The BEST and Fastest-Thawing Way to Freeze Ground Beef

The BEST and Fastest-Thawing Way to Freeze Ground Beef

I love having prepped meals and meat in our deep freezer. But most of the time I forget to get it out early enough for it to thaw by the time I start making dinner. My sister showed me this way to freeze ground beef, or any ground meat, that will save your dinner every time. It thaws in less than 5 minutes! And doesn’t take up much space!

The BEST way to freeze ground beef - or any meat.

My sister Sabrina will sometimes buy the 10-lb package of ground beef from Costco. That’s A LOT of meat! But it’s ultimately cheaper than getting individual 1-lb packages.

10 lbs of meat

I like to get a 3-lb package of ground beef. That way I’m not spending a huge portion of our budget on meat, but I’m still saving a little.

Sabrina would cut the whole package into 10 sections, making ten 1-lb portions. She would use one for dinner that night and then freeze the rest in individual 1-lb ziplock bags.

But she soon realized that it took too long for the chunks to thaw, so she came up with this EASY way to freeze and thaw your meat.

Get out your pen and notebook because you will never go back to any other method again.


This step is important because sometimes it’s difficult to write on ziplock bags when there is food already in it. So label each bag with the quantity and date, and contents if you think it would be helpful.

We also like to prop them open so they’re ready to fill. When you have one clean hand and one dirty hand to hold the meat, having them already open is very helpful.

prepping the ziplock bags

Divide the meat

Cut your meat into whatever size you want. We divide it into 1- or 2-lb portions because those are the amounts we use for most meals and they thaw pretty quickly.

divide the meat into the sections you want to freeze

Bag it

After putting the meat in, remember not to seal the bags yet. This will help with the next step.

put your ground beef into the ziplock bags

Flatten the meat

Use a rolling pin to spread the meat evenly throughout the bags. Once it’s flattened and most of the air is out, then you can seal it up.

flatten your meat with a rolling pin

flattened meat is now ready to be put into the freezer


They are ready to go! Now that your bags are flat, they can conveniently fit into your freezer.

I like to freeze them in my fridge freezer and then transfer them to the deep freezer. It’s easier to get them flat that way because the deep freezer doesn’t always have enough flat space.

your ground beef is ready to freeze


When you’re ready to use some, just fill the sink a little bit with warm water. Let the bag sit in it for a few minutes and it’s ready to go!

I’m always amazed at how quickly it thaws because I’m used to waiting at least an hour for a hunk of meat to thaw. This is a lot better!

meat easily thaws in a sink full of warm water

How easy is that?!

I’ve never done it any other way since my sister Sabrina told me about it.

Let me know how it turns out for you!

Related Post: This Taco Soup Is a Hit Every Time

24 thoughts on “The BEST and Fastest-Thawing Way to Freeze Ground Beef

    1. That’s okay, this way of freezing could apply to other foods as well! I froze some bags of tomato pieces last fall and I laid them flat as well. It definitely helped with trying to fit them all into the freezer. Almost like Tetris!

      1. Wow, those freezer bags look like they’d make delicious meals. And same here, half the time I don’t have meals planned out, so whatever I make needs to be able to thaw quickly.

    1. If I get a package of 3 lbs, I just divide it in thirds. I just guess. Sometimes I make it go farther by rounding up, meaning if it’s 3.5 lbs, I will divide it into 4 bags for 4 different meals.

  1. This is exactly the way I’ve been freezing my hamburger for 25+ years. We like the 90% beef from Sam’s Club and they sell it in approx 10 lb. rolls, for a lesser price per lb. We have also been known to buy it by the case (approx 8 rolls per), and that really saves $$ and packaging it in the quart zip lock freezer bags allows us to get it in our freezer, neatly and compact.

  2. I’ve been doing this for a while. What a time (and money)saver!! We don’t have a freezer anymore since we downsized.

    I just recently used this method for homemade mashed potatoes. There are only the 2 of us so making a big batch of mashed potatoes once, then freezing them in quart ziploc bags works so well. The only adjustment I had to make was to add more fat along with the butter. I used a block of cream cheese but sour cream would work too.

    Also froze spaghetti meat sauce this way.

    1. Hi Gramma B, that’s neat that you use this method for mashed potatoes! I usually end up making more than we can eat, too. So I’ll have to try this next time I make them. And also spaghetti meat sauce!

  3. I do this with almost anything I put in the freezer. I have not used the rolling pin (good idea). I flatten just using my hands. For hamburger meat I actually use quart size bags. 1/2 lb or 1 lbs pkg. Smaller family. It still thaws very quickly. I do this for soups and anything I don’t want in a clump to thaw. It’s great for storage in the freezer. I usually place the bags on a cookie sheet in freezer until frozen. Keeps the bags from getting stuck in the wire shelves. I have plastic dish pans from Dollar Tree that I place them in upright so I can easily see what there. One for chicken, one for beef and so on. Works great

    1. I love the idea of putting them on a cookie sheet to freeze them flat! Going to do that. Sometimes I put them on a frozen pizza box if I have one on hand. And the container idea is helpful, too! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *