How to Boil Ground Beef, and Why You Should

Why you should boil ground beef instead of frying.

I was recently gifted with a lot of ground beef when a friend's freezer died.

I spent the next two days preserving it in several ways. I pressure-canned a canner-load, made two batches of meatballs, and then cooked the rest, divided it into meal-size portions, and froze it. Hubby and I usually use 3/4 pound of precooked ground beef at a time.

Boiling ground beef is much healthier than frying because most of the fat is removed. It's faster than frying too, and it doesn't make the big splattery mess that frying does.

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Start by adding water to a big pot and bringing it to a boil. A couple of inches of water will do. Then add the beef. My pot is only big enough to do two pounds at once, but if you have a large enough pot you can cook five pounds at a time.

How and why to boil ground beef.

Stir the ground meat with a large spoon soon after you add it to the water. If you want finer meat, stir it often and smoosh the pieces. If you like bigger chunks (which would be better in chili than fine pieces, in my opinion), don't stir quite as often or as vigorously.

Why you should boil ground beef

The meat will cook quite quickly, but the length of time will depend on the temperature of your stove so I can't tell you how long to boil it. You'll know when it's done when it's no longer pink.

How to boil ground beef.

Pour into a strainer.

Do not pour the water and fat down your sink drain! The fat will plug up your sink pipes.

I set my strainer inside a large bowl to catch the water and fat. Since I was cooking a large quantity in several batches I just reused the water. When I finished the last batch, I poured it into our dog Cracker's bowl.

How to boil ground beef

You can run the strainer of ground beef under hot water to help wash off any remaining fat (although this was lean enough for us), then under cold water to cool it down before freezing it.

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That's it! Wasn't it easy? Now just package the meat for the freezer in containers or freezer bags. Better yet, vacuum-seal it with a Foodsaver Vacuum Sealer. Don't forget to label the packages with the contents, amount and date. These labels will stick even in the freezer..

And remember to rotate your frozen foods. You're not saving money if you're throwing food away because it's too old or freezer-burned, right? (That's why I love my Foodsaver! It really does keep food fresh longer.)

How to boil ground beef, and why you should. Don't fry it, boil it!

(NOTE: I've been asked a few times about the yield from boiling ground beef. Reader Margaret told me this: "I boiled approximately 1.5 pounds of 80% lean ground chuck and got 4 cups of beef crumbles. So I believe 3/4 lb would yield 2 cups of beef crumbles." Thank you, Margaret.)

Of course, you can boil any kind of ground meat, not just beef. Venison, pork, bison - whatever you have.

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Don't fry ground beef, boil it! Here's why you should boil ground beef, and how to do it.