How would you like to be able to store hamburger without having to freeze it? How about being able to take advantage of a good sale without having to worry about how much freezer space it is going to take up? What if you could keep it for a couple of years or more just sitting on your shelf? What if you could have it already cooked and ready to use in no time at all and with no thawing involved? If this sounds like something you would be interested in, then boy do I have some good news for you! They are called Hamburger Rocks and they do! (Rock, that is!) And the best part? Simple, easy to use and you can do it right in your own kitchen.
There are countless recipes you can use with hamburger rocks. Now with that being said, there are a few things that this stuff won’t work for. You can’t really “form” it so you won’t be able to make things like meatballs or hamburger patties. Other than that your imagination is your only limitation. Use it for things like taco meat, spaghetti sauce, soups, chipped beef, meat pies, and pizza toppings. Even Hamburger Helper just got even easier!! Anything you usually use “crumbled” hamburger for, you can use hamburger rocks for.
Here’s how you do it.
1. Brown your hamburger a skillet. While you are cooking it be sure to break it up well. You don’t want large chunks in your pan.
2. Once your hamburger is browned, drain all the grease from it. An easy way to do that is to use a colander.
3. After you drain as much grease out as you can, rinse the meat with boiling hot water until the grease is gone and let it drain again. You want as little as possible in your meat. Grease will make your meat go rancid pretty quickly. You want to avoid this at all costs.
4. After you have the grease out and the meat is well drained, put it in a clean skillet. Season your meat with whatever you choose to use. I use salt, pepper onion powder and garlic powder. Season it to your own taste. (You could make up different batches like “taco meat” or any other flavor) Continue cooking until all the moisture is gone. You want to get it as dry as you can without burning the meat.
5.If you are using a dehydrator, place your meat on the trays. I would use screens or fruit roll up trays so the meat doesn’t fall through. If you are going to be using your oven, put the meat in a baking pan about 1/2 inch or so deep. A cookie sheet or something similar works well.
6. Dry at 165 degrees for approximately 15 hours in your dehydrator. For your oven (if you can’t set it at 165 degrees) you may need to it at its lowest temperature. Put a spoon or something like it in the door to prop it open slightly. This will allow the moisture to escape as well a lower the temperature slightly.
Stir every few hours to make sure it is evenly drying. When it is done, the meat will be dark brown and hard (like little rocks) with no moisture in it.
7. Store in air tight jars. You can use your vacuum sealer or o2 absorbers to draw out the air.
To re-hydrate, place the meat in a bowl and cover with boiling water. As with most dehydrated foods the rule of thumb is 2 parts water to 1 part meat.
And there you have it. A really simple way to store hamburger meat with minimal effort.