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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thawing Frozen Ground Beef In The Microwave

I had my Tuesday recipe all planned today, but then I saw a very interesting tip.  I was watching Living with Amy on our local Green Bay Fox 11 station.  She often has a representative from the Beef Council of Wisconsin.  They make some delicious recipes.  Today they showed how to thaw frozen ground beef in the microwave.  We have all thawed a chunk of hamburger in the microwave and ended up with hard cooked spots and the rest still frozen.  That is why I came up with the method for cooking the ground beef first and then freezing it.  http://www.thecabincountess.com/2014/10/different-technique-for-browning-ground.html

Here is the link from the Wisconsin Beef Council:
http://www.beeftips.com/thawingandfreezinggroundbeef.aspx


I thought I would try this.  I found a couple chunks of frozen hamburger in the freezer.  They recommend taking the flat pieces off the meat tray and freezing it flat.   Mine were lumps, but it is all I could find.  I put the hamburger in a clean plastic bag.  They said it doesn't have to be a freezer bag, just a regular plastic storage bag is fine.  Some people have voiced a concern to me about using plastic and the microwave.  All I can say is that it doesn't get hot or the beef isn't being cooked in the bag.  I wonder if the Beef Council has addressed this concern.  I imagine a vented glass dish would work.  Then chop up the hamburger after 1 minute instead of kneading it.  Eventually I will try that method. 

These are chunkier than they recommend.

Put the plastic bag in the microwave.

Put the bag of frozen burger in the microwave.  Seal the bag leaving one inch open and not sealed.  Cook on high power for 1 minute.  Take the bag out, let it rest for a minute and knead it to break up the frozen hamburger.  Return it to the microwave and cook for 30 more seconds.  The exact instructions are in the chart and on the Beef Council website.

It worked.

Let it rest for 30 seconds and knead the bag again to break up the rest of the pieces.  It worked beautifully.  There were no hot spots or overcooked pieces.  Ground beef thawed and recipe ready.  Who knew?  You learn something new everyday.