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 just got 3 5-lb tubes of 80/20, but couldn’t work up enough ambition to separate them for freezing (which is why I usually get hamburger by the pound!). With your way, I had them not only separated but cooked in a flash, and I will save a TON of time cooking dinner (your sloppy joes are on the menu this week)! Thanks so much!


  2. Great blog – I was just googling how to brown a TON of ground beef for our cooking co-op tomorrow. This method is going to save me a ton of time and pots!

  3. Hi. My mom has cancer so I’ve just started taking over the cooking. I love the idea of freezing ground beef, and I love the idea of cooking it like this. I have found so many great ideas and recipes here.

    But I am confused! What do I do with the greasy water?? I don’t know much about cooking but I do know enough to know that I can’t put it down the sink!

    Please if anyone could help and is still reading, I’d really appreciate it.

    1. hehe, I’m still here, honest!

      What I do personally, when I cook ground beef like this, is pour the water in a ditch out behind my house. I am sure there are a thousand different ways to dispose of it but with this method, that is what I do.
      If you have a lot of straight grease (not diluted with water), my mother saves old milk and orange juice cartons. She lets her grease cool and then pours it inside to place in her trash.

      You just do whatever works best for you, whether it be stopping your life and taking a trip to a landfill (the nearest one for me is almost an hour away so umm…yeah, I’m not doing that) or pouring it into disposable containers and trashing it or disposing of it on your own. There really isn’t as much as you’d think.

      As for me and my house, we pour it in the ditch!

      Welcome to Southern Plate. Please give all of my best to your mother and holler at me if I can be of any assistance 🙂

      1. Thank you so much! I truly appreciate it.

        As I said, I’m just getting into the cooking thing and I looked at your post and thought, “Wow! Cool!” Then…”Uh-oh. What do I do with the water?!”

        I am thinking I will do what your mom does because I don’t have a handy ditch (darn it)!

  4. Thanks for another great idea! Just wondering though, you said you freeze it in one cup portions- is that like a 1/2 a pound each?
    I gotta tell you though, I have never really enjoyed cooking and did it as little as possible. After stumbling across the website I’ve been cooking more and more and my family is amazed! It helps when you know that what you are cooking is really gonna be good and that is what makes cooking enjoyable! My son said to me the other day “Mom, what has gotten in to you lately? Your food really tastes good!” I had to laugh.

  5. This is such a wonderful tip! As a single working mother of two who pulls 12 hour shifts, planning quick meals is an essential. Precooked ground beef in ready to go portions – BRILLLIANT! My attempts at storing up till now have been, well gross and ineffective. Thanks so much 🙂

  6. this is GREAT — found it just in time for 4 of us to fix shepherd’s pie for 200 homeless this weekend. THANK YOU for posting, on behalf of we 4 cooks and a lot of people who will enjoy monday night’s supper which will be cooked with even more love now that our backs wont be killing us 🙂

  7. I have been doing that exact thing with my ground beef for several years now. I had found out that I had cholesteral and that I had to eliminate as much fat off my diet as possible, so I began finding ways to cut back on fat. I also have a great tip for celery. I use to throw out so much celery because we are only two now ( empty nest ) so I started chopping my celery & putting it in freezer bags. Now when a recipe calls for celery…voila ! I also buy big bars of cheese & grate to freeze…I always have cheese on hand…no more spoiled cheese.

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