How to Brown Frozen Ground Beef

Browning ground beef is a technique where meat is heated in a frying pan until thoroughly cooked -- and usually one step of a larger recipe. For example, when making lasagna, you brown ground beef before layering it over the noodles to assemble the dish. While ground beef is usually browned after it has been defrosted, you can also start with frozen meat.

Things You'll Need

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Ground beef
  • Frying pan
  • Spatula

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Place the ground beef in the frying pan on a burner set at low heat. Depending on the pan or skillet, you may wish to use non-stick cooking spray. Heat the beef slowly so that the outside of the frozen block of meat does not actually cook.

Rotate and move the ground beef around the pan to expose more of the meat to the pan's base while uniform defrosting occurs.

Break pieces away from the frozen mass using the blade of your spatula. Some pieces will be completely defrosted and begin to brown as more of the mass defrosts.

Raise the temperature on the burner to medium-high or high. Now that the ground beef is completely defrosted and separated, the browning process is similar to working with meat that was already thawed.

Press down on the beef until you hear a sizzling sound. Remove the beef from the back of your spatula and let it cook for about 30 seconds.

Stir the beef for another 15 seconds. Fold the ground beef over itself so that pink pieces touch the bottom of the pan. You'll notice the browning on the beef start to occur. Though it is called browning, the beef will be closer to a grayish color.

Repeat the process of pressing down on the beef, letting it cook, then stirring until browned. Remove the ground beef from the burner and set it aside to cool when all of the pieces have a gray hue.


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