Frozen ground beef is handy to have at home as you can use it in many dishes without too much preparation. Imagine a beef burger or using it in a quick Italian dish. However, if you get home and are out of fresh meat, and all you have is a block of frozen meat, you won’t be able to defrost in time.
Luckily, there are many ways to cut frozen meat, ground beef being among the easiest. In our guide, if you don’t have time to thaw frozen ground beef, you can learn the best ways of cutting frozen ground beef.
By the end, you’ll see the best ways of cutting frozen meat if you don’t need large quantities, and you won’t be left with too much meat out that can attract harmful bacteria. (Read Can Tiramisu Be Frozen)
How To Cut Frozen Meat With A Knife
Wait to cut off what you need before hacking away with a big butcher knife. That appears to be a tragedy just waiting to happen. Or, even worse, an injury. Using a knife won’t work for this. You’ll hear tales of people who tried it but shattered their blade rather than being hurt.
As you carefully saw back and forth with a sharp knife, preferably a serrated knife with a jagged edge. Hold the frozen beef firmly with a solid grip using your non-dominant hand on a cutting board rather than other surfaces that can slip is a good starting point.
This method works nicely if you’re cutting a portion that is only one to two inches thick. Your holding and sawing of your knife vary depending on the shape of the meat that was frozen.
If the original packaging is flat and rectangular while not too thick, it can be easier to hold and cut smaller portions rather than meat in a round block.
Can I Partially Defrost My Meat
You can soak one end of the frozen ground beef in cold water for a few minutes to make it easier to cut, albeit it is not the most effective method. Like in option 1, you’ll still need to handle the meat delicately and use a good heavy-duty knife.
The objective is to slice only what you need, gently rewrap the meat, and then put it back in your freezer as quickly as possible. You must let the flesh that you cut off totally defrost in your refrigerator.
Can I Defrost And Refreeze Meat?
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends:
While there may be a quality loss because of moisture loss during thawing, it is permissible to refreeze food thawed in the refrigerator without cooking.
After cooking previously frozen raw ingredients, it is safe to freeze the finished product. The leftovers from previously prepared foods thawed in the refrigerator can be refrozen.
Within 3 to 4 days, frozen leftovers should be used. Foods left out for longer than two hours should be frozen within an hour in temperatures exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
If previously frozen meat, poultry, or fish from a retail establishment has been handled correctly, you can refreeze it, according to the USDA.
How Can I Quickly Thaw Ground Beef?
When determining what to make for dinner, the last thing you’ll often think about is to defrost ground beef. Once the frozen ground meat is completely thawed, remove all packaging and microwave it for 2 to 3 minutes at 50% power, rotating and flipping the raw meat every 45 seconds.
Use the defrosted ground beef right after using the microwave to thaw it out since some of the external parts of the meat may start to cook. (Read What Is The Best Oil To Season A Blackstone Griddle)
Can I Cook Frozen Ground Beef?
Can frozen ground beef be cooked? Ground beef can be frozen and defrosted before cooking, as has already been shown. However, can you freeze ground beef and then cook completely frozen meat directly from the freezer?
You can cook ground beef from frozen, and you can do so using a variety of cooking techniques.
The stove is the top choice for cooking frozen ground beef. Although it is also possible to cook frozen ground beef, cooking defrosted raw ground beef is more common. To do this, warm the pan as usual, then add the ground beef lump and an inch of water.
The outside of the beef has browned as the water simmers; scrape this layer off to reveal the pink interior of the ground beef. Scrape off the layers of ground beef as they brown, and re-keep the pot with water as it boils off throughout the cooking process. Once all of your ground beef has browned, it’s time to eat.
Another common method for cooking ground beef is slowly steaming it in an instant pot. To achieve this, place the ground beef on a steamer attachment inside the pot to ensure even cooking while they are inside.
Add a cup of water to the pan with the ground meat, then cover it. The beef will be cooked and defrosted after 25 to 30 minutes of high-pressure beef, and it will be ready to eat in any way you like.
Multifunctional Pressure Cooker
Alternatively, you might cook your frozen ground beef in a pressure
cooker. You should use this method because it is very similar to cooking ground beef in an instant pot, but be sure to make the pressure setting to low exactly 25 minutes after starting the process.
This method for cooking frozen ground beef works with up to two pounds of meat (approximately the size that will fit most of these cookers).
A larger block of frozen meat may have its edges overcooked if prepared. Place the trivet at the bottom of the pot to keep it out of the water. The hamburger meat will be boiled in any other case.
Use the natural release option as well to release the pressure gradually. This choice aids in the meat retaining more moisture. For ground beef that hasn’t been cooked for a specific use, all of these processes are OK, but they are not acceptable for ground beef that has been cooked for hamburgers. (Read Can You Freeze Pad Thai)
Cooking For Burgers
There are several options for simultaneously defrosting and cooking frozen hamburgers if you have them. The first choice is to use an air fryer for cooking. To finish the process, place the patties in the air fryer and shut the lid.
When the patties are ready to eat, they should be cooked in the air fryer at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. As an alternative, the burgers can be baked. This will require about one hour in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven. Last but not least, you may grill frozen hamburgers.
Even though this will increase the cooking time, if the grill has been set up, your burgers will still be ready to eat in less than 20 minutes.
Storing Ground Beef
Ground beef should be refrigerated or frozen as soon as possible after purchase. These two choices are used to store meat properly and maintain freshness. Bacteria multiply rapidly, so that you can slow this growth with carefully rewrapped meat.
If you will use the meat for cooking immediately after purchase, keep it chilled or freeze it in its container. To keep meat fresh, keep it in your refrigerator at 40°F or lower. After storing the ground beef in your refrigerator, it should be used within one or two days.
Wrap the boneless meat carefully in plastic wrap, aluminum foil, freezer paper, or plastic freezer bags to freeze ground beef for more extended storage in the freezer. Remove the raw meat in freezer zip-top bags after removing it from the original packaging.
Roll the meat out to approximately a half-inch thickness with a rolling pin before sealing the bag, being thick not to roll it back and forth. Over time, frozen food will degrade in quality. After freezing, it’s preferable to use ground beef within four months. To keep track of storage times, mark the date using a permanent marker on your packages.
How To Thaw Ground Beef
The refrigerator is the ideal way to safely defrost ground beef. This method of thawing stops the growth of germs. Any frozen beef should be prepared or frozen within one to two days.
You can thaw ground beef in the microwave using the defrost setting or in cold water. You can put your entire frozen beef in a bowl of water. Fry the thawed meat right away after defrosting in the microwave, as some areas may start to cook.
Note: Never be tempted to use warm water on the countertop to defrost any meat as this can start bacteria growing and thus lead to possible food poisoning. Placing the meat in a watertight plastic bag before submerging it in cold water to defrost is advised.
Every 30 minutes, change the water. Cook right away. Refreezing thawed in cold water raw ground beef is not advised. After ground beef has been properly cooked, it can be kept in storage.
Ground Beef Protection
When beef is ground, more of it is exposed to potentially harmful germs. The “food danger zone,” commonly known as the range between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, is where bacteria grow most rapidly.
After purchasing ground beef, it needs to be frozen or chilled quickly. To make it easy, use the rolling pin method to get rid of excess air and flatten your meat, making it easier to cut later and store later. (Read Can You Freeze Jambalaya)
You can keep ground beef in its original packaging in the fridge or meat if you intend to use it right away after purchasing it. To keep the amount of bacteria in your food low, store ground beef at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, use it within two days, or freeze it.
Tips on handling raw meat:
- Wash your hands and countertop.
- Food poisoning-causing germs can spread.
- Handling meat, ensure you wash your hands using soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Use hot, soapy water to clean cutting boards, countertops, and more.
- Make use of a separate cutting board for every kind of food. The same goes for dishes with raw meat.
- Keep the raw meat separate from other goods when shopping at the store.
- Other than fresh meat, keep all other foods in the refrigerator.
- The ideal temp of ground beef is 160°F.
Cutting Frozen Beef With A Knife
While we have touched upon how to cut frozen beef, here are two ways to cut meat: a regular knife and an electric knife. Regardless of which one you use, you’ll need a flat surface, a firm grip and a safety glove.
- Choose a heavy-duty knife with a serrated edge.
- If cutting boneless meat such as chicken breasts, use a regular knife to make finer cuts.
- Run your meat beneath cold water for three minutes as this strops your knife slipping on the frozen surface.
- Place your meat on a plastic cutting board.
- Hold your meat firmly using the non-dominant hand.
- Start cutting the meat in a slow sawing motion.
Use an Electric Knife:
- Find a flat surface that has an outlet nearby for your electric knife.
- Place the serrated edge on the meat.
- Using your non-dominant hand, hold your meat, and pull the trigger.
- Ensure your fingers are away from the blade.
- Push the electric knife to cut the meat. Electric knives have saw-like blades that cut quickly.
- Cut half through the meat, and turn it to cut from the other side.