Freezing ground beef is an effective way to store meat in the short term. This method leads to loss of quality over time, because the frozen moisture damages cells and causes them to leak nutrients.
Using a meat dehydrator will allow you to get more satisfactory results. This advice may seem unconventional, but for families who’d like to buy healthy, organic meat in bulk, it can help save a lot of money over time. The process of freezing dehydrated ground beef is relatively simple.
You can also use these techniques for camping or preparing an emergency food supply. When done properly, they’ll allow you to safely store ground beef for at least 6 months with authentic results!
How to dehydrate a batch of ground beef for long-term storage
Start with lean ground beef. Less fat content is better, because it spoils long before the meat ever will. Use this same logic for turkey, venison or any kind of ground meat, as well.
Cook the ground beef, without using any additional ingredients. Place a layer of cheesecloth in a colander, add the cooked meat and pour boiling water over it to remove fat and grease. Repeat the rinsing process if necessary to be as thorough as possible.
Set your electric dehydrator to 160 degrees F. While it warms up, use paper towel to blot out remaining moisture, and place the prepared meat on dehydrator trays. Use solid or mesh screens to prevent bits of meat from falling between trays.
It may take 6-10 hours to dry fully. Take a larger chunk of meat, open it up, and if it’s desiccated to the center, it’s safe to complete the dehydration process. Let it cool for 30 minutes.
Hamburger meals that last for years, and how to store them
At this point, you can simply store the dried ground beef in zip lock bags. Add oxygen absorbers to prevent oxidation, or for best results, use vacuum-sealed bags.
This process is guaranteed, by a legal health standards perspective, for 6 months. Most people are comfortable using this meat after years of storage in the freezer. This is due to the fact that not all drying and freezing practices are the same, and it’s difficult to set safe standards across the board.
If you’ve carefully removed the fat and grease content, dried the meat completely and packaged it properly, you’re in excellent shape!
How to rehydrate ground beef
Uncooked frozen ground beef, upon thawing or cooking, will generally become soggy and flavorless over time. This is where the magic happens, in terms of the quality of your meat. Since the dehydration process is simply a matter of reducing water, it’s very easy to moisturize it.
Take an appropriate amount of dry ground beef out of storage. Place it in a large bowl, and pour boiling water or beef broth over it. Let it sit while covered for about 10 minutes. Strain out excess moisture.
Removing the fat content does impact the taste of the meat. That being said, we’ve remained true to the meat itself, and add the appropriate amount of spices and seasonings for each recipe. The texture and flavor of the meat can be virtually identical to a fresh batch bought at the store and cooked today!
Ground beef recipes that use dehydrated meat
Quick ground beef recipes are abundant. From spaghetti sauce to shepherd’s pie, using dried meat should come perfectly naturally.
You really have to see it to believe it. For example, we’ve prepared a round of hamburgers that use dehydrated, frozen ground beef and a seasoning that’s made from dried BBQ sauce.
A food dehumidifier is a reliable way to store meat for the long term and enjoy the results!