How To Saute Ground Beef?

In many recipes, the first step is to “brown the ground beef,” but these instructions are rarely given. It is simple, but there are still potential pitfalls. Here’s how to properly prepare ground beef so that it will be tender, flavorful, and suitable for use in your favorite ground beef recipes. Use this technique to prepare any dish you want for dinner, whether you want to prepare ground beef for tacos, spaghetti, or anything else.

Video: How To Cook Perfect Ground Beef

Most likely, your local grocery store offers a variety of ground beef options. There are times when the specific cut of meat is listed, along with the fat-to-lean ratio. So if you see 85/15 on the label, that means it%E2%80%99s made up of 85% lean ground beef and 15% fat This is the most common ratio and generally considered all-purpose. When in doubt, opt for the 85/15 ratio that I’m demonstrating to you today. You may prefer a higher fat content (70/30-80/20) for extremely juicy burgers or an extra-lean (90/10) for tacos or sauces.

Choose packages of meat that are as fresh as possible and with the most distant sell-by date. After choosing your ground beef, keep it chilled and use it within a couple of days of buying. You can freeze it for up to three months to extend storage time; just be sure to remove as much air as you can when putting it in a freezer bag. After cooking, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

How To Cook Ground Beef

It’s important to avoid moving ground beef around too much until it’s fully cooked and nicely browned. This contributes to the delicious crust that is formed on the meat.

I sauté it in cooking oil. Although I typically use olive oil because it’s my go-to, you can use any other cooking oil you prefer.

It’s important to use a nice big pan. You can use a non-stick pan but it won’t brown the meat as well. I prefer stainless steel or a cast iron skillet because it gives a better crust to the meat than non-stick does. Using a thick heavy pan is ideal for this since it cooks more evenly as well. Also, make sure your meat is going into a hot pan!

I flatten the beef after it’s been placed in the pan to resemble a large, thin burger patty. I wait until a crust has formed before using a wooden spoon to break it into smaller pieces and flip it. I let the meat finish cooking and then cut it into even smaller clusters.

Although this is my preferred method for cooking ground beef, did you know that the air fryer can also be used?

No matter what you plan to do with the meat, it must be season. I add salt and pepper at the very end of the recipe below. You can also add it midway through. It doesn’t matter much.

Garlic powder is another thing that I like to add. Chili powder works well too. However, anything additional to salt and pepper depends on how you intend to use the meat, so I haven’t included it in the recipe.

How To Saute Ground Beef?

How to Cook Ground Beef

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Learn how to properly cook ground beef so that it remains juicy but is nicely browned. I’ll share my techniques with you so that every time it turns out perfectly.

Learn how to make this recipe and get some great advice from Christine by listening to this:

  • 1 lb. ground beef, I like to use 85% lean
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¾ tsp. salt (if desired)
  • ¼ tsp. pepper (if desired)
  • Heat the olive oil to a hot temperature over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
  • Using a spatula, add the ground beef and press it into an even layer in the pan, almost like you’re making a big hamburger.
  • Let it cook untouched for 4 minutes. This is what helps create a brown crust.
  • Start to break apart the meat, flipping it over.
  • Cook for 4-5 more minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up any clumps.
  • Season with salt and pepper, if using. Stir.
  • Remove from heat and use as desired.

This article was first published in February 2019 and updated and re-posted in April 2022.

How To Cook Ground Beef


How long should you saute ground beef?

It takes roughly 7 to 10 minutes to brown a pound of ground beef on most stovetops.

Do you need oil to saute ground beef?

Adding oil is optional but recommended for better browning. Break up the meat before adding it to the pan. To break up the meat into large pieces in the pan, use a wooden spoon, fish spatula, or another sturdy spatula. Let it brown for several minutes.

What is the proper way to cook ground beef?

Allow your meat to rest at room temperature for approximately 15 minutes. In a big cast iron or stainless steel skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the meat and break it up into pieces with a spatula. Let the meat brown without touching for about five minutes.

Do you need butter or oil for ground beef?

Before adding the ground beef to a regular iron skillet, the bottom must be lightly coated with cooking oil. Otherwise, you risk burning the meat. On the other hand, you can avoid using any oil or butter when cooking the ground beef if you use a non-stick pan.

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