Save time and money when you learn how to freeze ground beef. Try this easy meal prep tip to make dinner a breeze.

Save time and money when you learn how to freeze ground beef. Try this easy meal prep tip to make dinner a breeze.
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Freezing ground beef is so easy!

My personal freezer tip is How to Freeze Ground beef so it saves you a ton of money and a ton of time in the kitchen.  You will love having this in the freezer for busy weeknights. Dinner just got easier!

What is the best way to freeze ground beef?

This is such a simple and SMART idea, but you should BROWN ground beef BEFORE you freeze it. Yes, you read that right – brown and then freeze.

It could really change your life!

Ok, maybe I am a bit dramatic… but seriously… this is a great way to save money and save time in the kitchen. Now, you can buy beef or ground turkey in bulk when it goes on sale.

Then brown it all up and have it read in the freezer. It lasts practically forever and it is so easy to cook once it is already browned!

If you are going to make a chili or a soup from one our delicious crock pot recipes you won’t have to brown the ground beef. You will just toss it in the crockpot frozen. It is that simple.

How to freeze ground beef:

I take a big pot or huge skillet and dump 2-3 pounds of the ground beef in the pot and start to brown it all. I have learned from experience that putting anymore than 2 to 3 at a time takes too long to brown.

I don’t season the meat. You can season it for tacos or spaghetti, but I prefer to just leave it plain. That way I have beef ready for anything, from tacos, spaghetti, taco soup, hamburger helper, to chili and more.

Save time and money when you learn how to freeze ground beef. Try this easy meal prep tip to make dinner a breeze.

Once it is browned, dump it into a 9×13 in pan or a jelly roll pan. Then continue browning the rest of the beef and placing it into the pan (or more pans depending how big of a job you are doing). Once all that is done, I cover the pan lightly with foil and put it in the fridge to cool.

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If you read up on freezing meals, the main thing you HAVE to do is get the food cooled off before you freeze it. So leave the meat in the fridge until completely cooled.  That is the MOST important step. Then distribute the meat evenly into freezer baggies that your family will use.

Save time and money when you learn how to freeze ground beef. Try this easy meal prep tip to make dinner a breeze.

You decide what your family needs – do you freeze it in one pound bags, or 1.25 pounds. It is up to you. I don’t weigh them because they will be lighter weight since you have cooked them. Instead, I do the math. If I started with 10 pounds of meat, then I will divide it into 10 baggies if I want 1 pound bags. Make sure you label and then freeze.

Then I just put them in the freezer. It really that easy! NOW you have meat ready to eat on those crazy busy nights.

How long does it take me?

It only takes about 15 to 20 minutes to brown up to 10 pounds of meat. That is it! The rest is just waiting for it to cool in the freezer.

Save time and money when you learn how to freeze ground beef. Try this easy meal prep tip to make dinner a breeze.

Why I brown ground beef before I freeze it:

YES! If I want to make chili, I can just toss it in the pan with the onions, the tomato sauce, and the beans. No thawing and browning needed. Add in a little water and the meat will thaw in the pan in minutes.

For tacos -all i have to do it heat it up and add the seasonings.

For a crock pot meal, I won’t have to brown the meat anymore. I just have to place it in the crock pot frozen. The crock pot alone will save so much time in the morning -I mean, the crock pot is supposed to be all about convenience.

For Hamburger Helper, I have taken out a whole step -Hamburger helper just got easier. The possibilities are endless!


I love to use these hands free bag holders. It is like having another set of hands in the kitchen. So handy for freezer cooking. that are seriously a life saver.  They keep your bags open so you can just dump your ingredients inside.

Save time and money when you learn how to freeze ground beef. Try this easy meal prep tip to make dinner a breeze.

Why does this save you money?

  1.  First, you save money because now you can buy it bulk at rock bottom prices and brown it all at once.
  2. You can get dinner ready on the table in less time, because you don’t have to worry about thawing out meat. Even if you are tired, you can now get dinner on the table in no time. Because of this you are less likely to go through the drive thru on a crazy busy evening… like a baseball game or soccer practice evening.

Time for you to GET FREEZING!

Save time and money when you learn how to freeze ground beef. Try this easy meal prep tip to make dinner a breeze.

Print how to freeze ground beef below:

How to Freeze Ground Beef

5 from 3 votes
How to Freeze Ground beef after you brown it and how it saves you money and time in the kitchen.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cool completely 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 1
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Calories 1152
Author Eating on a Dime


  • Ground Beef


  • Brown the ground beef in a large sauce pan.  Drain off the excess grease.
  • Allow the beef to cool completely at room temperature.
  • Then place the browned ground beef in a freezer bag (labeled).
  • Get as much air out of the bag as possible and seal.
  • Store in the freezer for 3-6 months.

Recipe Notes

To Thaw: Place the ground beef in the refrigerator until defrost.  Also, you can place in crock pot from frozen as well.  Meat just needs to be reheated through since it’s already cooked! 

Nutrition Facts

Calories 1152kcal, Protein 78g, Fat 91g, Saturated Fat 35g, Polyunsaturated Fat 2g, Monounsaturated Fat 40g, Trans Fat 6g, Cholesterol 322mg, Sodium 304mg, Potassium 1225mg, Calcium 82mg, Iron 9mg

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More freezer cooking tips:

Make sure you download our FREE Freezer cooking guide. 

See all our freezer tips here.

Learn how to freeze Ground beef after you brown it.  Also learn how to freeze cooked ground beef to save you money and time in the kitchen! Check out the best way to freeze hamburger.  Plus how long can you freeze ground beef.  You will love all these tips and tricks for freezer ground beef.  #eatingonadime #groundbeef #freezertips
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Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

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  1. Love this timesaver. Ground beef was the first meat I started cooking before freezing. I used to freeze it in small corningware or plastic dishes, but often found I didn’t need as much meat as I had in a dish. It was hard to chip off what I needed. Now I freeze it flat in a gallon freezer bag & have found it’s easy to break off however much meat I need for the meal I am preparing. Then just squeeze out the air & zip the bag closed. I usually don’t buy more than 2 to 3 lbs @ a time any more, so it would take more than one freezer bag to hold 10 lbs.

  2. I think this would be great!!!! Lots of times I would like to have some beef to make some quick tacos or taco salads, etc. Sounds like a good idea to me.
    Thanks for the hint.

  3. I buy the big tubes of ground beef and some of ground turkey and mix them, my electric fry pan will do about 6 pounds and I add onion, celery and green pepper to my meat. Every way I use the browned meat the onion, celery and pepper are either something I would add or is something that is not going to change the recipe. I use Tupperware 16oz square rounds to freeze in it makes it easier to do about a pound and with adding the veggies it comes out about the same, so 7 pounds of raw plus veggies gives me 7 containers. and it is thicker than the zip lock bag they stack great and are reusable and still thaws fast in either the microwave (taco or something like hamburger helper (our favorite is the mac&cheese so I just get the mac and cheese I prefer and add the browned burger) or in the slow cooker for spaghetti sauce, Spanish rice, fake stuffed cabbage(shred the cabbage and I use barley and rice with the meat and sauce), chili or soup, or even to make lasagna (I just pop it out in a microwave dish with some sauce and zap a couple of minutes.. And the veggies are something I would add to any of these so why not brown it with the meat and have it in the frozen? I do not ad seasonings or herbs as some of these use slightly different things

  4. I LOVE this tip! I do this but use my pressure cooker. It takes 10 minutes from start to finish. The meat(5lbs.) is cooked in 1/2 cup water and neutral seasonings(garlic, onion powder, black pepper) and the meat comes out so moist and delicious(don’t even have to drain) . Then cool and separate into lb. freezer bags!

  5. I know you should brown before you freeze what would happen if you thaw the meat brown then freeze again

  6. I think that would be ok. Normally they don’t suggest refreezing but normally that is just if you thawed meat and then froze it again. I think cooking it and then freezing it again would be ok.

  7. One thing I do when freezing ground beef is while it’s flat in the bag on the freezer shelf (cooled but not frozen), I score it with a chopstick to make 4 sections within the bag. In case of that extra friend of your kids staying for dinner & I need to break off some extra but don’t need a whole other bag of meat.

  8. I’ve been doing this for years, but I put it in a colander and rinse it lightly to get the grease off.

  9. I don’t like left over hamburger, to me it has a weird taste. If it’s in a chili or spaghetti it’s not bad. Do you notice any old taste? I may try a small amount to see. This could really be a game changer!

  10. I have been doing this since 1973 when I got married, saves a lot of time. Also when freezing peas from the garden I put them in gallon size freezer bags so all you is pour out as many as you need to cook

  11. I enjoy my seal a meal for this. Keeps the meat fresh for a long time. And no freezer crystals

  12. I have been doing this for several years. I cook my hamburger with onions, garlic, salt & pepper. I strain it in a colander which help cool it down. I put the cooled hamburger into freezer bags. I have found I can actually put less than 1lb in each bag but still have plenty of meat for tacos, chili, hot dog sauce, etc. I also cooked chicken breast before freezing. I buy a large package and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. I bake it on a baking sheet fitted with a metal rack at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes or until its done. I cool the meat for about 20 minute then shred, slice and cube the meat. I store it in freezer bags marked with the type of chicken. This is great for soups, stir fry, fajitas and many other meals. Both save me so much time on busy evening.

  13. I precooked ground beef in my crock pot before freezing. I find it easier than on the stove and I can do as much as 10 lbs at once (using my largest crock pot). I just put the ground beef in, add 1 can of beef broth or beef consomme for each 5 lbs of beef (the beef broth seems to give the meat a nice ‘beefy’ flavor), and add some minced garlic (approximately 2-3 tsp per 5 lbs meat) and chopped onion (1 medium chopped per 5 lb of meat). I do not season it because I find most recipes have/add salt in the recipe or already include it in the mix/packet. This avoids things being too salty. I can always add it in the preparation stage. Let it cook on either high or low (your choice depending on your time schedule) until it is done (no longer any pink). I have a meat chopping tool I got from Pampered Chef that works beautifully to chop the meat up occasionally while it is cooking. You can use anything that helps break the meat up. I strain the meat and let it rest on a cookie sheet (with sides) until not too hot for baggies. Then, I divide it into quart-sized freezer storage bags (2 cups seems to be approximately 1 lb of ground beef cooked; sometimes I get just a little more per bag). I strain all the broth left in the crock pot, stick all the broth into the fridge overnight, then take off the solidified fats on top. Then, I put the broth (it is kind of gelled at this point) in the freezer and use it in making vegetable beef soup using the ground beef. It seems to be very flavorful! This is such a time-saver! The way I do it already has onion in it and garlic (the garlic is definitely not overpowering and won’t adversely affect recipes that do not call for garlic).

  14. I have been cooking ground beef and chicken since the 60’s when I got married. I was taught to boil the ground beef and chicken, strain and save broth for future use. The only required appliance was a large freezer. After buying my first food saver I was golden. Seasoning the meats after cooling is optional but seasoning the broths are not. Fast and easy meals were a must with busy teenagers and a swing shift husband. Portion control is easy to achieve and helpful with diets and food restrictions. Thanks for the article and my trip down memory lane.

  15. My daughter does this and shares with me, but I prefer it not browned so I can make meatloaf, meatballs , etc

  16. I always make my meatballs ahead of time and freeze them. After you roll them out out them on baking sheets and pop them in the freezer until hard enough to not squish and then I vacuum pack them in 1 dozen pkgs