I’m very excited to share with you this life-changing tip for cooking ground beef the slow cooker, in bulk. For anyone who is super busy and doesn’t have time to home cook dinners from scratch every night, then this is the post for you! Stock up your freezer with pre-cooked ground beef and save yourself tons of time at dinner time.
It’s super simple to batch cook ground beef this way and there are so many recipes you can use it for, to cook a tasty meal in minutes! Just defrost the cooked beef, reheat, add the sauce of your choice and don’t forget to season to taste! You’ve just saved yourself 20 minutes browning the beef and have one less pan to wash, hooray!!
Having bulk ground beef readily available in my freezer is one of the biggest time savers at dinner time, especially when life throws me a curveball and my meal plan goes out of the window!
What is a slow cooker?
A crockpot or slow cooker is an electrical pot that simmers food over a long time. It often has a ceramic insert.
A lot of people set the crockpot to start cooking as they leave for work so their food is ready for when they return home approx 8 hours later.
I like to use my crockpot or slow cooker to help me batch cook my meals.
To batch cook ground beef in the slow cooker, you will need:
- A crockpot
- A slotted spoon
- Potato masher
- Weighing scales
- Glass jug
- Freezer storage bags or boxes
- Freezer labels
- Sharpie pen
How to cook ground beef in the crockpot
Time needed: 4 hours and 10 minutes
- Start with 6lb of ground beef.
I usually buy my ground beef in bulk at Costco or Bookers but any supermarket butcher will be happy to grind up the amount you need.
- Chop up 3-6 onions
I usually like one onion to 1lb of ground beef.
- Add onions and ground beef to the crockpot
Try to crumble up the minced beef with your fingers as you add it to the crockpot.
- Add two cups of water.
It might not seem like a lot of liquid, but remember that there will be a lot of water coming out of the mince during the cooking time.
- Turn the slow cooker on high and cover the food.
I prefer to cook my ground beef in the slow cooker on high. If you prefer to cook it on a lower setting, just double the cooking time.
- Stir the meat and onions after 15 minutes cooking time
I stir the ground beef every 15 minutes during cooking to break down any lumps and to help the bulk ground beef cook evenly. If you feel you need to break down the meat into smaller pieces you may use a potato masher to do this.
- Cook for 3-4 hours
Cook for 3-4 hours until the meat has gone an even brown colour
- Drain the cooked beef
Using a slotted spoon drain the cooked mince, then drain it again by using a sieve.
- Allow the meat to cool
It is super important that food is allowed to cool thoroughly before placing in a freezer or fridge.
- Portion your ground beef for the freezer
Bag up or box the cooked meat into portion sizes suitable for your family meals or approx 2 cup portions. This will give you approximately 5 meals. I prefer to use freezer boxes for storing my slow cooker ground beef in.
If you are using bags, try placing the bag into a glass jug to give it stability and to stop any mess as you transfer the meat into the bags.
- Label, label, label!
Make sure all your bags/tubs are labelled with the contents and date.
- Freeze or refrigerate
You can choose to freeze your bulk ground beef or to keep it in the fridge for this weeks meal plan!
Ground beef crockpot recipe ideas.
- Ground beef stroganoff
- Shepherds pie
- Stuffed cabbage rolls
- Spaghetti bolognese
- Sloppy joes
- Meat pizza
- Stuffed peppers
- Cheeseburger Bake
- Mince and mash
- Mince and onion pie
- Ground beef casserole
- Ground beef pasta
- Ground beef and noodles
Cooking ground beef taco meat in the slow cooker
This way of cooking slow cooker ground beef really is a game-changer!
For quick and easy crockpot ground beef tacos you can add the taco seasoning, salsa and some garlic at the time of cooking.
You will not need to add extra water as the ground beef contains enough.
You can use this versatile base to make:
Bulking up ground beef
I like to add loads of veggies to the bulk ground beef to make sure my family are eating healthily.
If your kids don’t like veggies you can always blend them and hide them in the sauce. Courgette, carrot, tomato, peppers and swede are all great veggies to hide in a sauce.
If you struggle to get your kids to eat vegetables here is a great way to get your kids to eat them without the drama!
Why not try menu planning around your ground beef dinners, for instance, Taco Tuesdays, Sloppy Jo Sunday, Fajita Fridays.
To find out more about meal planning read this post.
If you’ve still not got a crockpot you can check out the one I use right here!
Frequently asked questions
The ground beef will turn brown but it will not brown like it does when fried in oil.
Yes, you can just follow the steps above!
It is not advisable to cook frozen meat in a slow cooker as there is a risk of harmful bacteria contaminating the meat before it reaches the safe temperature. Frozen meat should be thawed overnight or gently on the defrost setting of a microwave.
If you are any doubt read these guidelines
The meat is not the same consistency as it would be if you cooked it on the hob, however, if you stir it every 15 minutes during cooking you will find that it will not go mushy.
To read more about batch cooking for beginners, read this great little post, packed full of ideas to get you started with batch cooking.
What’s your favorite slow cooker ground beef dish? Let us know in the comments below!