Cooking Tips Featured

Freezing, Defrosting and Browning Ground Beef

Here are a few Kitchen Tips on Ground Beef.


Don’t freeze ground beef in the original packaging…

Remove ground beef from the store packaging and re-wrap using plastic wrap or freezer wrap and then place the wrapped ground beef in a freezer safe plastic bag to protect the meat from freezer burn.  Don’t forget to write the date on the freezer bag!   Frozen ground beef should be used three to four months from the date of purchase.

Don’t defrost ground beef in the microwave… 

A microwave will cook the outside of the meat and make it tough before it’s completely thawed.   Ideally, you should place the frozen wrapped ground beef on a tray and let it defrost in the refrigerator.  Your meat should be defrosted and ready to cook in 24 hours.  


What if you forget to take the meat out of the freezer the day before and you want to prepare it for dinner tonight?  

  • Take the frozen meat, still in its sealed plastic bag, and place it in a bowl in the sink. 
  • Fill the bowl with COLD water.  
  • Set your kitchen timer for 30 minutes and drain the bowl and refill it with fresh cold water.  
  • Continue to do this until the meat is defrosted and ready to use for your recipe.  

Never, ever use hot water!  Hot water can cause the outer layer of the food to heat up to a temperature where harmful bacteria can grow.  


How to brown ground beef..

Begin by heating a large skillet or frying pan.  Adding ground beef to a cold pan will cause the meat to stick to the bottom of the pan.

Coat the bottom of the pan with a non-stick cooking spray or you can use cooking oil to keep the beef from sticking to the bottom of the pan.  

Using a spatula or wooden spoon, begin breaking the beef into several large pieces and then break into smaller pieces.  Continue to break the meat into smaller pieces, seasoning with salt and pepper, until all the meat is completely browned.  


Don’t forget to drain the ground beef…

Ground beef releases water when you cook it, so don’t forget to drain the beef after it is browned completely.  

Place the ground beef in a colander and allow the water to drain.

The ground beef is now ready to be added to any recipe.


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Originally from Queens, NY, Lois now calls northeastern PA home. You can find her blogging over at Walking on Sunshine where she shares a little of her life, but more importantly what’s for dinner at her house tonight.

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