Ground beef is simply beef that has been ground or finely chopped.
Ground beef can be prepared at home or it can be bought from supermarkets, grocery stores or butcher shops. Ground beef is produced from grinding and blending together various cuts of beef including meat from the chuck, brisket, plate, and/or flank. Ground beef or minced meat is made of finely chopped meat, minced by a meat grinder. Ground beef is used for preparing hamburgers, meatballs and meatloaves.
Although ground beef is also referred to as "hamburger", it is different from hamburger meat because only hamburger contains beef fat. Both hamburger and ground beef can contain seasonings, but no water, phosphates, extenders, or binders can be added. Ground meat of various kinds is used for preparing meatballs which can be included in soups or in stews and ground beef can be included in pasta sauces, while hamburger meat is used only for preparing hamburgers. When beef meat is ground there is a very high risk that the meat could become infected with bacteria which can only be destroyed if the ground beef is cooked at a temperature over 160 °F degrees.
In Italian cuisine there are numerous recipes which include ground beef such as lasagna, spaghetti Bolognese.
It can be purchased with varying degrees of fat content, depending on the cut or cuts of beef that were used. The less fat in the finished product, the more expensive it is. In order to be labeled ground beef, it must be at least 70% lean. Ground beef is used in many dishes, but it is especially popular when it is formed into a patty, fried or grilled, and made into a hamburger sandwich.
Types of ground beef
- Ground chuck : 80 to 85 % lean / 15 to 20 % fat
- Ground round : 85 to 90 % lean / 10 to 15 % fat
- Ground sirloin : 90 to 92 % lean / 8 to 10 % fat
- Lean ground beef: Must meet the requirements of ground beef but may not contain more than 22 % fat.
- Extra-lean ground beef: Must meet the requirements of ground beef but may not contain more than 15 % fat. So this includes "ground round" and "ground sirloin", but not "ground chuck".
- Chili meat: Chili meat is the same as ground meat (hamburger) only coarser, or bigger.