Save Some Time: Browning Ground Beef in a Crock Pot

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.


Posted on by Crystal in Food & Recipes

6 Responses to Save Some Time: Browning Ground Beef in a Crock Pot

  1. thedoseofreality

    So genius! And helpful. We are totally doing this!-The Dose Girls
    thedoseofreality recently posted..We Mustache You A Question

  2. Tamara Camera

    We have never tried this but recently I came across another time-saving crockpot thing – a mac and cheese recipe that called for uncooked pasta! So you don’t have to cook it first. Seriously, crockpots are amazing. I’d be happy to try this. I don’t enjoy browning meat – I’m constantly afraid I’m over or underdoing it.
    Tamara Camera recently posted..Sun Halos and Loose Moose.

  3. Andrea

    Anytime I come across a Crockpot recipe I’m immediately impressed because I rarely use mine. Not sure why. I guess I just like to waste time. Andrea visiting from SITS!
    Andrea recently posted..I Am the Problem & the Solution

  4. Mothering From Scratch

    {Melinda} I’m all about saving time … thanks for the tip. I’m thinking about using my crock post tonight, so it came just in time!
    Mothering From Scratch recently posted..6 ways to start over when your day begins badly

  5. AnnMarie

    Finally someone that says it’s okay to do this! I’ve wanted to but never knew if it was okay. Thanks!
    AnnMarie recently posted..Top Ten Favorite Movie and TV Characters

  6. Alexis AKA MOM

    Ok that is a GREAT idea! I love my crockpot and hate browning the meat in my pan all the time. I can’t wait to give this a try!
    Alexis AKA MOM recently posted..Winner Winner Chicken Dinner … Crock-Pot Italian Chicken

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