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Defrosting Ground Beef... HOW

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi all. I wanted to defrost a package (2lb) of ground beef i had in the freezer, but i wanted to use it today for a chilli in the crock pot. However, i forgot to take it out and defrost yesterday. So... is there someway i can defrost it w/out having to wait that long? GRRRR, i can just kick my self for not taking it out....

or can i put it in the crockpot frozen ?? to make the chilli and just add in extra cooking time to the receipe i choose?

Another thing .... i took it right now and as i check the expiration (as i always do, force of habit) i noticed that it expires 11/15/07, but i froze it the day i brought it home from the store, which was before the expiration date. IS IT STILLSAFE TO USE?
post #2 of 12
First off, yes it's safe to you. That's the whole point of a freezer - buy it before the expiration date & freeze it.

There are several ways to thaw it. You can thaw it in your microwave. Just put it in there on power level 3 (or "defrost button" if you have one) for 5 minutes at a time, checking it, maybe breaking it apart as it defrosts. You can put it in your sink & run hot water over the package. I would not recommend putting the lump in the crockpot frozen.

Once it's thawed - or even in smaller clusters that are still a bit frozen in the middle, saute it in some chopped onions in a skillet, and break up those frozen clusters while browning your meat. Then you can put it in the crockpot no problem.
post #3 of 12
It is most definitely safe.

Use the defrosting setting on your microwave for fastest.

If your recipe calls for COOKED ground beef, then throw that puppy in a pan on med low and just start turning it. It takes more time to cook that thawed beef, but it cooks up fine (I've done this MANY times because I forgot to yank some out for dinner.)

Not as "safe" is to put it in a good sealing baggie and place it in a bowl of cool water, changing the water frequently.

Even less "safe" is putting in a sealed baggie in a bowl, and running hot tap water over it and in the bowl.

I do the least safe one, but I live on the edge like that :D McDonalds is the only place that has food poisoned me....I've not gotten myself yet.
post #4 of 12
I do one of the following, depending on time constraints...and NEVER have I been sick. I can't imagine you'd ever get sick with you cooking ground beef completely brown, no matter how you defrosted it.
I sometimes just throw the whole frozen block into the pan and brown it, letting it cook on each side and scraping it off and crumbling it then.
I defrost it in the microwave....
OR, my most popular version and apparently the LEAST safe, is I put in the sink with hot water in the sink.
Either way, I've always been fine.
post #5 of 12
I would do any of the above except the hot water

Just a side note: any time I buy a large package of ground beef, I seperate it into small freezer bags (maybe half a pound in each) and flatten it out so that it defrosts really fast. This works great for last minute meals. I know this is no help to you now though
post #6 of 12
Since I kinda of "make" our ground meat (venison here, not burger), I also really suggest taking it out of the cellophane/foam packs and resealing it with no air and making it "flat". All the burger I "make" packed like that (I have a Foodsaver that I'm insanely protective of now, though not as neurotic as I am about my grinder - NO ONE touches my grinder)...anyways yeah, it's very handy to have nice flat packs to stack in the freezer, and it's very easy to defrost whatever way you choose.

Packed correctly it can freeze a long time. I can't see the visible difference between last years burger, and this year's burger - no freezerburn. 99% of our burger comes from venison, and therefore, it all comes into the freezer within a short period of time each year, and lasts us all year long. All packs are 1lb, since that's how much we eat 99% of the time.
post #7 of 12
If you don't have a microwave, and you want to get it cooked fast so you can put it in the crock pot, you can cook it on the stove in a little water. Put a lid on it, and chop it up occasionally. The water will steam it.
post #8 of 12
they say never to put frozen food in the crock pot.

all the above are good ideas.
post #9 of 12
Originally Posted by mommy2mercedes View Post

they say never to put frozen food in the crock pot.

all the above are good ideas.

I do frozen chicken breasts all the time and we are alive and have done it for years.
post #10 of 12
Never use hot water to defrost your food, always use COLD running water. Using hot water will raise the temp of your meat and introduce foodborne pathogens. The BEST way to thaw foods in in the fridge, but if you don't have that much time, you can use the microwave, as long as you use the food right away after defrosting.
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