Can You Cook Frozen Ground Beef How to Cook
Beef/Steak, Cooking Tips

Can You Cook Frozen Ground Beef? How to Cook

Yes, you can cook frozen ground beef. But depending on the method, there will be a difference in how you must proceed. Although frozen ground beef can be cooked, depending on how you want to cook it, there may need to be some adjustments made.

The best (and worst) ways to cook frozen ground beef are revealed if you continue reading.

Since it can be incorporated into so many different dishes, ground beef is a fantastic ingredient. It is a flexible variety of meat that is simple to prepare and delicious in every dish in which it is used.

The Best Ways to Cook Frozen Ground Beef

If you ever need to cook frozen ground beef, this comprehensive ranking will guide you and provide the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Instant Pot

The best and quickest way to cook frozen ground beef is in an Instant Pot.

If you’re the owner of an Instant Pot or are in the market for one—this is our favoriteone—cooking frozen ground beef will be quick and effortless.

The best way to cook frozen ground beef in an Instant Pot is to steam it.

You’ll want to place your ground beef on a steamer insert (also called a trivet) in the pot so that it cooks through evenly, which will prevent it from drying up.

Place about a cup of water in the Instant Pot and then insert the trivet with about 2 pounds of ground beef on it (don’t use more than 4 pounds of ground beef at a time).

Close the lid and cook at high pressure for 25 minutes, with a slow pressure release at the end.

You can use the perfectly cooked ground beef you make in less than 30 minutes in a variety of recipes.

Pressure Cooker

A pressure cooker uses trapped steam to cook food quickly, much like the Instant Pot.

The only difference is that pressure cookers are the old-fashioned, stovetop version of an Instant Pot.

You’ll want to use a similar method as with an Instant Pot, placing 1-2 pounds of frozen ground beef on a steaming rack and cooking at a high temperature for about 25 minutes.

Include a gradual pressure release at the end.

Just cook some pasta and reheat your preferred brand of pasta sauce for a super fast, delicious dinner. In less than 30 minutes, you’ll have a simple, mouthwatering pasta bolognese.

Sous Vide

Another extremely easy, hands-off way to cook frozen ground beef is with the sous vide method. You simply grab your ground beef out of the freezer, pop it in some water, turn on the sous vide (this is our favorite one), and voila!

For this method, it’s important to make sure that your ground beef is in an airtight bag.

Any Ziplock freezer bag will do, but if you have special sous vide vacuum seal bags, this would be the time to use them.

Prior to cooking, be sure to fully dunk the bag in water.

When sous vide cooking meat that is still frozen, you’ll want to cook it about 60 minutes longer than its normal cook time.

You would normally sous vide cook thawed ground beef for an hour at 137 degrees F, so for frozen ground beef, maintain the same temperature but just add on 60 minutes, making the total cook time 2 hours.

There are numerous inventive ways to serve ground beef once it is prepared. Make some cheeseburger pizza or some cheesy pepperoni and beef roll-ups using it as a topping.


While cooking ground beef from frozen is not a problem, most people prefer to thaw it on the stove.

One of the best ways to cook frozen ground beef is on the stove, even though it might take a little longer and necessitate a special technique.

Take your frozen ground beef and place it in a skillet with about an inch of water, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

The meat’s exterior will begin to brown as the water starts to simmer. Gradually scrape off the browned layer, revealing the uncooked pink layer inside.

As it evaporates, be sure to add more water, always ensuring that the bottom of the pan is covered. A lid should be put on the pan; it should be taken off every few minutes so you can break off the browned ground beef.

When there is only a small amount of frozen ground beef left, add some flavorful vegetables, such as celery, onions, and garlic, and let the water evaporate (at this point, the vegetable juices will help to keep the meat moist).

Once the ground beef is soft enough to separate entirely, break it apart with a spatula and stir, making sure that all sides are browned and cooked evenly.

This approach works well for a number of dishes, including mac and cheese toppings and Sloppy Joes. Make taco pizza using a spicy sauce and a Mexican cheese mixture.

Air Fryer

Unbelievably, an air fryer can even be used to cook frozen ground beef! Though it’s not the most popular method, cooking frozen ground beef in an air fryer can yield great results, especially if your ground beef is in hamburger patty form.

Place your air fryer’s basket with the frozen ground beef patties inside, then secure the lid.

Cook at 375 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, or until the meat is browned all the way through. This is a quick, hands-free method of cooking frozen hamburger patties.

Just keep in mind that grilling vs. air frying frozen hamburger patties will produce different outcomes. They might not be as juicy and won’t have the grill marks that some people prefer in a burger.

Read about How to Reheat Steak in an Air Fryer?


Frozen ground beef can also be cooked in the oven, which is another technique that is particularly suitable for preparing frozen hamburger patties.

Simply preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a baking sheet.

Spread out your hamburgers on the baking sheet, then cook them for about an hour, or until they are thoroughly cooked.

To ensure that your hamburger doesn’t stick, put a piece of aluminum foil under it before baking.


Have a barbecue but neglected to thaw the frozen hamburger patties? No need to fret! Though they are typically (and ideally) grilled after having been defrosted, hamburger patties can also be grilled frozen.

To do this, turn on the grill and let it heat up for at least 10 minutes over medium heat. Make sure the grill is completely heated before adding the frozen patties.

Turn your patties every 3-5 minutes, cooking for at least 20 minutes (this will ensure that your hamburgers cook evenly on both sides).

To make sure that your hamburgers are fully cooked, use a meat thermometer, ensuring that their interior temperature has reached at least 160 degrees F.

Can You Cook Frozen Ground Beef How to Cook
Can You Cook Frozen Ground Beef? How to Cook

The Risks of Cooking Frozen Ground Beef

Risks for cooking frozen ground beef only apply to specific cooking techniques.

Cooking slowlyin the oven or in a slow cooker puts it at risk of spending too much time in the “danger zone”, creating the possibility for bacteria to grow.

However, other methods, such as the instant pot, sous vide, and stovetop method, present no risks if proper precautions are taken and the ground beef is cooked for the right amount of time.

Just remember that even if it’s frozen, you are still handling raw meat, so you should always wash your hands and any surface that it touches.

How to Serve?

  • Ground beef that has been cooked can be used to create a variety of mouthwatering dishes and can be paired with just about anything. Perfect options include mashed potatoes, pasta, rice, or bread.
  • Use the meat to make sloppy joes, sweet potatoes, or jacket potatoes stuffed with it.
  • Serve it with oven-bakedor air fryer potato wedges, fries, couscous, polenta, or other grains.
  • Spice the meat with taco seasoning and use it to fill tacos, tortillas, enchiladas or to make tostadas.

How to Freeze Ground Beef?

Let’s talk about freezing your ground beef now that you know how to prepare it. You’ve probably guessed by now that ground beef can be safely frozen.

Ground beef freezes very well, and the process barely changes the texture of the meat, like it does with most meats. You have a few options depending on how you want to prepare the ground beef for cooking, but the freezing procedure is very straightforward.

Simply put the vacuum-packed packet of ground beef in the freezer if you don’t care to prepare it for upcoming meals before freezing it.

If you are unsure of the packaging, you could also transfer the ground beef to a freezer bag or an airtight container, as desired, if you are not confident in the packaging.

Transferring the meat into airtight containers requires effort, so you might as well weigh it out for later use.

Although you may not be certain of the exact dishes you will use the beef in, the majority of recipes call for 500g of ground beef.

Considering this, you might decide to divide your ground beef into 500g portions so that you can just remove one box from the freezer when you need it.

We’ve also mentioned the possibility of freezing ground beef after you’ve already formed it into burger patties. If you decide to do this, it is advised that you wrap each patty in clingfilm to keep moisture from seeping into the patty while it is being frozen.

We advise putting all of the patties into an airtight container after they have been individually wrapped in clingfilm before freezing them for later use.

After being frozen, ground beef is suitable for consumption for up to 4 months. This is far beyond the amount of time that would make it safe to eat if kept in the refrigerator.

We advise eating your home-made burgers as soon as possible after freezing them for the best outcomes.

You don’t want to freeze them for an extended period of time because the recipe uses egg as a binding agent, which may change the texture and flavor.

Let’s look at how to defrost your ground beef when you want to use it instead since that was just the freezing process.

How to Defrost Ground Beef?

Your ground beef can be frozen with ease, and as is typical in most situations, it can also be easily defrosted. How quickly you want to be able to use the beef will determine the best defrosting technique for you.

We advise gently and slowly thawing your ground beef for the best results, just like with many other frozen foods. We have also included some quicker defrosting techniques because we are well aware that this is not always possible.

The most popular method for defrosting any frozen food is also the best way to defrost ground beef. You’ve probably heard of this method already.

In order to use this method, all you have to do is remove the ground beef’s storage container from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator about 24 hours beforehand.

Before putting the container in the refrigerator, set it on a plate to prevent any potential moisture from the meat from contaminating the freezer. This method of defrosting gives you a lot of flexibility in how you eat your defrosted ground beef because it keeps the meat safe to consume for 1-2 days.

We do have a faster method you can use if this one is too slow for you. The ground beef should be defrosted in a bowl of cold water if you plan to use it within an hour of taking it out of the freezer.

This might seem a little strange at first because you would think that the ground beef would stay frozen in the cold water, but it is a very efficient way to defrost it. This can be accomplished by first filling a bowl with cold water, making sure it is completely airtight and leak-proof, and then adding the ground beef to the water.

You should either add ice cubes to the water or frequently change it throughout the hour to ensure that it stays cold. If not, bacteria could grow on the beef, which is why it is crucial that the water stay cold. Speed is essential for this method, so once the ground beef has defrosted, cook it right away to prevent bacteria from growing on the meat.

The ground beef can be defrosted in the microwave as a last resort. The taste and texture of the meat are most likely to be harmed by this method, which is also the quickest.

To defrost ground beef in the microwave, you should transfer the meat onto a plate and heat on 50% power for 2-3 minutes, flipping the meat every 45 seconds. To prevent bacterial growth after the meat has defrosted, you should cook it right away.

Why You Have Some Frozen Ground Beef in Your Freezer?

  • Quick dinner: It’s great when you don’t know what to make for dinner and don’t have time to go to the grocery store, as was previously mentioned. This cooking technique will save you a ton of time because you don’t even need to thaw ground beef.
  • Versatile: You can use frozen meat in a plethora of recipes. Try this Ground Beef Cauliflower Casserole, for instance. Or the Beef and Potato Curryand Bolognese Pasta Bake.

What is Ground Beef?

This meat has been cut into small pieces with a knife or a meat grinder (mincing machine), and is also referred to as minced beef or beef.

Ground beef is typically made from less tender and less well-liked animal cuts; there is no specific animal cut that is used for this purpose. But if you purchase your meat from a reputable butcher, you may be able to find minced beef that is made from chuck, sirloin, or round steak, which may also be leaner than blocks of meat that have already been packaged.

The amount of fat that can be added depends on the region in which you live. For example, in the USA, ground beef or hamburger may contain up to 30% fat, whereas in France or Germany, only 5 to 20% of beef fat may be added to the meat.

Difference between ground beef and hamburger meat

  • The products and terms are interchangeable, but there is only one.
  • Nothing additional is added; the only fat that ground beef can contain is the fat from the meat trimmings used to make it (up to 30%).
  • Additionally, up to 30% of hamburgers may contain fat. So, extra fat can be added if the trimmings are not sufficiently fatty.


Can You Brown Meat from Frozen?

As you can see, it is possible to cook ground beef on the stove from frozen, browning it in the process.

Although it would be ideal to use ground beef that has already been defrosted, some recipes call for browning ground beef directly in a crockpot or dutch oven.

How to Know If the Meat is Cooked Through?

There should be no pink or red specks, and it should be extremely hot and brown all over. A temperature of 160 °F (72 °C) is considered to be safe. With no whole piece of meat to insert the thermometer into, I still find it challenging to check that with a digital meat thermometer. After the recommended amount of time, the meat should be cooked, but check it by giving it a thorough inspection and giving it a good stir.

Can I Prepare Ground Meat Of Other Types In The Same Manner?

Yes, ground pork, ground beef and pork, ground turkey, or ground chicken. Cook them according to the directions, making sure the meat is fully cooked before serving.

How to Store and Reheat?

Refrigerate in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
Reheat well before serving. Put the leftover cooked meat and a little bit of water in a small saucepan. Reheat gently, stirring frequently, until piping hot.
Freeze: Once it has warmed to room temperature, put it in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for about three months. Reheat thoroughly before serving after defrosting in the fridge. Alternatively, follow the directions above to thaw food from frozen.

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