When you have to thaw ground beef and you need to get it done fast. Use these simple tips that are easy to follow and you’ll be cooking in no time!
You’re ready to grill up some burgers for a party, or maybe you are trying to make a last minute dinner and you go to grab the ground beef to start. But wait! You forgot to take it out or you didn’t plan on using it, and all you have is frozen ground beef.
You need to thaw it quick or at least fast enough where it’s going to be safe to eat, but also able to be cooked properly. There’s methods that you can find that’ll help you defrost or thaw your ground beef.
Let’s be honest though, the easiest way most people think is by using the microwave on the ‘defrost’ setting. The problem is, sometimes it thaws and defrosts on the outside and the inside is still frozen. Or worse…you put it in too long and the meat starts to brown and cook.
Let us show you our favorite ways to thaw ground beef. Hopefully these ways help you out for when you’re in a pinch!
First – you need to know the best way to freeze ground beef.
Before freezing – break the beef into portion sizes and put them into ziplock bags. Usually a half pound per bag works best. Then with a rolling pin or your hand, gently roll it out until the beef is a 1/2 inch thick. Squeeze out any excess air and throw it in the freezer.
If you have 2 hours to spare: Defrost it in the fridge
According to the USDA – the best way is to defrost it in the fridge. Simply take your frozen meat out around 2 hours before you plan to use it. Place it on a plate and set it on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.
If you used the rolling pin method, this can get your meat thawed in only hours, compared with 12 hours if it was still frozen in a big chunk from the original packaging.
Once defrosted, you can cook the meet within 2 days. If you decided to not cook any burgers that day, that’s OK, simply put it back into the freezer and you’ll be good to go for next time!
If you have 10 minutes: Submerge in cold water
Since your meat will be in a ziplock bag already (or it should be if you’re taking it out of the freezer), this method is going to be so fast and simple. Put the ground beef into a bowl of cold water and make sure it’s covered and totally submerged.
If the ground beef has been rolled flat, this will defrost in a quick 10 minutes. Larger frozen chunks will obviously take longer (figure 30 minutes for every half pound). Once it’s thawed, cook it immediately!
If you have 5 minutes: Use the microwave
We mentioned it before, but this IS the quickest method. Put the ziplock bag on a plate – leave a small opening for the steam to escape. Use the defrost setting on your microwave and set it for 3 – 4 minutes. Make sure you turn the meat half way thru.
Make sure you cook the ground beef immediately, because the meat may have started to cook while you were defrosting it.
So there you have it – now get to defrosting some frozen ground beef and start cooking!