How Long Can Hamburger Thaw in the Fridge?

Hamburger can be found in long tubes at the grocery store at outstanding prices, making it affordable to stock up your freezer. You can easily separate the hamburger into 1-lb. Portions when you get home for easier thawing at a later time. Or you can go ahead and shape it into hamburger patties, meatloaf, etc. for convenience. 

Once you have frozen your hamburger, you can pull it out of the freezer at any time to thaw. Hamburger can thaw in the fridge for up to 24 hours per pound you are thawing. Thereafter, it can sit in the fridge for up to two days before being used. 

Freezing hamburger is a convenient method that allows you to take advantage of sales when local grocers run them. However, it’s important to follow commonly-accepted food safety practices to ensure you are thawing it properly.

How to Package Hamburger for Thawing in the Fridge

When you freeze your hamburger initially, you want to do so with the intent of thawing it quickly and easily at a later time. One popular method of doing this is known as the flat-pack method. 

This can be used to separate larger portions or hamburger or combine multiple smaller portions into one conveniently-sized Ziploc bag. Follow these steps for hamburger packaging for easy thawing:

  1. Place a 1-lb. Portion of hamburger into a Ziploc bag.
  2. Close the bag almost completely leaving a one-inch hold in the zipper.
  3. Smash the hamburger down until it fills the bag completely and all the air goes out of the bag. Some people use a rolling pin to do this step.
  4. Finish by completely zipping up the bag and laying flat. 

By following this method, you can store your frozen hamburger easier by laying it flat in the freezer. Not to mention, the thinness of the package makes it easier to thaw the hamburger easily and evenly when the time comes. 

Can I Refreeze Hamburger That Has Thawed in the Fridge?

If you laid out hamburger in the fridge to thaw a few days ago and completely forgot about it, the good news is that you don’t have to just throw it out. Hamburger that has been thawed in the fridge, is still being held at an appropriate temperature, and has not been in the fridge for more than 3 or 4 days can still be safely refrozen.

This is the case whether you laid out hamburger in a large package or in smaller increments. In fact, if it is still a bit frozen, that is even better. 

If you’re concerned about the time your hamburger has been stored in the fridge, you can even take it out, cook it, and refreeze it at that point. Cooking reduces the chance that harmful bacteria could grow that may cause food-bourne illness. 

It is even more convenient to freeze cooked ground beef, too, because when you’re ready to use it you can just grab it and start cooking.