Are you the one who loves to use ground beef in many recipes but doesn’t know how to cook ground beef perfectly? Don’t worry! Yes, it is one of the basic skills that everyone should know, and this is because ground beef is something that serves numerous uses. From basic pasta sauce to various special recipes, ground beef is a vital ingredient that adds a fantastic taste to them. If you really want to learn to cook ground beef, then you are at the right place. Here, in this blog, you will find a practical solution for all the queries related to the subject matter, right from choosing the proper beef to the best method for cooking the ground beef.
How to cook ground beef – The beginning of the process!
Before wondering how to cook ground beef perfectly, you should first think about how to buy the right ground beef. This is because best cooking starts with the best product. Therefore, you should first focus on choosing the right meat. Do you know ground beef stays good for about only two days in the refrigerator? That means when you are buying it, you must choose the as freshest beef as possible. Other than this, also make sure to use the bought meet as soon as possible otherwise it may get spoiled, and your hard work to choose the right meet as well your money spent on the beef will all get wasted and of course you would not like it.
When you buy ground beef, do not only check the price but also check for other information like sell-by-date (it should be furthest from the date you’re buying), fat to lean content (85/15 is a good choice meet for most of the culinary purposes, but if you want to make juiciest burgers with the beef then you may also choose fat content of 70/30 or 80/20) and other such details. Apart from the package mentioned details, also pay attention to the color of the meat. Fresh ground beef should have a bright red color but beware of the misleading color too.
It may be possible that meat has been packed with carbon monoxide to maintain the red color till its normal shelf life. So avoid choosing the tray that appears gray.
Overall, the choice of the meat will actually depend upon your preference and upon your purpose of using it. So, other details can be preferred as per your usage but never forget to choose the freshet meat.
How to cook ground beef – 2 Different Methods
Cooking and browning a perfect ground beef is a skill that you can also have. Whether you are planning to cook this beef for making meat sauces or hamburgers or for any other dishes, once you get to know how to cook ground beef in the best way, you can make every recipe tastier and juicier.
There are mainly two methods by which you can cook ground beef:
Let’s take a glance at how you can make the beef with these methods.
Method 1: How to cook ground beef by frying?
- Vegetable Oil – 1 Teaspoon
- Ground Beef – 1 ½ Pound
- Salt – ½ Teaspoon
- Spices (If you want)
- Fry Pan (Skillet)
- Spatula/ Wooden Spoon
- Heat the Pan
The first and foremost step for cooking the brown ground beef is to heat the oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat. This step of adding the oil will prevent the beef from sticking or scorching in the pan. If you’re using a non-stick pan, you can skip this step; it is just you have to pay close attention to the meat during the first few minutes of cooking so that it doesn’t get burnt. If you are cooking extra lean beef, then add a little extra oil while using cast iron or stainless steel skillet and add a little oil while using a non-stick pan.
It is recommended to use cast iron and stainless steel skillet for cooking the ground beef as it will help get that beautiful, brown sear.
- Add the Meat & Break it into Large Pieces
Once the pan is appropriately hot, add the meat to its center and use the spatula to break it into some large pieces. Then let it remain still for 4-5 minutes so that it gets that brownish texture.
- Break the Meat into Smaller Pieces
Once you observe that brownishness, take the spatula and break the ground beef into smaller pieces. Then sprinkle salt and other spices you like to use. Do not stir it continuously. Let it cook for a minute or two; between each stir, let the meat brown. Continue the process until all the moisture gets evaporated.
- Finish the Process
To make sure that beef has browned all the way through, break open a couple of the larger crumples and check if they are still pink or not. If the beef is no more pink,i.e., it is evenly brown, then you may assume that it has been cooked perfectly.
Method 2: How to cook ground beef by boiling?
- Ground Beef
- Fry Pan (Skillet)
- Spatula/ Wooden Spoon
- Add the Water & Let it Boil
Start the process of cooking ground beef by boiling method by adding water to the pan and bringing it to a boil. Add enough water that can cover the beef fully.
- Add the Meat & Stir It
Add the meat to the hot water and if it stays in clumps, then use the spatula to break it into small crumbles. Stir it frequently so that the beef stays in small pieces.
- Finish the Process by Draining it
Once the beef gets boiled, lower down the temperature and cover the pan. Let it cooked fully. You will know the beef is cooked fully when it is no longer pink. Drain the ground beef and season it as you like.
How to store and use cooked ground beef?
Once you have hunted the best solution for your query of how to cook ground beef, the following quiz is, how can you store this cooked beef and for how long. Like other leftovers, cooked ground beef can also last upto three to four days in the fridge. However, it may last long for three to four months too if you store it in an airtight container or freezer bag in the freezer.
This cooked and stored ground beef can serve many culinary uses. For instance, it can be used in hamburgers, sausages, cottage pies, etc. Other than this, it also acts as an essential ingredient in meatloaf, sloppy joes, tacos and can be used to make meat sauces such as lasagna, spaghetti bolognese in Italian cuisine. It is also used in some middle east recipes such as spicy koftas and meatballs.
3 Common Mistakes to Avoid While Cooking Ground Beef
It isn’t very reassuring when you do a lot of search for finding an ideal recipe that tells how to cook ground beef and follow all the steps carefully and after then also you will not get the results what you were expecting. This may happen as you have left some necessary pointers. There are three significant mistakes mentioned below that you should glance at to avoid any such failure.
#1 Putting Cold Meat in a Hot Pan
Never start cooking the beef right after pulling it out from the fridge. If you put the meat in a hot pan right after taking it from the fridge, the beef will release the juices immediately, preventing it from giving a perfect juicier taste once it is cooked. Instead, after taking the grounded beef from the fridge, allow it to sit at room temperature for atleast 15 minutes and then start cooking it. However, make sure not to leave the meat at room temperature for more than two hours.
#2 Overcrowding the Pan or Choosing the Smaller Pan
Always make sure to choose the pan that is large enough to accommodate the meat you are going to cook. If you are planning to cook a large amount of ground beef, either cook it in batches or choose a larger skillet. If you overcrowd the pan, it will not allow having enough contact with the meat, and you may get wet and gray beef that will not get crispier at all.
#3 Using a Non-stick Pan
Using a non-stick pan to cook ground beef is not wrong. In fact, you may feel more convenient to cook various dishes in the non-stick pan, but it is recommended to cook ground beef in cast iron or stainless steel to make it perfectly brown and crispier. If you prefer a non-stick pan because you are afraid that meat may get stick to cast iron, it can be handled. Just add a little oil and let it heat before adding the meat to the pan to prevent it from sticking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1 What is the best way to cook ground beef?
Ground beef can be cooked in two ways: Boiling and frying. Making ground beef by boiling is the simplest and healthiest way to make it. The process of boiling the beef separates fat from it, and it also comes out clean. However, cooking the ground beef by frying is one of the most preferable and famous options as it brings real crispiness to it and also results in perfect brown juicier ground beef.
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Q2 What spices go well with ground beef?
One of the best things about ground beef is that you may season it the way you like. What spices go well with ground beef depends upon what you are going to make with it. For if you are cooking ground beef for tacos, then a simple taco seasoning will work. Other than this, sprinkling the salt is the best and simple way to make it flavorful for any usage.
Q3 How long is ground beef good in the fridge?
Raw ground beef can be stored in the fridge for about two to three days, and when you wrap the beef airtightly and store it in the freezer, then it may last long for two to three months. While cooked ground beef stays good for three to four days when stored in the fridge and when stored in the freezer, in an airtight container or freezer bag, then it may last long for three to four months.
When you wonder how to cook ground beef, it must not be the only thought that is going on in your mind. Along with the urge to know the process of cooking the ground beef, some other questions may also arise in your mind, like how to buy the perfect beef and how to store ground beef. This blog has given all the answers to all the questions that prove that it is not difficult to cook the ground beef and that too in the perfect way that makes you achieve that crunchier, juicier taste. Just remember, “Recipe has no soul, you as the cook must bring the soul to the recipe.”
That means, whenever you cook something, don’t just cook it for its sake; cook it with all your happiness as it will help you bring the real taste to the dish.