Over the past few months, we’ve noticed some troubling videos featuring ground beef.  We’re here to set the record straight. Properly cooked ground beef should be browned and flavorful. If you end up with grey or dry meat, it’s time to examine your technique. You might be accidentally steaming your protein instead of gently sautéing. 

How to Brown Ground Beef 

Cook the ground beef
Properly browned ground beef

Choose the right pan 

Start with a pan that is large enough to accommodate all of your protein in a single layer. To avoid accidentally steaming, there needs to be room in the pan for hot air and moisture to escape as the meat cooks. 

If you’re working with a nonstick pan, you may not need to add any additional oil. The natural fat from the ground beef will help the meat brown and prevent it from sticking. If you prefer, you can add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan before adding the beef. 

Control your temperature 

Allow ground beef to come to room temperature for 10-15 minutes before adding it to the hot pan. If you add the cold meat directly from the fridge, it will drop the temperature in the pan and increase the cooking time. The lower temperature will make it harder for the meat to achieve a crispy brown crust.  Be sure to heat the pan and any additional oil to a medium-high heat before adding the beef. 

Don’t worry about a little fat 

After you thoroughly brown your ground beef, there may be some liquid grease in the pan. Before finishing your dish, you can drain the excess fat out of the pan, or use a slotted spatula to lift the meat out of the pan. Remember: a little bit of fat is a good thing. Fat that remains on the meat will add rich flavor. 

Recipes with ground beef

Now that you know how to cook ground beef, try some of our favorite recipes.