When it comes to versatility, ground beef can’t be beat. There are countless ways to cook it, including all-time classics like burgers, sloppy joes and meatballs. And as you’ll see, it’s equally at home in pasta, tacos and stuffed peppers.
To showcase everything that beef can be, we compiled our favorite recipes here in one place. But before you pick which one you want to try, take a look at our tips.
Before you get started on dinner try these tips and tricks.
Dip Before You Dig In
If you’re forming patties or molding meatballs, prevent the beef from sticking to your hands by soaking them briefly in cold water.
Temper the Temperature
If you cook on too high of a temperature the fat will render, and your beef will shrink. For best results, use medium heat.
Brown with the Best
To truly brown meat, you have to do more than just make sure it’s cooked through. Start by drying your raw meat with a paper towel to limit steaming. Then press it into an even layer in the pan, and flip it when you notice crisp ends.
Make a Good Impression
For burgers, use your thumb to make a mark in the middle of the patty. This will help your burger keep its shape as it cooks.
Too lean or not too lean? That’s often the question when you’re shopping for ground beef. The percentages you seen on labels—85% lean, 15% fat, for example—refer to the lean-to-fat ratio, or lean point. They show how many grams of fat there are in relation to the total grams of that package. More fat equals more juice and more flavor, but also more calories.
While you can use ground beef of any lean level interchangeably, you can also optimize your meals by picking the percent that’s perfect for the job. Here’s a helpful list of our recommendations.
73% Lean – Higher fat content helps serve as a binding agent in:
80-85% Lean – By striking a balance between lean and fat, beef with this lean point can be the main draw of a meal or one of many ingredients:
90-96% Lean – Leaner meat is lower in calories, making it an excellent choice for veggie-based dishes.