A rich source of minerals, such as iron and zinc, each type of ground beef comes from different parts of a cow and varies in fat percentage altering the tenderness and taste during cooking. As four different types exist, choosing the right ground beef for your recipe can make all the difference.
Traditionally, the best meat to use for meatballs and meatloaf, ground chuck produces a moist, but slightly firm, texture when cooked properly. Naturally rich in flavor and containing a fat level varying between 15 percent and 20 percent, this ground beef comes from the shoulder and neck area of a cow.
Ground sirloin usually comes from around the hips of a cow. Although this type of ground beef can also be used to make hamburgers as it produces a similar texture to chuck beef, it is the more expensive of the two options. The volume of fat content in ground sirloin varies between 7 percent and 10 percent.
Perfect for tacos and pasta sauces, round comes from the rump area of a cow. A leaner meat than chuck, round contains a fat content which varies between 10 percent and 15 percent.
A good choice for people who are on a low-fat or healthy diet, this beef contain a fat content varying from 3 percent to 5 percent. Although extra lean can be used as a calorie-reducing alternative to other types of ground beef, it does not produce the best burgers as it is more firm and less flavurful than chuck.
- Fort Valley State University: Buying Ground Beef, 2010
- Oregon Live: For the Best Burgers, Danielle Centoni, July 22, 2008
- International Styles: Cow Meat Chart, Anatomy and Diagram of Cow Parts
- Oregon Live: Chuck or Round? Shortcuts to Stretch Your Beef Budget, Danielle Centoni, 24 February 2009
- Discover Good Nutrition: What's the Best-for-You Burger?, May 27, 2010
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
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