When a recipe calls for ground beef, it usually requires that you brown the meat on the stove top until it takes on a crumbly texture. Sauces, casseroles, chili, tacos -- you name it -- ground beef makes the meal. Cooking the ground beef ahead of time and freezing it until you need it can cut the preparation time of many of these meals in half. Cooking and freezing also ensures that the ground beef does not go bad before you get a chance to use it.
Place the ground beef in a bowl or plastic container immediately after cooking. Set the bowl in the refrigerator, uncovered, as the ground beef cools.
Remove the bowl from the refrigerator when the ground beef has cooled completely. Transfer the ground beef from the bowl to a plastic freezer bag.
Lay the unsealed freezer bag on your counter. Press out as much air as you can, using the palms of your hands. Seal the bag.
Label the freezer bag with the date and contents, using a waterproof marker. Set the bag of cooked ground beef in a freezer set to 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
Things You'll Need
Bowl or plastic container
Plastic freezer bags
Thaw and add the cooked ground beef to your recipes within 3 to 4 months of freezing. Pressing the ground beef down flat while you press the air out of the freezer bag cuts down on thawing time. If you are cooking and freezing a large amount of ground beef, divide the cooked meat into portions. Place each portion into a separate freezer bag.
If you do not eat the cooked ground beef within 4 months, remove it from the freezer and throw it away.