Often we buy large quantities of ground beef but need to freeze it. Here is the easiest way to store ground beef in the freezer.
Plan to build up your food supply just as you would a savings account. Save a little for staorage each paycheck. Can or bottle fruit and vegeetables from your gardens and orchards. Learn how to preserve food through drying and possibly freezing. Make your storage a part of your budget. – Ezra Taft Benson
When we go to the store, we purchase a large ground beef package for the month or two.
We’ve been doing this so long and have found a good system for storage as well as defrosting.
But first, here are some tips for buying:
TIPS TO BUY GROUND BEEF
- WATCH THE POUNDS – Do you know why they package meat in off numbers i.e. 5.27 pounds? To add extra that you wouldn’t necessarily purchase if it was spot on. Smart huh? Now you are in the know. To combat this, some stores allow you to ask the butcher for the exact amount you like especially smaller stores or butcher shops. If that isn’t an option, I look for packages closest to the exact pound as possible i.e. 5.12.
- PERCENTS – Know what percent you want. 80/20 is often recommended as it has a good ratio of meat to fat ratio.
- SELL BY DATE – Of course, you want the freshest meat possible. Need help knowing what’s on the label? Here is a guide to decoding meat labels.
Once home, we have a system in place to get that meat ready for the freezer.
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- Grab quart size freezer bags. Open them up and fold over the top.
- Label your bags with the contents and date prior to filling.
- Score meat into pound portions. For example, if I purchased a 6.03 lb.package fo ground beef I would score six equal sections (1 lb.each)
- Place ground beef inside bags. to avoid cross-contamination, I will use one hand for picking up meat and the other for grabbing the bag (one clean and one dirty).
- To ensure you have the right amounts, you can use a food scale. The more you do this process the more you will just have a feel for it and may not need the scale.
- After all the meat has been handled, you can throw raw meat container(s) away and wash your hands.
- Slightly seal up the zip bag and flatten meat out on top of the zip bag. I just use my hands but have heard some people use a rolling pin.
- After the meat is flat, you can finish sealing up the bag.
- Complete with all remaining meat.
STORING GROUND BEEF
Where’s the beef?
- Since the freezer bags of meat will lay flat, place them in the freezer and remember to put the oldest at the top and the newest at the bottom.
- We always stack the beef in the same place so we know where to find it. You can also use baskets to corral the meat in one place.
- When you are ready to use, you can place a bag in the refrigerator to defrost (24 hours).
- If you need it quicker, you can carefully defrost in the microwave (watch closely). The benefit of the meat package laying flat is not only for the freezer but also for defrosting. It won’t be in a big chunk in the middle which makes the ends cook and the middle rock hard.
*If you defrost it in the refrigerator, always place it in a ” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>tray so just in case the bag leaks, it won’t make a mess.
SALVAGE TIP- You know we like to reuse our bags, but we DO NOT reuse raw meat bags.
If you are looking to make the most with what you have, here is our FOOD TIPS PAGE, QUICK RECIPES, and WASTE NOT, WANT NOT RECIPE PAGE.
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