Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bulk Cooking Hamburger: Ready to Go Meal Prep

Recently, our local grocery store had a huge sale on ground chuck and ground round. I purchased about 15 pounds, then had to decide what to do with it. One reason I bought it was that I wanted to make some homemade chili, but it was too much ground meat, even for chili. My solution? I cooked it all, then put it up in the freezer in 2 cup portions. The 2 cup portions were just about what I would put in a hamburger casserole or stovetop hamburger pasta meal. Because this advance bulk cooking was done, in the future, when I want to make my hamburger stroganoff or a mac and cheese hamburger dish, it will only take long enough for the pasta to cook, since the ground meat is already done.

It is important to note that if you are cooking ground meat to use later, you shouldn't put salt in it. Salt in meat will keep it from freezing completely, which could cause the meat to spoil in the freezer if not used immediately.

For the past several years, I have used a FoodSaver to prepare my foods for freezing. Since I have vacume sealed all my foods before freezing, I have not lost any food to freezer burns, even when leaving them in the freezer longer than recommended. When I am bulk cooking foods for later use, the FoodSaver is my favorite tool for preparing my food for freezing.

Bulk cooking is not only helpful when it comes time to prepare meals, it allows you to take advantage of sale prices, too!

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