Cooking Ground Beef for the Freezer {Batch Cooking}

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Ground beef is one food that I always have in my freezer. It is versatile and family-friendly, making it a staple in my cooking.

When I finally noticed how frequently I was browning a pound or two of ground beef to add to various dishes, I started cooking a large batch and freezing the extra for future meals. Using pre-cooked ground beef from the freezer is such a time-saver on a busy night . . . and it reduces the amount of dirty dishes, too! Cheers from my children!

How to cook ground beef for the freezer:

Add the desired amount of ground beef to a large skillet (I use a Cuisinart Stainless 5-1/2-Quart Skillet to cook six or seven pounds of ground beef at one time). After cooking the meat, drain it well and allow it to cool to room temperature. Stirring the warm meat occasionally will help it to cool more quickly.

When the ground beef is cool, measure it into quart-size freezer bags or containers. The quart-size freezer bags will hold up to two pounds of cooked meat. If you turn down the top of the freezer bag an inch or so while filling, the zipper area will stay clean and will seal much more easily.

Use this handy measuring tip for ground beef: one pound is equivalent to two and one-half cups of cooked ground beef.

After filling the freezer bags with meat, remove as much air as possible and seal. Label each bag with a permanent marker. Lay flat in the freezer to freeze.

I love the convenience of pre-cooked ground beef! It makes my life as a homeschool mom so much easier.

Have you ever cooked ground beef for the freezer? What dishes do you prepare with pre-cooked ground beef?


  1. I never thought of doing this. When you think about it, most recipes have you brown the meat THEN add seasoning, onions, etc.

    Thanks for the great tip! Added it to pinterest so I wouldn’t forget.

    • Ellen, you could certainly add salt and pepper, or any other seasonings that you normally use. I have heard, though, that the flavor of spices can change during freezing.
      Thanks for pinning–I appreciate it!

  2. This is great! Thanks for all the little tips to simplify the process. I’m definitely adding this to my freezer cooking plan.

    • I’m glad it was helpful, Stacey. I think this is as close as I’m going to get to freezer cooking, at least until the school year is finished! :-)

  3. I love cooking large batches of ground meat for freezing. One trick I have learned to remove air from the freezer bags is to place a straw in the edge of the bag. Zip it to the straw, suck on the straw to get as much air out as possible. While still sucking on the straw, pull it out of the bag and finish zipping as quickly as possible. Works great. I use the ground meat for, Sloppy Joes (my husband’s recipe), tacos, taco salad, burritos, hamburger gravy (SOS), and mixed with rice and brown gravy.

  4. Angela Smith says:

    How do you thaw your meat after doing this? Or, what works best for you?

    • Angela, I usually just take the package of frozen meat and break it into fourths in the bag. Then I just add it to whatever I’m cooking and let it thaw and heat. Sometimes if I’m in a hurry, I put the frozen meat in the microwave for a minute or two until it is mostly thawed. Another option is to put it in a pan of warm water for a while. Hope that helps!

  5. Thank you for sharing your precooked ground beef recipe. I plan to do it asap.

    I did get a bit confused with the “this handy measuring tip for ground beef: one pound is equivalent to two and one-half cups of cooked ground beef.”

    If we are putting #2 pounds into a bag to freeze after it is cooked, is the #1 pound precooked or are you saying if I bought #1 pound of raw ground beef it would make 2.5 cups?
    I am guessing you mean 1 pound of cooked ground beef would equal 2.5 cups of it. So, if I was to put 5 cups of the cooked ground beef into a freezer bag, it would equal around 2 pounds in weight?


    • That’s right! 5 cups of cooked ground beef would be approximately 2 lbs – and of course this is just an approximation. The exact amount varies a bit based on the fat content of the ground beef (fattier meat loses more bulk in the cooking process).

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