Freezer Cooking Crock Pot Ground Beef or Turkey

Wouldn’t it be nice for our ground beef or turkey to cook by itself? Yes, it can if you throw it into your crock pot or slow cooker!

There’s great advantages to using this babysitting trick:

  • You can fix it and almost forget it
  • You can brown up to five pounds at one time
  • You can mix in all sorts of hidden finely diced, pureed or shredded vegetables  for future meals like spaghetti, chili, taco meat, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, soup, sloppy joes, pizza, stuffed pepper filling and more.
  • You can season all or part of it for future meals (try homemade taco seasoning for 5-minute tacos)
  • You can keep it warm and serve a large crowd buffet style
  • Of course, you can freeze it in labeled quart size bags for future use super quick meals

I suggest thawing your quart size bags in a thawing box overnight and incorporating it into your meal the next day.

Steps for crocking finely ground beef or turkey and freezing:

  1. Add one to five pounds of thawed beef or turkey in your crock pot.
  2. Add enough water to make it super mushy (trick to making finely ground meat)
  3. Add hidden vegetables if desired.
  4. Crock on high up to four hours or low up to six hours.
  5. Drain in colander and rinse in hot water to remove excess fat.
  6. Season with your favorite seasoning the last hour of cooking and set on warm.
  7. Allow to cool for two hours at room temperature.
  8. Refrigerate and bag in labeled quart freezer bags for future use (tutorial here)
  9. Freeze flat.

Reheating Instructions:

  • Thaw overnight in a thawing box (plastic shoe box)
  • Open bag and reheat meat on 70% power for 5 minutes in microwave or medium high heat on the stove-top until hot.

 What’s your favorite cooking method for bulk cooking ground beef or turkey?

 

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Comments

  1. I wonder if you could skip the thawing step and just throw the frozen block into the crock pot and add less water. I ALWAYS forget to thaw my meat and this would be a huge time saver for me.

    • This does work and you just have to crock longer, but if you want the finer texture you have to break up the meat before it begins cooking. I would just baby sit and start to break it apart as its thawing in the crock which might be about 4 hours later. You could try adding the water at this point and trying to mush it up for a finer texture. Our cooking group throws virtually every crock pot meal in frozen and we crock for 6-8 hours. Check out the freezer meals this week!

  2. Love your blog. I am a freezer cook as well but not nearly as good at it as you though. I have a question about cooking hamburger in the crock pot. I’ve seen this tip before but typically the meat ends up more like a meatloaf and you have to break it apart. I hate meatloaf in the crock pot because it changes the texture of the meat and reminds me of a spam type loaf of meat…in texture only, it still tastes fine. So my question is this, what is your water to meat ratio? In your pictures it looks perfect and you don’t mention having to break it up after it is done cooking. So I am guessing you use enough water to mimic the boiling method of cooking hamburger but with the crock pot instead of on the stove top. Thanks!

    • I add enough water to make it mushy. I don’t have a specific ratio. I just really stir in the water as it breaks down the meat and basically grinds it a finer texture. You’re right if you don’t do this step it does cook up like a meat loaf. That’s why I wanted go over board on cramming too much meat in the crock pot. I’ve done around 3 pounds.

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