Repackage Bulk Ground Beef

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How many times have you seen ads in the paper for ridiculously low prices on bulk ground beef, then asked yourself, "What am I going to do with a 5, 10 or 15 pounds of ground meat"? You can always throw the 5 lb bag of ground meat in the freezer, which is fine as long as you remember to get it out four days before you are going to use it. This article will describe a better way--repackaging the meat into smaller portions. If you portion them into 1 quart zip lock bags and make them about one inch (2.5cm) thick, they will thaw out in no time.

Label the bags according to the predicted amount of meat that will be in each one. For example, if you had 6+ lbs of meat you probably want to label five with "1 lb 85% lean Ground Beef". (The last one can be labeled after it's weighed.) Date the bags as well, if you want. Label the bags prior to filling. Sharpies and other markers won't write on cold or wet bags.Grab a wad of burger, put it in the bag, and set it on the scale. Add a little more, or take some away, until you reach 1 lb (or so).Pack and flatten the meat into the bag, and squeeze all the air out of the bag. This makes for easy thawing later. It also cuts down on freezer burn. Put the remaining meat in the last bag, weigh it, label the bag, and pop it into the freezer with the others. Stack bags neatly in freezer to minimize space.

Use rubber gloves. Get out there and stock up your freezer with bargain basement meat! The easiest way to flatten the meat is to seal the zip top all but a little, then press the bag between the counter and a book or a cutting board, then seal the bag. This gets the air out and makes a nice, flat, stackable package. The meat will freeze faster if you spread them out in the freezer. Make sure they are lying flat so that you can stack them up after they are frozen. If you place the bags in a bowl of water up to the zipper portion, it will push the air out

Wash your hands before you start.
Wash your hands when done.
Use common raw meat precautions.


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