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Ground Beef Turned White? This is What You Need To Know!

Ground Beef Turned White?

When learning your way around the kitchen, there are some crucial food safety aspects that you need to know.

Food safety comes first when cooking anything, as eating spoiled or rotten food has the potential to make you and those you’re cooking for very sick, so you’ll want to avoid it at all costs.

Cooking with meat can be tricky.

Not only does it have to be cooked to a very specific temperature to be considered done internally, but when you cook beef, there are different cooking options, often referred to as rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well, and well done.

Beef can be confusing before it ever even hits the pan, primarily when it comes to color.

Beef stored in the fridge or freezer can change color as it oxidizes, and it can even begin to look very different when it thaws, but ground beef turns white?

Let’s discuss whether or not this is normal, and what you should do when you encounter it.

Ground Beef Turned White?

If you’ve ever thawed ground beef, you’ll know that it can turn white in the sink. This is called myoglobin, and it’s a natural process of ground beef oxidizing as it thaws. Of course, it could also be freezer burn, which happens when you’ve kept beef in the freezer for much too long. In most cases, ground beef turning white isn’t anything to worry about, but it doesn’t hurt to do the smell test. If it smells funky or it’s turning gray, it’s likely you’ll have to toss it out. When it comes to beef, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Ground Beef Turned White
Ground Beef Turned White

Ground Beef Turned White Video

Steps to Take When Ground Beef Turned White

If your ground beef has turned white and you’re not sure why it’s time to do a little investigation.

Step back and take a look at the situation, and decide where to go from there.

If your beef has been in the freezer for quite some time, and you notice that the white parts look a bit like flaking ice, then you’re probably dealing with some freezer burn.

While freezer burn can definitely alter the taste, it won’t cause you any harm.

You can wait for the beef to thaw a little bit and then cut off the parts that are freezer-burnt.

From there, you can cook the beef as you normally would.

Ground beef turning white can also be because of freezer burn
Ground beef turning white can also be because of freezer burn

If the frozen beef went into the sink and is fully pink without any noticeable freezer burn, and it turns white while it’s thawing, then it’s likely the naturally present myoglobin in the beef.

When ground beef comes in contact with the air, it will oxidize, which is why you’ll sometimes see discolored packages of beef on supermarket shelves.

This process is similar to what happens when your ground beef turns white while it’s thawing.

The contact with the air brings out the myoglobin, causing beef to turn white in the absence of freezer burn.

If there’s no smell or a sticky residue, your beef is fine to cook and serve.

As always, if you have any serious questions or doubts, it’s best to not eat the meat and head to the grocery store to purchase new.

If you are unsure if your ground beef is still eatable do the smell test. If the meat smells off discard it
If you are unsure if your ground beef is still eatable do the smell test. If the meat smells off discard it

Cooking Beef Correctly

Because there are so many things that can go wrong with beef before you cook it, from bacteria to rotting, you’ll want to ensure that you are cooking beef to the correct temperature before you serve it.

Cooking it correctly will help drastically lower the chances of any food-borne illness related to bacteria showing up after your meal.

Ground beef must be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit before serving.

A great way to measure this is by purchasing a meat thermometer, which you can find at any local retailer, dollar stores included.

However, a meat thermometer is a good place to splurge on kitchen utensils, as it’s important that it’s working correctly.

Ground beef turning white is a process called myoglobin. It happens when ground beef thaws and oxydizes
Ground beef turning white is a process called myoglobin. It happens when ground beef thaws and oxydizes

The Best Ways to Cook Ground Beef

Cooking ground beef safely can be done in more than one way. You can bake it in the oven, depending on the meal you’re making.

Meatballs and meatloaf are fantastic when made in the oven.

You can also fry or saute your ground beef on the stovetop, and you can boil it as well, though this method is less popular than others.

No matter who you decide to cook your ground beef, just ensure that you hit the right internal temperature for safe eating!

The fact of the matter is that ground beef can be made in various ways, and it’s on the dinner tables of families around the world on a nightly basis.

Its popularity makes it even more important to know how to cook it, as millions of people are consuming it regularly.

When ground beef smells weird and is turning grey it is best to discard it
When ground beef smells weird and is turning grey it is best to discard it

Read about ground beef in the fridge for 7 days and if it is still safe to eat.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ground Beef Turned White

Because cooking with ground beef can be intimidating, especially for beginners, there are many questions concerning the topic.

Why is my ground beef white?

If you’ve recently thawed your ground beef, it’s likely white because of the oxidation process and myoglobin. If it’s been in the freezer for a while, it’s probably white due to a build-up of the freezer burn. If neither of these situations makes sense, you might want to throw out that ground beef.

Can I still cook ground beef that’s turned white?

You can cook ground beef that has turned white as long as you test it to make sure it hasn’t gone rancid. The smell of bad ground meat is typically a giveaway regarding its status, and if you’re still not sure, you can touch it. If your finger comes away sticky, throw it out.

Knowing Your Ground Beef

Before cooking any form of meat, you’ll want to educate yourself on it at least a little bit.

When you know what you’re dealing with, it’s easier to determine if you’re cooking it correctly.

Always have a meat thermometer on hand, and if you’re unsure, don’t cook it!

After all, the best way to enjoy your dinner is with peace of mind that the food you’re eating is fresh.