I bet all of you love ground beef simply because it is made into a variety of dishes. But, it is also true that you get frosted beef from the market and you need to thaw it before you can cook it. Even though doing this inside a refrigerator is ideal, some may want it faster. Here are some tips to remember when defrosting ground beef right at home.

  1. If You Want the Refrigerator Way

This is the best way because that keeps your beef at a regulated temperature all the time and you can store the beef for days. Generally, this is also the slow method and you need to plan ahead like 2 days ahead of time for going through this.

  • For every pound of beef, plan for 24 hours.
  • If you can keep it under 5cm or 2 inches, you can thaw it under an hour or so too.
  • The colder you set your refrigerator too, the longer it will take it to defrost also, so just note these things ‘usually, it must be kept around 4°C.
  1. Place it Inside a Plastic Bag Always

Once the defrost starts the beef may start to leak blood and bacteria from inside its packaging. To avoid all this packs it inside seal-proof thin plastic packs or just leave it inside its own package that you got it with.

  • The beef does not need to be covered all up airtight.
  • Keep a pan or tray or inside a plastic bag to catch any of that liquid that drips after it defrosts.
  • Also note that keep it at a lower shelf of the refrigerator, somewhere around the back of the shelf.
  1. Check Before You Use it

Despite whichever method you use a refrigerator or a microwave, ranging from slow to fast, do not forget to check the beef before cooking. In case of a refrigerator, you can continue storing it for a couple of days too after defrost, while in the microwave, cook it immediately.

  • Try pressing on the packaging and if it presses and stays the same, to defrost is complete.
  • For further check, break and smash it, and try pressing in the middle of the bulk. If it is soft and nice, thawing is done.
  • In some cases, parts of it still may be solid.
  1. If You Want to Use Cold Water Instead

As you can understand this is going to be difficult than the first one. You need to be changing the cold water every 30 minutes or so too.

  • For every pound of beef, it shall take about an hour or so. Plan that way.
  • Once you have defrosted it, you must cook it immediately.
  • Around 1-inch thick layer will be ready in 20 minutes or so, it is a medium pace method.
  • Again put it inside a plastic bag, keep it in your bucket, sink, a big bowl.
  1. Keep it Covered Always

Use cold tap water or use ice. Even at room temperature, it can start to form a breeding ground for bacteria.

  • Pour cold water and cover it up to keep it submerged entirely.
  • Keep changing the water every half an hour and add few ice cubes to keep it cold (not just cool), below room temperature.
  1. Check if it has Been Done in an Hour

The above cold water method keeps the bacteria from growing and also helps defrost it at the same time. Cold temperature is important here. Don’t rush it with warm water.

  • Break the ground beef open and try pressing at different places, in the middle.
  • Check to see if it feels soft and creates a dent wherever you press.
  • At times it is hard at the center if you made a nice sphere, so keep a uniform thick layer.
  • Also, don’t forget to use it immediately.
  1. When Using a Microwave to Make it Fast

In this case, do the following, and cook it right away.

  • Take the beef out of its packaging.
  • Keep it inside the microwave in a baking pan.
  • Follow the instructions in manual and set the temperature and waiting time.


  • Defrosting inside the refrigerator is slowest and safest too. As mentioned above, use it within 1 or 2 days.

Larger the package, and thicker the package, longer it will take.