Ground Beef Basics

Thai Burger

From hamburgers to lasagna, burgoo to meatloaf and everything in between, Ground Beef one of Kentucky's favorite go-to beef cuts. The versatility of Ground Beef offers quick, easy and delicious options for any meal and for any occasion. 

Cooking Ground beef

Need tips on how to cook Ground Beef? These cooking lessons and recipes have everything you need to know for the best results. 

Skillet Cooking 

Cooked Sausage in Pan

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef to skillet and cook 8-10 minutes. While cooking, break Ground Beef into 3/4 inch crumbles and stir occasionally. 

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Grilling Grilling

To grill the perfect burger, form Ground Beef into 1/2 inch thick patties. Place patties on the grid over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into the center registers 160F. 

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Ground Beef Favorites

Beef & Vegetable Fried Rice

From tacos to chili to fried rice, check out our all-time favorite go-to Ground Beef recipes. These no sweat recipes are hearty and delicious. 

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Decoding the Label

Ground Beef is the lost recognizable beef cut, but with so many options in grocery stores it can be overwhelming make a purchase. Don't get confuse with this family favorite by using the information below. 

  • Labels may indicate the primal cut (Chuck, Round or Sirloin) used to produce the ground beef. The name of the primal cut does not indicate the lean-to-fat ratio. 
  • Lean-to-fat ratio indicates the portion of ground beef that provides the protein. Most popular ratios are 73/27, 80/20, 85/15 and 90/10.
  • Ground Beef labeled as "lean" has less than 10% fat. "Extra lean" Ground Beef has less than 5% fat. 


Lazy Lasagna

70% Lean

Ground Beef that is not less than 70% lean is used for burgers and in recipes calling for browning (crumbles) and pouring off drippings, such as chili, tacos and spaghetti sauce. When properly cooked, it is moist and juicy. 

Mediterranean Beef Meatball Kabob

80-85% Lean

A mid-range lean-to-fat ratio is a nice option for dishes like meatloaf and meatballs, but you'll be cooking in a pan or skillet. When properly cooked, it is moist and juicy and has a slightly firm texture. 

One Pot Lasagna Pasta

93% lean

Ground Beef that is 93% lean or leaner meets government guidelines for "lean". It works well in dishes that require crumbles, like meat sauces, stuffed peppers or casseroles where draining fat might be difficult. 

Tips and Tricks

  • Use a gentle touch with Ground Beef. Over-mixing will result in burgers, meatballs or meatloaves with a firm texture. 
  • Use the appropriate pan size for your recipe. If the pan is too small, the beef will be crowded and browning will be inhibited. If the pan is too large, overcooking may result. 
  • There is no need to bring beef to room temperature before cooking. Straight from the refrigerator works effectively. 
  • Turn Ground Beef patties with a spatula. Do Not press down on the patty as the flavorful juices will be lost, resulting in a dry burger. 
  • To make your ground beef leaner, put cooked crumbles in a colander and rise away the fat residue gently with warm water. 
  • Use a potato masher to break up ground beef into small crumbles while browning. 

Determining Doneness

  • Insert an instant read thermometer into the center or thickest part of a meatloaf or meatball, or horizontally from the side into the center for patties. 
  • Ground Beef (patties, meatballs or meatloaves) should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160F (medium doneness). Color is not a reliable indicator of Ground Beef doneness. 
  • Due to the use of onion, celery, or bell peppers, meatloaf may remain pink in the middle even when a 160F internal temperature has been reached.