How to Cook Ground Beef in a Crockpot

There are many methods for cooking ground beef. You can brown ground beef on the stove or in the oven, but have you ever cooked ground beef in a crockpot? Watch how easy it is to meal prep several pounds of ground beef at a time here:

Because we know a lot goes into keeping families moving, MOMables is always sharing ways to simplify things on the “feeding your family” front. Just as you will find prep-ahead tips in the weekly plans, today we’re sharing a prep-ahead tip for how you can cook ground beef in a crock-pot, for all of your meals for the week, at once.

how to cook ground beef in the slow cooker

How cooking ground beef in the Crockpot saves time

Cook once and eliminate a step later on in the week when you’re making meals. If you can eliminate one of the more time-consuming steps like this, your dinner prep moves a lot faster, which gets dinner on the table faster and leaves more time for you to cross other things off that never-ending mommy list.

Don’t have a crockpot yet, or need a new one? Here’s the one I use for cooking ground beef. 

how to cook ground beef

All you do is add up to 3 pounds of ground beef to your crock-pot (I have done as many as 5 lbs. at one time). Break up the beef and add ¼ cup water (per pound of beef). Turn your crock-pot on and cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or LOW for 4-6 hours. Cooking time will vary depending on how many pounds of beef you are cooking.

During the cooking process, I stir the meat mixture occasionally to help the meat cook evenly. Once your meat has fully cooked, drain off the grease. I then divide the meat out and store in plastic bags in the refrigerator. Then later on in the week, when I need to add it to a casserole, sauce, etc., I just pull it out of the refrigerator and add it along with the other ingredients. It is a huge time saver. Not to mention, it means dirtying one less pan that night!

How to Drain Ground Beef

Draining the fat from ground beef is simple when you are talking about a small pan, but when it comes to a crockpot full of 5 pounds of meat it’s a little bit more daunting.

Pour out the liquid from the top of your crockpot, and if needed you can use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the crockpot without getting any excess grease in your freezer containers.

What to make with ground beef

There are so many delicious lunch and dinner ideas to make with ground beef.

A few of our family’s favorites:

Looking for more? Check out this post for dinner ideas for kids.

How to Freeze Ground Beef After Cooking

I don’t exactly know what it is about the onset of colder weather that makes me feel compelled to start stocking my freezer with meals, but it happens every year around this time. If this happens to you as well, this method for cooking ground beef in a crockpot is also great to do and instead of using the beef right away, you can stock your freezer with the cooked beef.

I use this method to cook up a bunch of ground beef and then freeze the cooked meat in a freezer safe plastic bag. Then on days when I am in need of a quick meal, I can pull out the beef, let it thaw, and add it to any dish (spaghetti sauce, taco meat, etc).

A quick and easy way to cook ground beef that requires very little work…count me in!

How to Cook Ground Beef in a Crockpot

Thanks to the slow cooker we can cook ground beef without grease splatters or watching the stove. Once cooked the beef it’s perfect for tacos, nachos, spaghetti, and other family favorite recipes.

  • Author: MOMables
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours – 6 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours – 6 hours + 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1216 servings 1x


  • 3 lbs ground beef
  • 3/4 cup water


  1. Place the ground beef into the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker. Break up the meat with a large spoon and add the water. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or low for 4 to 6 hours.
  2. Once the beef is cooked through, carefully pour the excess grease and liquid from the slow cooker dish. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat into airtight containers.
  3. Keep the cooked beef refrigerated and use within 3 days. To freeze, seal the desired amount in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months.



  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 137
  • Fat: 3.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 24.8 g

About MOMables - Laura

Mom to 3 kids, obsessed with coffee, meal planning, and helping you cook fresh meals for your family fast!