If your summertime is going anything like ours, we’d venture to bet you’ve cooked up quite a few burgers on that grill of yours. And while we are always happy to barbecue these backyard staples any day of the week, there is one problem that sometimes ends up holding us back—storage.

You see, we always prefer to take advantage of the supermarket sales, which means we often end up freezing our ground beef. It’s a great option that doesn’t seem to affect the flavor much, but it does make thawing and portioning a pain.

That’s why we scoured the Internet for the best tips and tricks for storing perfectly-formed patties. Our search brought us to one of our favorite food sources, FOOD & WINE, a group that certainly has food prep down.

In today’s video, the lovely Justin Chappele guides us through his genius (and oh-so simple!) way of freezing and separating his ground meat. After learning his method, you’ll wonder why you ever did it any other way!

It’s all in the technique

As it turns out, a simple freezer bag serves as the perfect vessel for your ground goods. Now, before you go out to your local grocery store to buy those cheap-o plastic bags, it’s important to note that, when it comes to storing meat, you should always go for the most durable bag.

After all, you don’t want all of your hard work to go out the window just because your food wasn’t properly protected from harmful freezer burn!

Now that you have the right tool for the job, simply add the meat to the plastic freezer bag—it should be a small enough portion so that it only fills up half of the bag when clumped together.

Next, lay the open bag on a flat surface. Take the palm of your dominant hand and spread the meat out using a kneading motion so that it reaches each corner of the bag. You’ll, of course, want to make sure that you are working gingerly here, as the meat could easily pop out of the open bag if you press too hard. Yikes!

When you have finished up with the flattening process, seal the bag up, and reach for a ruler—yep, you read that right! You wouldn’t believe it, but a wooden ruler makes for the perfect meat separator. All you need to do is smooth it over the surface of the bag in a crosshatch pattern.

man uses ruler to portion ground beefFOOD AND WINE


It’s just THAT easy to store you extra meat! This hack isn’t just for ground beef; it also works great for ground chicken, ground turkey, ground salmon, chorizo—you name it!

Now that you know the basics, it’s time for you to learn how to execute the “snappy” separating technique. To get Justin Chappele’s full tutorial for yourself, be sure to click on the video below. Storing extra meat has never been so simple!

What do you think of this meat storage method? Have you done this before? How do you store your extra ground meat?