EASY Way to Stock Up on Cooked Ground Beef

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I tend to buy large quantities of meat and put them in single meal size portions in the fridge. I like to have some cooked and some not cooked because it makes daily meals a lot easier, esp on my bad days.

    Recently I figured that I would try a new thing with ground beef. We had gotten a ten pound tube at Sams at a great price. I filled the crock pot with the meat, really packed it full, added a little bit of water, lemon juice and worcestershire, and left it on low overnight.

    It was AMAZING. It crumbled up very very nicely, was easy to clean up after (FAR easier than using a skillet and having the grease pop all over the stove top!). A store here will have ground beef at $1.69 per pound tomorrow, so we will be getting even more then and doing this again.

    I know lots of us are super busy this time of year, so this may be handy.
  2. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the tip Susie! I'm always looking for ways to cut down on prep time and clean up and this sounds like a fantastic idea!
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    We were all shocked at how easy this way - truly shocked. Esp the cleanup. I HATE cleanup!
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That is amazing.
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    SO after you crock pot this stuff......then what do you do? Baggie it up and freeze it?
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Yup. We crumble it up with a fork or potato masher or whatever Then we use a slotted spoon to put approx 1 pound into ziplocs. We get as much air as possible otu of the bags, then pat the meat into as flat a shape as possible. Freeze these laying on cookie sheets so they are flat. When fully frozen (the next day or so), take the cookie sheets full of bags of cooked meat out and then get a plastic container an stand those bags up like they were books on a shelf. We get ice cream in 1 gallon square tubs (much cheaper that way) and we reuse the square tubs after the ice cream is gone. I use those to organize the freezer. The bags of meat just stand up in the tub and are easy to get to.

    It is much faster to thaw the meat if it is in that flat shape than if it was just a lump. Ends up saving a LOT of time.

    We also freeze raw ground beef in the same flat shapes and have a separate tub for the raw meat to stand in. When we make patties (for making hamburgers later), I use a metal ring I picked up somewhere or other to make sure the patties are all the same size. I make the patty and before I take the ring off, I make an indentation in the center of the patty with my thumb. Not super deep, but enough that you can see it at least. This helps the meat retain it's shape and allows it to cook all the way through far more efficiently. You don't end up with overcooked edges and an uncooked center this way. The patties go on waxed paper on a cookie sheet. When frozen solid, they are wrapped in wax paper and stored in the freezer. The waxed paper makes it easy to make just one or two burgers at a time.

    You can also cook chicken in the crockpot the same way as the beef. Just pack it in there, make sure tehre is some liquid, and let it go. I check on chicken more often than beef because it can lose flavor if you cook it too long.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I LOVE you Susie!!!

    I have a recipe for making very nutritious dog food from scratch. I was putting it off because of using the skillet.......the clean up......the popping grease issue. I'd also hoped to vary the recipe using various other meat (chicken or turkey ect) I found on sale to help with cost........but I didn't want the meat over cooked and the other ingredients under cooked, especially the fowl. You just solved the problem for me.

    You've made it much easier for me to do the meat part. So, now, I'll be canning a lot of dog food this winter as I find meats on sale. Yay!! This is wonderful as chicken here has been going on sale for 98 cent a lb while hamburger is nearly as valuable as steak. ugh

    I told Travis the rate pricing is going we'll be eating chicken and pork mainly until other prices come down. Good thing we like them so much.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    How funny. I almost didn't post this because it sounds a bit 'out there'. husband told me it was nuts and he was all prepared to fuss over me 'wasting' that much meat. He often thinks I am strange for some of my money saving ideas. Not sure why, because he normally LOVES the outcome, lol.

    I am glad this will help, Lisa. It is awesome to figure out a way to get the meat ready to use that takes less work. I am pretty physically limited, so figuring things like this make a really big difference for my family. Esp since Jess is also limited in what she can do.

    I wonder if the dog food wll end up cheaper than buying it or not??? I would be interested to see how that works.

    Heck, I bet you could sell your canned dog food at farmer's markets and other places. People pay a FORTUNE for it here and I bet they would love an alternative.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oddly, my 40 dollar Taste of the Wild dog food has lasted me a month. That is feeding Abby and Buddy the first half of the month and now from about the 19th or 20th, we added the two outside beagles because Tony ran out of his 20 pound bag of dog food for them. He noticed that his beagles were gaining too much weight on the store brand dog food so we are going on just the Taste of the Wild for all of the dogs from now on. Abby eats very little of it and she is huge. Buddy might eat a quarter cup a day. Tony feeds the two beagles a cup each. It is the 27th and we still have plenty left to get through until I can reorder on the third. It is possible that we may go through a bag and a half with all 4 dogs on it eventually because Abby will get bigger. She is only 8 months old now. She eats maybe a cup and a half right now.

    But right now I dont think 40 bucks is too bad for dog food a month. I would spend that at the grocery store for a couple of bags of the bad stuff.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You are so right, Janet. That is why I went nuts in frustration when husband decided it was too expensive to buy for the cats. Made no sense to me. Just a few days ago he was complaining about having to buy cat food every week or so. He insists on only getting the 3.5 pound bag, which is crazy expensive in my opinion, and only getting what the grocery carries. I finally made him add up the cost of the little bags and he was stunned. Gee, how hard is it to multply $4.50 time 4??? The little bags are the worst deal, at least around here. husband says that we 'cannot' buy the bigger ones because they will go stale and the cat won't eat them.

    How hard is it to put the food in an airtight container or even in a bunch of ziplocs? What is that???

    Right. Too much like logical thinking for him to do that.