Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Batch Browning & Freezing Ground Meat and Sausage


For years, I've been buying the larger packages (3+ pounds) of ground turkey and sausage, because the sale price per unit is so much better than the smaller packages. I would divide the raw meat into 1 pound portions and freeze individually.

I'm not sure why it took me so long to figure out that browning ground meat and sausage in one big batch will save time in the future. I've changed my ways. Now, I'm still freezing in portions, but I'm browning the meat in one big batch first. This step is saving me so much time with meal prep. Lasagna, tacos, sloppy joes are all meals that I've recently made by using cooked meat from the freezer.

How to Batch Brown & Freeze Ground Meat and Sausage

1. Heat your largest pan (I used my big dutch oven) over medium heat and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add the ground meat or sausage to the pan.  If cooking sausage, remove the casings before putting in the pan. If your package of meat is too large for the size of you pan, you'll have to brown the meat in several batches.

2. Cook over medium-low heat and break up the sausage while cooking. Allow the sausage to brown a bit on the pan and then scrape the brown bits on the bottom of the pan to add flavor.

3. Once the meat is cooked through (no pink), you can drain any fat if you'd like and then allow to cool.

4. Divide up and store in freezer containers or bags. Stretch your dollar and store in 1 1/2 cup portions, but approximately, 2 cups of cooked meat will equal 1 pound of uncooked meat.

Think about how you will use the meat that you just cooked. Personally, I divide bulk sausage into smaller 1 1/2 cup portions, because I know that I'll likely use it in spaghetti sauce, pasta dishes, and egg casseroles where the meat is not the main star of the dish. While, I divide ground turkey into 2 cup portions, because I use that for tacos and sloppy joes where the meat is the main ingredient.

Do you buy meat in bulk and then cook it in one big batch? Let us know in the comments.

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  1. oh, yes, I do this too! It's so simple to grab a frozen tub of browned ground beef in the a.m. when I decide..."tonight's going to be burritos!" Or if worse comes to worst, I'll thaw it at 4 p.m. in desperation to save dinner. :)

    I occasionally crock pot a turkey breast and save individual servings of diced turkey, but most of the time, my poultry solution is flash-frozen chicken tenders sold in a 10-pound bag, which enable me to grab from the bag and cook up however much I need.

    Another supper-prep time saver? Filling quart-size freezer bags with the dry ingredients for your favorite quick bread (baking powder biscuits and corn bread are ours), then labeling the bag with the needed wet ingredients and baking instrux. It's nice to just pull one from the pantry, add egg and milk, and pop it into the oven. (And it doesn't taste like Bisquick because it's homemade!)

    Thanks for sharing your revelation to cook the meat before freezing it.

  2. It did not even know this was possible. I would have been afraid it would give me food poisoning or something (not a crazy fear, as I have done that to myself at least once).

    So this is a great tip. Thanks!

    1. You shouldn't have a problem with food poisoning as long as you cook the meat all the way through.

      Thanks for commenting.

  3. Happy Sharefest!

    I didn't know you could do this! I thought meat had to be stored in the freezer uncooked.
    Great tips!


  4. I do this too! I buy my ground beef at Costco - only place I will buy it - and cook it up and freeze it in one pound batches in ziploc bags. Working full-time I find this to be a great time saver at dinner time!


  5. I always buy ground meat 5lbs at a time and I waste most of because I,only use abt a pound for tacos,which we dont eat that ofyen and taco soup which I also,only usr a pound for. I hadn't even considered that yoy could brown the meat and freexe it and I thonk it's best for me to know how I'm going to use all 5lbs before buying it.,I'm Jennice visiting from #SITSSHAREFEST and do visit me at


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