Oct 25 2007

Cooking ground beef all at once

I took the $5.47 leftover from my Aldi trip and added it to the $5 or so left over from last week. The only thing I wanted from Giant Eagle was ground beef at 1.99/lb. It’s not always that low here, in fact it usually takes a few weeks to drop to that.

I bought a little more than five pounds of the stuff and cooked it all. I had to use three pans, but it took about the same amount of time it would have if I just cooked one pound of hamburger. Cook once, eat 5+ times.

Now, I’ll freeze them in 1-lb portions and I’ll be able to grab a bag of cooked hamburger and add it to whatever I’m cooking.

Do you cook your meats in bulk?



17 Responses to “Cooking ground beef all at once”

  1. Yep, I often cook ground beef in larger batches. I sometimes (when I have free time), buy the 10 pound chubs of 93% lean at Sam’s club because then it’s just $1.98/pound. I will make meatloaf muffins, bake them, and freeze them individually. I will cook some plain with onions for spaghetti or the like. I will cook some with taco seasoning and onions for chili, for burritos, enchiladas, and for – well – tacos! I also sometimes freeze some uncooked for different meals — meatballs with rice inside for “porcupines” — 1 pound baggies for beef stroganoff, etc.

  2. Yes, sometimes I do. I recently saw on Sort of Frugal’s website that she puts it all in a big lasagna pan in the oven to cook it. Sounds easier to me. I might try it next time.

  3. Some people cook their beef in their crock pot. I thought about it–but I don’t think the meat would have fit.

  4. About half the meat I buy is cooked in bulk. After I work a 10-hour day, the last thing I want to do is cook. Having food already prepared has saved me a lot of money that would have gone into fast food meals.

  5. I haven’t done this, but I’ve been thinking about it. It’s so gross having to deal with the grease every time you cook a pound of ground beef. If I did it all once, it would be much simplier to just dump it.

    I think the next time I buy the meat in bulk, I”m cooking it then.

  6. Last week my DH and I bought 40 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast. While we bagged most of it for freezing, I did decide to cut and cook some of it. I have 3 tupperware type containers in the freezer with enough chicken to make my chicken enchiladas (or something similar) 3 times! It’s not a huge deal, but how fun not to have to touch raw chicken the next 3 times I make that! :)

    By the way, just visiting for the first time… Saw your blog listed on Money Saving Mom!

    Blessings!

  7. Hi Homemaker- Thanks for stopping by! I hope you’ll come back.

    It really does save time in the long run to pre-cook the meat. I can’t believe how many times I froze an entire batch, or just froze it in portions.

    I have much to learn yet.

  8. I’ve been doing this and it saves a LOT of time. I cooked up 10 lbs. of ground beef (on sale this week for really cheap!) on Tuesday, and put it in meal-size bags, which saves me time and effort in the long run. I also do this some with chicken. I’ll cook several pieces in the oven or boiled in water, and then chop them up and freeze them for casseroles.

  9. the last time i cooked my meat, i did cook it all and froze what i didnt needs that night. It sure was helpful. I will be doing it again.

  10. What a great idea! I may have to try this. I guess it will reduce the time it takes to cook your meals. My question though would be how does it affect some dishes? For example, I make hamburger casserole, and I put all the other ingredients such as veggies in at the same time as the hamburger, so if the hamburger is already cooked, is it going to burn while waiting for the veggies, etc. to soften / cook?

    I am always looking for more time saving ideas in the kitchen. I want to come up with some freezer meals but then I’ll have to find the time to make it all too. The weekends are far too short and I’m far too disorganized to do anything like this during the week (though I might have to learn to change this habit!)

    I would love your input!

  11. Hi Ter-

    It really does save a step later.

    You might have to experiment with your individual recipes to make sure things won’t overcook. Or, you could cook the casserole at a slightly lower temperature. Either way, since your meat has already been throughly cooked, you won’t have to worry about the safety factor of the meat being entirely cooked.

    One other thing: I read somewhere that if your cooked hamburger is greasy, you might rinse it in a colander before freezing.

  12. I make 3 to 4 dozen meatballs at one time and cook them in the oven at 350 degrees on foil-lined cookie sheets. I freeze them in smaller batches of 8-12 meatballs each and we use them for spaghetti, meatball subs, meatballs in the chili sauce/grape jelly sauce, etc. It’s much easier than cooking a few meatballs at a time. I’ll also brown and freeze ground meat for casseroles, but I rarely cook chicken or other meat ahead of time. I’ll have to try that sometime.

  13. I have always cooked enough food for 4-5 meals at the same times. Every week-end I cook something big, such as spaghetti sauce (extra hamburger for whatever I need it for later), or meatloaf, chicken and noodles(extra chicken to BBQ later), almost anything I can freeze gets DATED and frozen. Raising 4 children taught me how to cook large meals and now that it is me and my husband I have the same habit. As long as I have plenty to select from it doesn’t bother him and it makes eating so much easier and cheaper. Make sure your foods are dated so you can rotate your meals. If I have extra onions I also cut them up at the same time to freeze them in several double baggies so it doesn’t smell up the fridge, this way when you are cooking it is so much easier to grab the onions from the freezer than to spend the time cutting them up. Also if I have a family member or neighbor who is sick I can take them a meal or two.

  14. I’ve never done this, but you can bet I will try it this week.

  15. I’ve been browning ground beef 10lbs at a time for a while. I have a small home daycare & I make my husbands lunches ahead for the work week. It works great! I’m wondering if anyone has an “easier” way to brown such a large amount at once? I want to try doing it in the oven, but I’m sure it will all stick together. I don’t want to try it & be out the $$ for the meat. Up until now, I use 2 large pots on the stove top. Also, I use freezer bags to store the cooked meat in the freezer & am wondering if it’s worth the investment to buy freezer containers or a vacuum bag system?

  16. I’ve heard some people cook their meat in a crock pot. I’m not sure what that would do to the consistency, though.

    Since you aren’t putting any raw meat into those freezer bags, you could wash and reuse as long as the bags hold up.

    I like freezer containers since it’ll be years before I have to replace them, and on sale they aren’t expensive. Better for the environment, too.

  17. I used my crock pot to brown 2lbs of sausage today. I just dumped it in and put it on high and broke it into several large chunks. After about 2 hours I stirred it and turned it on low and left for the afternoon. When I got back about 4 hours later, I just scooped some out onto a paper towel lined plate and used a metal spatula to break it up. It was so tender and moist. It was the easiest time I ever had breaking up meat into small pieces, much easier than browning it in a skillet!
    I am definitly going to use this method with ground beef.
    Something else I always do is buy turkeys when they are on sale around thanksgiving and cook them then I cube the meat and put them in one cup packages and freeze. I also do this with boneless hams around easter when they are on sale. Makes for super easy casseroles!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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