Ground beef is always a family-friendly dinner starter, whether you turn it into chili, burgers, pasta sauce, or beyond. That’s why it’s a smart idea to have a pound or two on hand to reach for whenever you need it. It’s also cheaper to buy ground beef in bulk.
Since fresh ground beef only stays good in the fridge for a day or two, the freezer is a better long-term storage solution. So I loved it when I came across a brilliant trick for buying ground beef in bulk and freezing it from Alia and Radwa Elkaffas, aka the Food Dolls, on TikTok. Not only does this hack save money, it saves time when you need to thaw the frozen beef, too.
A Brilliant Way to Buy, Freeze, and Store Ground Beef
The Food Dolls explain their secret to always having ground beef at the ready is to buy it in bulk, divide it into portions, and freeze it. This might sound basic, but it’s their approach that makes all the difference.
First, buy a bulk package of ground beef. This trick also works for any kind of ground meat like chicken, turkey, lamb, etc. They buy a six-pound package of ground beef from Costco for $3.99 per pound. The price will fluctuate and depend on your grocery store and location.
Once home, open the package, cut it into one-pound portions with a knife, and place each piece into a large zip-top freezer bag. Let all the air bubbles out and seal the bags. Then flatten out each bag with a rolling pin, label them, and toss them into the freezer. The flattened bags mean they freeze quickly and barely take up any room in your freezer because they can be stacked.
Here’s the real genius: The ground beef will thaw faster because they’re so thin! Rather than wait a full 24 hours for the ground beef to thaw in the refrigerator, these only need a few hours in the refrigerator to defrost. No need to sweat if you forgot to plan ahead! Transfer a bag to the fridge in the afternoon and it will be thawed and ready to use by dinnertime.
You could also dunk the bag in a cold water bath—fill a 9×13-inch dish or large bowl with water—and it’ll be thawed within an hour.
7 Crowd-Pleasing Dinners Starting Ground Beef
- Ground Beef Bulgogi
- Cheeseburger Empanadas
- Beef Enchilada Casserole
- Instant Pot Beef Chili
- Burger Salad
- Classic Meatloaf
- Italian Meatballs