When ground beef comes in plastic tubing, no matter who processes the beef, there always seems to be one pin hole somewhere in the plastic tubing. Make sure you put the ground beef in a bowl or zippered baggie to thaw. Otherwise you may have a mess to clean up because leakage can happen.
We have found that when you thaw out the ground beef, especially as the beef get older, you should take it out of the plastic packaging as soon as possible after it thaws (or even before by slicing plastic). Don’t let the beef sit in the juices. We recommend thawing it out in the sink or a bowl. If you thaw it in your refrigerator, put it in a leak-proof container or zippered baggie.
Rinse the beef gently. Then if you are not going to use it right away, place in a baggie or covered container. If you let it sit a day or two, perhaps rinse again before cooking!
This is actually good advice for steaks and other cuts, too. Don’t let it sit in the juices. Rinse the cut and place in baggie if not using immediately.
There is nothing wrong with the meat, no matter what you choose to do!
Something to keep in mind about our beef: lean beef cooks more quickly – some sources say in about two-thirds the time you may be used to and at a lower heat temperature. Many a person has discovered this to their dismay – i.e., that first steak overcooked!
The good thing is that they still taste great and are tender and juicy. Generally, you’ll find that cuts cooked rare and medium-rare are just about perfect, even if you normally like them cooked to medium. Let the steak sit a few minutes before serving.
Below are a few websites with information about cooking lean beef: