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Preparing Your Hamburger Meat Ahead of Time

Victoria is a stay-at-home mom, author, educator, and blogger at Healthy at Home. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.

Preparing Your Hamburger Meat Ahead of Time

Preparing Your Hamburger Meat Ahead of Time

So this was an idea that my husband introduced to me about four years ago.

We had altogether stopped making hamburger meals because it required us to thaw and cook hamburger meat before every meal. I realize that we still have to do this for chicken, and we also do this with chicken meat every so often to save time on recipes.

But most of our chicken meals are casseroles that require us to cook the meat at the same time as the rest of the ingredients.

His logic was that I would have hamburger on hand when needed, with only a 2 minute zap in the microwave. He was right!

Now I have healthy cooked and drained hamburger, with most of the fat rinsed off ahead of time, whenever I need it for a hamburger meal. Let's just say, we eat hamburger much more often now.

This whole process only took me about 30 minutes to cook all 5 pounds and bag them. And to think that this simple 30 minutes, while watching my shows after dinner, saved me hours of cooking hamburger for meals for the next month.

It's much easier than it sounds. Let me show you!

Step One: Set up your area

Step One: Set up your area

I buy the largest 5 pound package of hamburger at the store just for this purpose.

I buy the largest 5 pound package of hamburger at the store just for this purpose.

Step Two: Open up one end of your hamburger package with scissors

Step Two: Open up one end of your hamburger package with scissors

I usually just cut under the metal piece and the whole thing opens up for me.

I usually just cut under the metal piece and the whole thing opens up for me.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

30 min

35 min

Serves 5 pounds of cooked and drained hamburger

Ingredients

  • 1 (5 pound) roll hamburger meat

Instructions

  1. Set up your cooking area with your package of hamburger and your largest skillet and lid.
  2. Start by cutting open one side of your hamburger package with some scissors. I like to cut just under the metal ring on the side and the whole package opens right up for me.
  3. Turn the package over inside of your skillet and slowly but surely squeeze out the entire package of hamburger.
  4. Smash all of your raw hamburger meat down into your skillet by chopping it up with your spatula.
  5. Cook your hamburger meat on medium to medium high heat.
  6. As your hamburger cooks, every few minutes turn your meat over and chop it up to make sure that it is cooking evenly.
  7. When your hamburger is almost completely cooked through, put the lid on the pot, turn the temperature down a bit (2-3 notches), and leave it for about 10 minutes to cook (and steam).
  8. When the time is done on your hamburger to cook, check and make sure that it's completely cooked through.
  9. Spend a few minutes chopping it all up into small pieces with your spatula.
  10. Finally, pour your cooked hamburger meat into a strainer in the sink and rinse it with warm water to wash off as much. grease and excess fat as possible before bagging it up
  11. I say warm water rather than cold because cold water will seal the fat to the meat preventing you from being able to wash it off. Warm to hotter heat will keep the fat melted and easily wash it away.
  12. Just a simple rinse can reduce the fat content of your hamburger meat from 85% to only 12% without washing away any of the flavor.
  13. Return your hamburger meat back to your skillet, after also washing it out.
  14. If you would like to season your meat, this would be the right time to do it. I choose not to and instead let the recipe I use it in season it.
  15. Set out 5-6 sandwich bags on the counter to be ready, and make sure to open them ahead of time.
  16. One bag at a time, scoop 1-2 large spoonfuls into each bag with a large serving spoon. Set each on its end to the side as you fill it.
  17. Now go back through and add one more large spoonful to each bag. Then pour the remaining hamburger meat in the skillet evenly into each bag.
  18. Close up each and every bag, pushing the air out of them before closing them.
  19. Finally, store them in the freezer for when you need them in your recipes.
  20. Enjoy!!
preparing-your-hamburger-meat-ahead-of-time

Personal Review

One thing you should know about this recipe, you have to watch your hamburger closely the whole time as it's super easy to forget that it's in the kitchen cooking and end up burning it.

Both of us have learned that lesson at least once before realizing how important it is to sit there and watch it.

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As it's cooking, I turn it over and mix it up every few minutes. If I do walk away briefly during the process, I make sure to come right back.

This is a great time to do your dishes, wipe down your counters, and enjoy your favorite TV show, etc. But just stay near your hamburger. lol

With a little time and effort on your part, you'll have at least 5 meals worth of hamburger meat or more when you need them.

I hope this helped! Enjoy!

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© 2014 Victoria Van Ness

Comments

Victoria Van Ness (author) from Fountain, CO on February 09, 2014:

Nice! I hope it works out for you! You'll have to let me know how it turns out. :)

Laura L Scotty from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 09, 2014:

You mentioned freezing when you want to make meatloaf. This inspired me to do my porcupine balls ahead of time when I get a buy one get one sale. I'm going to try preparing my meat in advance and par cooking them for another day when they can be put into the sauce. Going to give this one a go this week.

Victoria Van Ness (author) from Fountain, CO on February 08, 2014:

Lol That sounds like fun! Maybe I can go shopping with her! :)

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on February 08, 2014:

Yes we are, we are so healthy because we run around to markets in all our free time. How fun!

Victoria Van Ness (author) from Fountain, CO on February 08, 2014:

How funny! But I bet the two of you are much healthier than the rest of us!! :) And I bet you eat better. Thanks for the comments!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on February 08, 2014:

We kind of stopped doing this as my wife is from a country where you simply shop 5 days a week. And her stores are very ethnic and so just by tradition the meats are not prepackaged. So I imagine average storage time by us is about 24 hours. Talk about inconvenient. Some people say the olden days were simpler -- wrong! Getting her to trust canned goods and frozen foods took about 4 years ;-)

Victoria Van Ness (author) from Fountain, CO on February 08, 2014:

Great suggestion. I think the only time I've ever put raw hamburger meat in the freezer is when I was anticipating making meat loaf or hamburgers. :) Otherwise, I cook it all!

Thank you for the comment!

Laura L Scotty from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 08, 2014:

This a great idea for those times when you bought your ground meat with a BO/GO coupont and don't have time to make the recipe. At least getting the meat cooked off will save time later on and let's you save the extra package of meat.

Victoria Van Ness (author) from Fountain, CO on February 07, 2014:

Exactly! I love the sheer convenience. :) Thank you for the comment!

kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on February 07, 2014:

We also do this; it saves time and energy. It's great when you are on the hurry as well!

Victoria Van Ness (author) from Fountain, CO on February 07, 2014:

Oh good! I've been talking about it in all of my recipes. I thought it was about time I shared how to do it. :)

Thanks for the comments!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 07, 2014:

We already do this and it is a time-saver. Have a great weekend Victoria.

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