Hamburger meat, or ground beef, stores for six months or longer in the freezer. Thawing it safely before use prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and ensures the meat retains its quality while remaining safe to eat. The hamburger may be frozen by the pound or in patties for use as hamburgers. Hamburger patties are usually packaged in stacks in a single package, with a sheet of wax paper separating the individual patties. Freeze hamburger by the pound in airtight plastic wrap or bags.
Things You'll Need
- Storage bags
Remove the hamburger from the freezer. If the hamburger is packaged as individual patties in a single package, wrap the patties in plastic wrap after removing them from the main storage bag or container.
Set the wrapped meat on a plate. The plate catches any moisture or blood that drains from the hamburger during thawing.
Place the hamburger in the refrigerator. Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours or until the meat is completely defrosted.
Place the hamburger meat in a sealed plastic bag if you need to thaw it more quickly. Submerge the meat in a sink of cold water. Replace the water every 30 minutes with fresh cold water. It takes approximately 30 minutes per pound of hamburger to thaw using this method.
Store refrigerator-thawed hamburger in the fridge until you are ready to use it, or up to two days. Use water-thawed hamburger immediately.
Tips & Warnings
- You can refreeze hamburger if it's thawed in the refrigerator.
- Thaw cooked hamburger meat using the same methods as you would for raw hamburger.
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