This is day 13 of 31 Days to Slash your Grocery Spending
Meat is one of the more expensive items on my grocery list, so when I stumble on a great deal or markdown, I stock up.
Larger packages of meat (3-5+ lbs) tend to cost less per pound than smaller packs, so I do one of two things with the larger packs:
- Separate and freeze raw in 1 lb portions.
- Or, I cook the entire larger package of meat and divide equally and freeze in 1 – 2 cup portions.
Your saving money by buying the larger packs, but the second option also saves so much time, because you are eliminating a step when it’s time to make dinner. I use the pre-cooked meat in soups, chili, sloppy joes, tacos, burrito bowls, nachos, and more.
How to Batch Brown & Freeze Ground Meat and Sausage
1. Heat your largest pan (I use my big dutch oven) over medium heat and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. If cooking sausage, remove the casings before putting in the pan. Add the ground meat or sausage to 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 meat while cooking. Allow the meat to brown a bit on the pan and then scrape the brown bits on the bottom of the pan to add flavor. If you are browning ground meat, you can add any seasonings at this point. I like to add my homemade taco seasoning, but you could add spaghetti sauce, Italian seasoning, or just salt & pepper. Think about how you will use the meat that you are cooking.
3. Once the meat is cooked through (no pink), you can drain any fat if you’d like and then allow to cool.
5. Divide the meat up and store in freezer containers or bags. Approximately, 2 cups of cooked meat will equal 1 pound of uncooked meat.
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.
I divide ground turkey into 2 cup portions, because I use that for tacos and sloppy joes where the meat is the main ingredient.
I have also combined ground turkey and sausage, browned them and packed them in storage containers together. This gives the ground turkey some extra flavor.
You can pretty much batch cook any meat. I have batch grilled chicken breasts, sausage links, and pork chops. Just store in the freezer bags until you’re ready to use.
Do you buy meat in bulk and then cook it in one big batch? Let us know in the comments.
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