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How to Know When Ground Beef is Done – 5 Steps to Success!

Though cooking ground beef is simple for experienced cooks like myself, it can be a little tricky for those who don’t have much cooking experience.

One of the tricky parts is knowing when the ground beef is done. To know exactly when ground beef is done, I have to follow the right cooking process.

This way, I know exactly what cooked ground beef should look like when following this standard cooking process. Read on to learn more about cooking ground beef.

How to Know When Ground Beef is Done

Ground beef is done when it is fully browned. It is okay if there is a little gray, as this often happens during the cooking process. However, the ground beef morsels should not have any pink or red coloration.

Properly Cooking Ground Beef

It is essential to cook ground beef properly from start to finish, as this will help you tell when the ground beef has been fully cooked.

Otherwise, ground beef may look like it’s done when it is actually undercooked or overcooked.

Not only will this make the ground beef less tasty, but undercooking ground beef could also potentially result in food poisoning.

Tips for Better Ground Beef

While the process listed below will help you cook tasty ground beef almost every time, there are a few tips that I can give for making the tastiest ground beef possible.

One of the biggest tips is using canola oil instead of olive oil or other common vegetable oils. Canola oil adds very little fat, and it enhances the natural flavors of ground beef.

I’d also recommend adding some salt during the cooking process. This is certainly not necessary, but I feel that it also enhances the flavor of ground beef. You may even want to add some other spices, such as chili powder or black pepper.

Step #1: Selecting the Right Ground Beef

Different cuts of ground beef will look and cook slightly differently, so you should be sure to select the right cut of ground beef at the store.

The process described in this article will work best with ground beef that has an 85/15 split between fatty beef and lean beef. It will still work with other types of ground beef, but the beef may not come out quite as well.

The steps below are accurate for 11 1/2 pounds of ground beef.

Step #2: Assembling the Necessary Items

No matter what I’m cooking, I always make sure to get the items I need together beforehand.

This ensures that I don’t have to spend time looking for things instead of keeping my eye on whatever I’m cooking.

When you are cooking ground beef, you need only the following items:

  • Large skillet
  • Wooden span
  • Vegetable oil

Step #3: Heat the Pan

Spray the pan down (if using vegetable oil spray) or pour a thin coating of vegetable oil over the entire pan (if using liquid vegetable oil).

This will prevent the beef from sticking to the pan. Start heating the pan over medium-high heat.

Step #4: Start Cooking the Ground Beef

Once you’ve heated the pan for about five minutes, it’s time to add the ground beef. Put the beef in the center of the skillet and break it up into small pieces with the spoon.

Let it cook for about five minutes.

After the beef has cooked for around five minutes, break it up into smaller pieces and add salt or whatever other spices you are using.

Let it cook for another five minutes or so, stirring every minute.

Step #5: Finish Cooking the Ground Beef

When the ground beef morsels appear to be evenly browned, break them open and check for any pinkness.

If there is any pinkness, the ground beef is not quite fully cooked yet. Once the ground beef is fully browned, take it off the stovetop immediately to ensure it does not get burnt.

Ground beef will burn fairly easily.

You should eat the ground beef as quickly as possible, as it will slowly start to dry out.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Know When Ground Beef is Done

Is it okay if the ground beef is still slightly pink?

Many people are used to eating steaks that are still slightly pink inside. However, ground beef that is still slightly pink should not be eaten. Ground beef needs to be cooked until it is brown all the way through to eliminate the risk of food poisoning.

Does ground beef have to be eaten immediately?

One of the great things about ground beef is that it does not have to be eaten immediately. As with almost any food, it is tastiest when it is freshly cooked. However, ground beef can keep for up to a week in the fridge and for up to three months in the freezer.

Does a cast-iron skillet help cook ground beef?

These days, cast-iron skillets are very popular for cooking meat. Many people feel that cooking with a cast-iron skillet results in tastier, juicier meats. However, standard stainless steel skillets still work well for cooking ground beef.


Applying This Process to Other Meats

After I learned how to cook ground beef properly, I realized that I could apply what I had learned when cooking other types of meat.

I have used my experience cooking ground beef to help me tell when ground pork and ground chicken are fully cooked and ready to eat.