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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kitchen Time Saver - Ground Beef in your Crock Pot

Today I thought I would share a great way that I save myself some time (and mess) in the kitchen.

I learned this little trick from a fellow homeschool mom.

When I buy my ground beef (or turkey, or chicken) in larger than 2 pound portions (usually I buy a 3 lb. package), I usually don't want to use it all at once.  I will cook all of it, and then freeze it in smaller portions.

If I don't have the time to watch it on the stove while it cooks (because 3 lbs. can take a little while) I will place it in my crock pot, on low or high, depending how fast I want it to cook.  (This also says my kitchen from the mess of splattering meat on the stove, which sometimes happens!)

Then I break it all apart, and spread it out, so it doesn't cook in big clumps!

Sorry, but raw hamburger doesn't look very appetizing!!!  LOL!

Place the cover on and cook away!

Every once in awhile (I know that is very vague!) I will open it up and stir it around, breaking up more pieces, and making sure it is all getting cooked.

Not quite ready yet....

Once all of the ground beef has cooked (no more pink exposed), you will want to drain all of the grease out of it.  This is the "not so fun" part of it all, but I have a large colander that I place over a large pan, to let the grease drain out.  Sometimes, I will even "rinse" the cooked ground beef with water, to get even more of the grease out of it.

Depending on my meal plan for the week, I will use it or freeze it.  I usually separate it into 1 pound portions, as that is the amount that I will typically be using in a recipe.
Sometimes I will freeze it plain, or I will make it into taco meat first (by adding taco seasoning to it first), or leave some plain, some taco meat, etc.  You get the idea!

How about you?  Do you have a shortcut for preparing ground beef??

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