Here are the absolute best ways to thaw ground beef, even if you only have 10 minutes to spare :
If You have 4 or more hours : Defrost in the Fridge
The absolute best way to thaw your ground beef is without a doubt in the refigerator. According to the USDA if you want to be on the safest side, the refrigerator is your best method for thawing your beef. Simply remove your beef up to 2 days ahead of time, place it inside a large bowl (to prevent leaking into your fridge) and wait for it to defrost. Once the beef has defrosted in the fridge, it should be cooked up within 2 days. If for some reason you decide you aren't burger, meatloaf or meatball feelin' it, you CAN refreeze the beef as long as you use THIS method and it hasn't been over 2 days in the fridge
If you have 20 minutes : Submerge in cold water
Put your frozen meat in a second leak-proof large zip top bag and place it into a bowl of cold water, ensuring it's totally covered. Ground beef that's been frozen flat will thaw in about ten minutes. Larger chunks will take longer (about 30 minutes per pound). Once thawed, you will need to cook immediately.
If you have 10 minutes : Use the Microwave
The speediest way to defrost ground beef is definitely in the microawave. Place your beef in a microwave-safe ziptop bag with your frozen beef on a plate, leaving a small opening for the steam to escape. Use your defrost setting on your microwave to defrost for three to four minutes, turning the meat halfway through. Remember, all microwaves differ, so you may need more or less time depending on the strength of your microwave. Make sure you cook your ground beef immediately.