How To Cook Ground Beef Perfectly Every Time

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Knowing the secrets to perfect ground beef can help level up your favorite dinners! Read on to learn how to cook ground beef perfectly.

Ever wonder how to get your ground beef looking and tasting as wonderful as it does at your favorite restaurant? If you're tired of dry, bland ground beef, you're in the right place.

Making juicy, mouth-watering ground beef is the first step in many amazing recipes. We'll help walk you through the process of selecting, prepping, and cooking your ground beef. Then, we'll show you some of our favorite stress-free ground beef recipes you can follow to test your new skills. 

Secrets to Amazing Ground Beef

Some people come from a long line of talented home cooks, and preparing meals comes naturally for them. If you're someone who doesn't feel blessed with a knack for whipping up recipes, making appetizing recipes with ground beef might seem intimidating.

The good news is that making the best ground beef is easier than you think. It all starts with knowing how to shop for meat. Keep reading to see a few things to keep in mind. 

Know What To Look for in Your Ground Beef

Remember that not all ground beef packages are the same at the grocery store. When you're in the refrigerated meat section, there are three things you want to look for.

  1. Fat-to-lean content: When picking up different packages of ground beef, check the fat percentage compared to the lean meat in your beef. If you see a label that displays "85/15," that's an acceptable ratio for all-purpose ground beef. You might opt for lean ground beef if you're making a meat sauce. But higher fat content might be better if you're making burgers or meatloaf. If the label only reads, "Market ground beef," try asking the butcher about the lean meat percentage.
  1. The sell-by date: You don't want to buy beef that will go bad soon. Select a package with a sell-by date far from your purchase date. The further out the date, the fresher your meat will be.
  2. The color: As you shop for ground beef, you'll want to evaluate the color of each package you pick up. If your tray has any type of grayish tint, avoid it.

Shop in the Right Order

When you're out at the grocery store, shopping for your non-perishable items is a good idea. Round up your chips, noodles, and anything that doesn't require refrigeration. Then, when you're almost ready to check out, head to the meat section to load up on ground beef and other fridge-stored ingredients.

Steps To Cook Tasty Ground Beef

Let's say you've got your ground beef, and now you're ready to try out your meat-browning skills. We'll show you a few steps to get tasty meat with around one and a half pounds of ground beef.

  1. Prep the ground meat. When preparing to cook ground beef, it's a good idea to let it sit at room temperature to defrost for around fifteen minutes before heating it. 
  2. Heat things up. Add some olive oil or another cooking oil to a large skillet (around 10-12 inches) and turn your stovetop to medium-high heat. Some people prefer to use a cast-iron nonstick skillet on their stovetop. Once you have a hot pan, add your ground beef.

If you want to speed up your cook time, try using an Instant Pot instead of a traditional skillet. If you’re not in a rush, feel free to use a slow cooker or crockpot for extra juicy ground beef dishes.

  1. Flatten it out, and then break it apart. When your meat is in the skillet, you might try flattening it with a spatula or wooden spoon to begin browning the underside of the meat. Once a crust forms, break the meat into smaller pieces and let it sear. 
  2. Be patient. Try not to stir your browned ground beef around too much. You'll end up with the perfect meat that crumbles if you're patient. 

How To Season Ground Beef

Once you've cooked your ground beef, how can you ensure it tastes flavorful? There are a few ways you can season ground beef, depending on the meal you're making. Following an easy recipe can inform you of the best seasonings to use. 

Here are a few common herbs and spices you might see in recipes that include ground beef:

Seasoning tip: Some people say that adding salt too early can dry out your meat when you're browning your ground beef. For juicier results, try waiting on the salt until your meat has cooked all the way. 

How To Store Ground Beef

Have extra meat after taco night? When you make more ground beef than you need, you can store it in an airtight container like a freezer bag. Refrigerated ground beef will keep up to one week, and frozen ground beef will be good for up to three months. 

Alternatives to Ground Beef

What if you don't have time to run to the store to get ground beef? Suppose you don't have meat in the refrigerator or you want to try an alternative to ground beef. In that case, there are a few other options you can substitute. Here are a few of the most common:

Using these ingredients in the place of ground beef may add a different flavor. Still, they make good alternatives for ground beef recipes.

What Can You Make With Ground Beef?

Once you start honing your meat-browning skills, there are so many recipes you can make! Whether you feel like enjoying Italian cuisine or Southern comfort food, ground beef makes an excellent base for many types of recipes. 

Here are a few common ground beef meals that may inspire your weekly menu:

Easy Ground Beef Recipes To Try ASAP

Are you ready to make easy ground beef recipes at home? There are so many tasty dishes you can try, and they don't require a culinary arts degree. We've rounded up a few of our favorite Jow ground beef recipes that are easy to follow and delicious to eat.

Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry

Preparing a stir fry is an easy way to get dinner on the table for a large number of people. The prep time for this dish is just six minutes, and you can enjoy the finished product in under twenty minutes! Our Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry is a recipe you'll want to repeat. 

Speedy Beef Soft Tacos

Everybody loves taco night. Making soft tacos is a perfect go-to meal idea for lunch or any weeknight. You'll love the tasty results of these Speedy Beef Soft Tacos. The best part is that they're ready in ten minutes!

Salisbury Steak and Mashed Potatoes

Are you in the mood for some southern comfort food? If so, Salisbury steak is a savory dinner option you can prepare. Our Salisbury Steak and Mashed Potatoes recipe can be a terrific main course for a dinner with friends or a solo night in. 

Meaty Spaghetti Arrabbiata

Lean ground beef makes delicious meat sauce. This recipe is an excellent choice when you're in the mood for delicious meaty pasta. Our Meaty Spaghetti Arrabbiata doesn't take long to prepare, and the recipe is super simple.

Italian Burger and Fries

Burgers are a staple cookout meal for many. If you love burgers, try taking the flavors to the next level with our Italian Burger and Fries dish. The taste of pesto sauce and fresh mozzarella will set this dish apart.

Speedy Spaghetti Bolognese

Who could forget spaghetti bolognese when talking about easy ground beef recipes? This meaty dish is perfect for serving a few dinner guests. Add Italian breadsticks, and you'll have a feast fit for Rome or Venice. 

Speedy Beef Quesadillas

When you only have a few minutes to enjoy a meal, you don't have to resort to granola bars or packaged snacks. Our Speedy Beef Quesadillas recipe makes it easy to enjoy a crispy, cheesy home-cooked meal in minutes! Don't forget the salsa on the side. 

Let Us Shop for Your Ground Beef and More

Let's say you want to make several recipes with ground beef but don't know how much to buy for your household. Luckily, we can help with that. 

At Jow, we can help create an optimized grocery list for the number of people in your household based on the recipes you want to eat this week. We'll consider your dietary restrictions and preferences, so your list includes an optimized amount of the right ingredients for your household. You can add household necessities to the list, and we'll send your order to a nearby grocery store or have it shipped to your house.

Easy Meals Are a Few Clicks Away

Making meals that you love doesn't have to be a chore! With Jow, shopping for ground beef and following meaty recipes can be easy peasy. Check out our tasty recipes to see what you can whip up this week.