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Everything about ground beef: cooking, storage, safety and recipes

The ground beef or ground beef , is a great convenience in the kitchen. Inexpensive compared to other cuts of beef, it allows you to make a wide variety of recipes with few ingredients.  

Besides, we probably all have a packet in reserve in the freezer for those busy evenings

But it also happens that ground beef makes the headlines , among other things because of questions about the parts of the beef that are used to produce it, the reasons for its gray color or questions of safety. 

Let’s take a look at ground beef , how to choose it, how to cook it and the myths surrounding it.

What types of ground beef are available?

The composition of ground beef

The ground beef is made up of beef and its fat, usually the muscles of the shoulders or thighs as well as the less tender parts.

It can be chopped with a mincer, at home or at the butcher’s, but also prepared on a larger scale in processing plants.

Types of ground beef

There are different categories of ground beef on sale at the grocery store:

extra lean meat: does not contain more than 10% fat;

lean meat : does not contain more than 17% fat. It is the most versatile type of ground beef;

semi-lean meat: there is no more than 23% fat;

regular meat : does not contain more than 30% fat. Since this ground beef is more fatty, it is best to drain it after cooking to remove the excess fat. It can then be incorporated into recipes.

Overall, we can say that the more the minced meat is dotted with white, the more fatty it is. It is also the one that will be sold the cheapest .

If for the steak and the cooking on the barbecue one prefers cuts of beef more marbled , it is the reverse for the ground beef. From a nutritional standpoint, it’s best to use lean or extra-lean ground beef in recipes.

Why is the inside of ground meat a brownish color?

You bought a package of ground meat at the grocery store and when it comes time to cook it you realize that the meat is brown or slightly grayish in color on the inside? 

Rest assured! Although it is not appetizing, it is a normal phenomenon . It is quite simply that in contact with oxygen, beef meat develops its red color. Without oxygen, it rather takes on this gray-brownish hue.

How to cook ground beef?

Ground beef is very versatile in recipes and easy to cook. However, here are some tips for storing and cooking.

Bleeding or not bleeding?

No hesitation here! Ground beef is always eaten very well done .

The meat should have lost its pink color and the juices flowing from it should be clear. Above all, the meat must have reached an internal temperature of 71 ° C (160 ° F) which can be checked with a meat thermometer.

Why is this so important? Because minced meat is susceptible to infection quickly after being minced. In addition, the bacteria located on the surface of pieces of meat, easily eliminated during cooking, are found everywhere in the case of minced meat, in the center as well as on the outside.

The case of tartare

Beef tartare obviously consists of raw meat. On the other hand, we do not make tartare from minced meat that we find in grocery stores. It is actually a piece of meat, usually filet mignon, which is cut with a knife.

Moreover, when preparing a tartare, it is recommended to cut the raw meat when serving it in order to avoid the risk of contamination.

Chop your meat yourself

The most effective way to control where your ground meat is coming from and the growth of bacteria is to make it yourself.

You can either do this using a sharp knife or a chopper. There are many more or less expensive models.

How long does ground meat keep?

In the refrigerator, well wrapped, minced meat will keep for a maximum of 2 days. On the other hand, it is better to use it the same day.

In the freezer, ground meat can keep for 2 to 3 months.

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