Save Some Time: Browning Ground Beef in a Crock Pot

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browning ground beef in a crock pot

A couple weeks ago I discovered a post on G+ that really caught my eye. It talked about browning ground beef in a crock pot to save time. What?!?! Why hadn’t I thought of that? I’m so used to recipes calling for browning meats immediately prior to placing them in the crock pot, that I never even considered browning ground beef in one. Well, that’s changed. I spent some time last week browning and freezing ground beef in preparation for some upcoming recipes.

Stumbling across this post from Jill of One Good Thing By Jillee, has really changed how I approach cooking with ground beef. As crazy as it sounds, I used to consider the browning process a chore. Now, using the crock pot, I’m eager to brown an entire week’s worth of meals! Here’s a great pic from Jill showing the process from start to finish:

crockpot-hamburger-1To brown ground beef in your crock pot, simply place the desired amount into a greased or lined pot. For a pound or so, use a smaller crock pot. Larger amounts will naturally call for a larger sized pot. Break up the meat with a fork or wooden spoon. Cover and cook on high for approximately three to four hours. About half way through the cooking process, quickly break up the meat again using a fork or wooden spoon. Jill prefers to use a pastry cutter, which is also ideal. Break it up a final time after it is done cooking. Drain all fat from the meat using a colander and rinse with cool water if you intend to freeze. If you are using immediately in a recipe, do not rinse. That’s it! Pop some into freezer bags and store for another day.

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