one pound sections. In one large package of ground beef I can get five to six meals (many of which have lots of leftovers). Then instead of wrapping them and freezing the meat in thick brick-like chunks flatten them out into a large rectangle that is about 1 1/2 high. Then wrap and freeze the meat in these thin slabs. On each package write the date in permanent marker so that you can keep track of what you have and rotate your stock.
This shape and size is much easier to store in your freezer than big, thick bricks. You can easily and tidily stack them one on top of the other and in a pinch you can slide them into small spaces. The best advantage to this method is that they thaw much more quickly because they are so thin. It will cut hours off your thawing time and get you moving right to making dinner. Even if it's not totally thawed you can break it up in your fingers or with wooden spoon.
For dinner last night we enjoyed The Pioneer Woman's mini-meatball sliders with Hawaiian Sweet Rolls. They were even better this time than last. And I have another dinner's worth now frozen and one in the fridge for lunches this week. I learned my lesson last time that no one wants to eat meatballs for lunch or dinner five days in a row. Happy Hamburger Freezing.
Photo from defendingfoodsafety.com.