Whether you’re making hamburgers, pasta sauce or even tacos, ground beef is a great choice. Some people often get confused on what to look for when shopping for ground beef though. That’s easy to understand. After all, there are several types and different types work better in different dishes. After reading this article, you will have a better understanding of the types and uses of ground beef.
73% Lean: This is by far the least expensive type of ground beef. There’s a reason for that though. With such a high fat content (27%), much of this ground beef goes to waste. Not to mention that working with this type requires more work. If you use 73% lean in recipes like pasta sauce or tacos, you will need to drain and rinse the meat several times to remove the excess fat.
80% Lean: Ask any chef and they will tell you that 80/20 ground beef is the best type for hamburgers. The 20% fat content adds great flavor without making hamburgers greasy. An 80% lean ground beef is usually referred to as ground chuck because it’s made from the chuck portion of the cow. This type will still need to be drained and rinsed for certain recipes, but there is a little bit less waste when working with 80/20 ground beef.
85% Lean: Better know as ground round, 85% lean ground beef is a healthier option. It still has enough fat to remain moist, but not so much that you feel guilty preparing it. You will also still want to drain and rinse this type of ground beef, but you will notice that there is a lot less waste when compared to fatty types.
93 – 96% Lean: This is the leanest type of ground beef and once cooked, doesn’t even require being drained and rinsed. This type is made with sirloin and is often referred to as extra lean. It’s important to note that 93 – 96% lean ground beef can be a bit dry when used in meatloaf and hamburgers. That being said, this is a very healthy option and the dryness can be overcome by using onions or other vegetables in the recipe to keep the meat moist.
If you want to know exactly what you’re getting when you purchase ground beef, select a roast and have the meat freshly ground. Not only will you know what your meat looked like before it was ground, but the flavor of freshly ground beef cannot be beat. It can even be less expensive.
If you make a lot of hamburgers, patty the meat out before freezing it. You’ll save time because you don’t have to thaw the patties before cooking.
Stock up when ground beef is on sale. You can save a huge amount of money, especially on extra lean ground beef.