We are certainly red meat-atarians. I love to stock up during stellar ground beef sale at Fresh Thyme Market. So I thought I would share with you a great time saver tip. I cook ground beef in the crock pot and freeze it for later!
Yep! This is a great way to take advantage of an awesome sale price to stock up! And you don’t have to stand over a frying pan to do it. Here are a few of my tips.
How to Cook Ground Beef in the Crock Pot
In general, this is a super easy process. Literally place the beef in the crock pot, crumble it, crank it up and cook. There is one key tip though- and that’s for draining the fat. OK, I know this is kind of gross. But often the cheapest meat is the kind with higher fat content, so you definitely will want to drain it. And even if you can score a leaner meat, there will still be grease as you cook it. So the easiest way is to use a turkey baster to drain the fat. About 30 min into cooking, go ahead and suck out your first bit with the turkey baster (an empty soup can comes in handy for disposing of the fat). After getting rid of as much as you can, crumble the meat with a wooden spoon. Then repeat this step in another 30 min or so. Overall cooking should only take 3 hrs max.
Another tip is to cook up as much as you can and freeze the beef in meal portions. My family typically uses about 1.5-2 lbs of beef per recipe (remember, we are meatatarians! 😉 ). I use plastic food storage containers to portion out the meat and then freeze. Using these containers is easiest for me because I can pull them out of the freezer and stick them in the microwave to thaw out.
Then I throw them into whatever recipe is on the menu. My meat usually doesn’t stay in the freezer very long, so I don’t have to worry about them staying airtight for months. But if you know yours might be in that long (like maybe you are freezing a larger bulk amount), it might not be a bad idea to look into a vacuum sealer system.
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I love this! I’ve browned ground moose and caribou in the crockpot before and thought I was being a rebel, but apparently it’s not so rebellious. I’d love to have a stash of pre-cooked meat in the freezer, but it always seems to disappear before it gets there. I’ll have to make up a batch when hubby is off work next week.
Mary Hoover says
Wow. I certainly am a “meat-a-tarian”, but those are two types I have never tried before!
Thanks for stopping by and “chatting” Janeen.
I brown ground beef for the freezer too. Makes getting dinner done so much easier and I only have to mess with the raw ground beef once.
Christina @ Northern Cheapskate says
I have been browning my bulk ground beef purchases and freezing them in 2 cup increments for awhile, but I can’t believe I never thought to do it in a crockpot! Brillliant! I bet if you added water, you could probably make a beef stock at the same time.
Mary Hoover says
Love the idea about the stock. Will have to try that next time. Thanks for dropping by and chatting! 🙂