We’ve all had our share of Pinterest fails, but when you come across an idea that is truly ingenious, it can feel life-changing. A trick for freezing ground beef has been making the rounds on Pinterest lately, and it really does live up to the hype, especially if you’re a fan of buying beef in bulk. And it’s so easy.
Remove the uncooked ground beef from the grocery store packaging and place it in a ziplock freezer bag. Before sealing the bag, using a rolling pin (or your hands) to flatten the meat into a large, flat rectangle that is about ½-inch thick. Before sealing the bag, press out as much air as possible. Use a permanent market to label the bag with the contents and date. Then place the bag in the freezer. That’s it!
Here’s why this storage method is so smart:
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1. You can pre-portion large amounts of beef
Bulk shopping for meat is a great way to save money, but it requires a little more time in the kitchen to divvy the meat up into useable portions. Use a kitchen scale to weigh and portion out the uncooked ground beef into ziplock bags. Be sure to label the bag with the amount of beef inside so you won’t confuse a half-pound portion for a pound when you're making Beef Puffy Tacos.
2. It will defrost faster
A thin, flat sheet of frozen ground beef will defrost much faster than a large chunk. You can leave it in the refrigerator for a few hours to defrost, microwave the beef using the ‘defrost’ setting (be sure to remove the beef from the plastic bag), or defrost it in the sink by running cool water over the plastic bag.
3. Less freezer burn
Removing excess air from the bag prevents freezer burn, that brownish-greyish discoloration you might see on frozen meat. Meat that has been freezer burned is still safe to eat but it
4. It can be stored more easily
This storage method is a great space saver because the flat bags can be stacked on a freezer shelf.
If frozen properly, ground beef will remain safe to eat indefinitely, but we recommend using it within three months for the best flavor and texture.