Tips for Packaging Ground Meat
I feel like every time you want to brown some ground meat, it's 5:30 at night and your cursing yourself for not remembering to take it out that morning! You know what I'm talking about, the frozen brick of meat you take out hoping by some magic it will thaw in time for dinner. You will try and rush it, feel a little squish of thawed out meat on the outside and still rock hard in the middle. The standard is you toss it in the pan, and slowly chip away at it as it cook/thaws.
This past fall while packaging up some ground elk, I had an idea. Now I'm not taking full credit for this. With all the podcasts, videos and other media we take in, it could have come from anywhere. But here it is;
Freeze your meat flat!
What I found works for us was to put a pound of meat in a vac seal bag, keep it together in a ball. We used the 8" wide bags and would cut them about 10" long. Vacuum out the air and seal them, with the meat still in a ball. Once its sealed, flatten the meat out into each corner of the bag. Try and keep the meat an even thickness.
We found this method is better for a couple reasons. The first is storage. Those flat packages stack much better in the freezer. The second, and the main reason, the thinner package thaws out WAY faster and more even.
Give it a wirl, it's helped organize the freezer and made those last minute thaws a little easier!