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!
- 1 (5 pound) roll hamburger meat
- Set up your cooking area with your package of hamburger and your largest skillet and lid.
- 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.
- Turn the package over inside of your skillet and slowly but surely squeeze out the entire package of hamburger.
- Smash all of your raw hamburger meat down into your skillet by chopping it up with your spatula.
- Cook your hamburger meat on medium to medium high heat.
- As your hamburger cooks, every few minutes turn your meat over and chop it up to make sure that it is cooking evenly.
- 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).
- When the time is done on your hamburger to cook, check and make sure that it's completely cooked through.
- Spend a few minutes chopping it all up into small pieces with your spatula.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Return your hamburger meat back to your skillet, after also washing it out.
- 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.
- Set out 5-6 sandwich bags on the counter to be ready, and make sure to open them ahead of time.
- 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.
- 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.
- Close up each and every bag, pushing the air out of them before closing them.
- Finally, store them in the freezer for when you need them in your recipes.
|Serving size: 1 pound of hamburger|
|Calories from Fat||72|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 8 g||12%|
|Carbohydrates 0 g|
|Sugar 0 g|
|Fiber 0 g|
|Protein 15 g||30%|
|Cholesterol 60 mg||20%|
|Sodium 57 mg||2%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
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.
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!
How much time do you think this will save you on your meal preparation?
© 2014 Victoria Van Ness