can you put frozen ground beef in crock pot

Frozen food, which starts at 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C), will take too long to come up to temperature in the low-heat slow cooker, so frozen meat will sit in the danger zone for bacteria growth for far too long to be considered safe.

How to cook frozen ground beef on stove, slow cooker, in microwave or Instant Pot is here. If you forgot to defrost hamburger this will help.

There are so many ways you can cook frozen ground beef. If you haven’t tried any of them and are sounding skeptical you’re in luck, we’ve done all the experimenting for you. Now you can cook frozen meat to tender quickly, and have it taste great. You’re welcome. (affiliate links present)

My two cents on this method

This is easy-peasy and I love that! For preparing ground beef for the freezer, this will be my go-to method for sure.

Update: Since trying this method, I’ve used it lots of times! I’ve also used thawed beef instead of frozen and it works GREAT! Just cut a couple hours off your time.

Because the meat is not cooked over direct heat, you miss the dark brown, yummy bits that browning beef on the stove top produces. What you end up with is a lot softer in texture. It’s great for tacos and casseroles, hamburger stroganoff, and the like.

Yes, I’ll definitely use this for bulk meat preparation.

For an average night when I’m just cooking a pound or two I’ll still rely on my trusty cast iron skillet. But when I get the itch for stocking my freezer, this is it, my friends!

How to Cook Frozen Hamburger

Ok so there is a way you can thaw ground beef in microwave beforehand that just takes 3 minutes. You can also cook ground beef in microwave If you are in a super hurry. If don’t have this countertop appliance, there are several ways you can cook from frozen.

You’re going to need your protein and any seasonings you might want to use. Salt and pepper are a given but once I get it into smaller bits it is nice to add diced onions, homemade Lawry’s, or taco seasoning. I’ll share a variety of ways this can be done so you can try them all, or choose your method of choice.

can you put frozen ground beef in crock pot

Prefer ground turkey and/or ground chicken because they tend to be lower in fat? No problem, you can use all of these techniques for those too. The only difference is going to be the texture. Without fat in the mix it will be a big chewier and drier no matter which way you “slice it”.

Keep that in mind even with beef itself. A bit higher fat will make this protein more moist whether you cook it from frozen or raw like our air fryer ground beef. I would not suggest using that machine if it is rock hard as it will get too dry on the outside and kinda’ be a mess.

Hamburger in the Crockpot

If you’re not home during the day, this would make a perfect weekend task. You’ll want to be around at least a few times during the cook time to stir the meat, breaking it up.

But it’s not a strict timetable, so no stress.

I like to buy my meat in bulk at Costco. It comes in one pound chubs, five to a package. I cooked all five pounds in my oval crock pot.

In the morning, put your frozen ground beef directly into the crock pot, along with one cup of water. (You could use beef stock, if you wanted to). If you’re doing a smaller amount of meat, lessen the water accordingly.

I didn’t season the meat at all at this stage. That comes later.

Turn your crock pot on low and ignore it for 2-3 hours. That’s when you want to open it up and use a large spoon or spatula to break up the ground beef. Really get in there and break it into small pieces.

This is when I seasoned my meat. Since I want to freeze my hamburger to use for various recipes, I’m keeping the seasoning pretty basic:

Salt, pepper, garlic powder. Cover your crock pot back up and let it cook for another 2-3 hours. At that time, open it up and give it another good mix.

At this point, I got a little concerned that it might not be done in time to make the tacos I was planning for dinner, so I turned it up to high for the last couple of hours.

I think it would have been ok on low the whole time, but just to be safe, if I was doing that, I’d shoot for 8-10 hours instead of 6-8.

My total cook time was 8 hours (6 on low and 2 on high).

At this point, give it one last good stir. Then it’s time to strain it.

I set a mesh strainer over a mixing bowl and scooped the beef in batches to let it drain. I moved the beef directly from the strainer into my labeled Ziploc bags.

Since I have two teenage boys, one pound of ground beef doesn’t typically cut it for most of our recipes. (I have one that almost exclusively exists on leftovers.) So, I divided the meat about in half and froze half of it in two bags.

The other half I strained and then returned to the crock pot for tacos. I seasoned it up and put it on high until dinner (just about 15 minutes).

Frozen food, which starts at 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C), will take too long to come up to temperature in the low-heat slow cooker, so frozen meat will sit in the danger zone for bacteria growth for far too long to be considered safe.

FAQ

Can you put frozen meat straight into a slow cooker?

Information. It is best to thaw meat or poultry before putting it into a slow cooker. Frozen pieces will take longer to reach a safe internal temperature and could possibly result in foodborne illness. Frozen or partially frozen foods can also cool everything else in the slow cooker.

Can you cook frozen ground beef without thawing it?

Place one pound of frozen ground beef in the skillet. Sear for four minutes, then flip the block and scrape the cooked beef off with tongs or a wooden spoon. Continue this process of searing, flipping, and scraping until the block is small enough to chop into pieces. Add your seasonings or sauces, and enjoy!

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