Microwave defrosting vs. other defrosting methods
Besides defrosting ground beef in the microwave, you can also use the fridge or cold water to thaw ground beef. The microwave is the quickest way, but these other methods are also helpful if you have more time to work with.
Refrigerator defrosting may be the best option, since the frozen meat will remain in a consistent temperature until it thaws. Place the packaging on a middle shelf in your refrigerator. It can take up to 24 hours to thaw 5 pounds of ground beef. Make sure your refrigerator is set to 40 degrees or lower, and cook the meat within one to two days of defrosting.
Defrosting in cold water can be faster but requires more attention. Make sure the meat is in a watertight bag or container to help prevent bacterial growth. Place the bag in a bowl of cold water and switch the water every 30 minutes until the meat is fully thawed. Cook your ground beef immediately after defrosting. If using this method, only refreeze the meat after it has been fully cooked.