How I process large quantities of ground beef…

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I don’t always brown my beef this way, sometimes I use the traditional method of cooking it in a pan and standing over it chopping, stirring, chopping, stirring…yeah sometimes I do that. One thing I ALWAYS do though, is cook large batches at once. I never just cook enough for one meal.

I prefer to brown at least five to ten pounds at once. I then drain off the grease, cool it, and package it in small freezer bags in whatever amount equals enough for a family meal of spaghetti or whatnot. For my family, this usually means a cup to a cup and a half of ground beef. I freeze it and whenever I need it for a meal, simply thaw in the microwave or with whatever I am cooking and I’ve cut out a major step and a decent amount of mess!

If you end up having a meal such as tacos, which required extra beef, simply grab two bags.
Why get out the skillet, thaw, brown, and drain over and over when you can do it once and save yourself tons of time and repeated messes?

This is one of my favorite ways to cook beef as it doesn’t require the attention that a skillet browning does. Also, you can get those nice little granules of beef without having to chop, chop, chop….Its great for large quantities of beef as well and I find the cooking process is done in half the time, with a lot less fat left on your finished product.

Begin with ground beef. Why do I use ground beef instead of ground chuck or lean ground beef? Simple, its cheaper. Grocery prices have been rising rapidly, gas is through the roof and I still have to feed a family of four with the same amount of money as I had before all of this. Ground beef it is!

Fill a large pot with water, you’re going to need a good bit of water here.
Using your hand, take a clump of ground beef and submerge it.

Then moosh it up really well, leaving no large clumps.

Continue until all of the beef has been smooshed into the water.

Yeah, this isn’t pretty but puleeze. I’m a mom. I’ve seen worse by far.
Bring to a boil. You’ll need to stir it just a time or two until its all nice and browned and done.

Here you can either drain it with a collander or strain it out. I prefer to use this neat little strainer I have and just strain it out.
Until I have a whole bowl like this. At this point, I will get a one cup measuring cup after it has cooled and put one cup servings in individual freezer bags to have on hand whenever I need ground beef for a meal.
And look at all this you left behind!! ewwwww
You might also enjoy this recipe! Beefed Up Baked Beans

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  1. I am so excited to try your method of cooking a large quantity at one time. Is it possible to use this method using ground chicken? I cannot eat beef for health reasons and some in my family do not like turkey.

    I love your column and have tried several recipes and have always been pleased with the results!

    Thank you for all the great ideas!

  2. I discovered your site by chance and I’m so glad that I did. I’ve been browsing through the recipes, videos and recipes all day. 🙂 I love your idea of cooking ground beef in a big pot of water! The first thing I thought was all that lovely fat would be great to use for old fashioned lye soap. My mother used to make soap by saving scraps of fat, cooking it down to purify it and then making a big batch of soap. I am saving the last batch that she made because I don’t want to use it up. It makes some fantastic laundry soap, especially for whites. So now I can use your method to cook a lot of ground beef, then save the fat for eventual soap making. Thank you for having such a great website!
    I’m dehydrating a bunch of vegetables as I write this. My question is how do I make your recipes using dehydrated vegetables and dehydrated ground beef? Have you had any luck making dehydrated chicken? We eat more chicken and pork chops than ground beef because of the expense.

  3. Kristy, I don’t know if you read new comments on an old post but here goes. I used to do this the way you describe, but I spring-boarded off your idea and found what works better for me without the yuck factor. I do 6 lbs at a time in my slow cooker. I put all 6 lbs. in it and turn it on low or high, depending on how much time I have. After a while I check on how it is cooking and chop it up (with that 4 pronged chopper you recommended) also sometimes turning it over. I do this a couple of more times until there is no more red showing. Next I drain it in a colander catching the grease in a big pot. After the grease cools I pour it into empty jars from pickles, etc and throw the jars away. I even rinse the drained meat with warm water to get even more grease out of it and then I drain the water off. Then the cooked beef (or ground turkey) is ready to put in baggies to freeze. I try to get the bags even and I use a food scale but I don’t worry about getting them exact. Once I shared this with another cook who said sometimes she wants to cook the ground beef with onion. I shared that when that is the case I put the prepared beef, onions and a little water in a pot and cook until the onions are cooked. Hope this method might help someone. I love the ease of just getting a packet out of the freezer that is ready to put in my cooking. Thanks for your idea!

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