What Actually Goes Into Ground Beef? Everything You Need To Know

by Pre Brands May 10, 2021

What Actually Goes Into Ground Beef? Everything You Need To Know

Ground beef is one of the most commonly consumed types of beef in America. From chili to tacos, burgers, casseroles, meat sauces and more, it’s highly versatile, and ground beef is easy to prepare, freezes well, and stores excellently in cooked dishes! 

But what actually goes into ground beef? You may have asked yourself this before, and you may be wondering what the answer is. What beef parts are actually used to create ground beef? That’s a great question, and in this blog from Pre, we’ll discuss everything that you need to know. 

Beef Kofta Skewers

What Beef Parts Go Into Ground Beef?

There’s a misconception that “ground beef” contains unwanted “variety meats” such as organs, ears, snouts, or other parts of the cow that are not usually sold in American and other western countries. But that’s not true. In fact, ground beef cannot be sold with organ meats, unless it’s specifically labeled as containing organ meat. The only exception to this is heart and tongue, which are allowed in ground beef under USDA guidance. But at Pre, we never use heart or tongue in our ground beef.

To begin the process of butchering cattle, the meat is separated into primals, sub-primals, and whole cuts – basically, the meat is segmented into big chunks, then is further trimmed and cut into the meat “cuts” you’re familiar with, such as chuck roast, ribeye steak, skirt steak, filets, sirloin, and so on. 

And while butchers are great at cutting away this meat and leaving minimal meat behind, there are always some “trimmings” that stay on the bone and can’t be sold on their own. These consist of both lean meat and fat, and are wholesome and just as good as any other part of the cow.

Ground beef is a way to use these trimmings. The leftover lean meat and fat are removed and then separated. Then, it’s combined in a specific ratio – such as 80% lean meat and 20% fat – and ground into ground beef, which is then sold to you for cooking at home. 

Fun fact: we always grind our ground beef three times for the most optimum bite.


Stuffed BBQ Blue Cheese Burger

What’s The Difference Between Ground Beef, Ground Chuck, And Ground Sirloin?

“Ground beef” refers to meat that’s made from meat trimmings, as mentioned above. Any meat you see labeled as “ground beef” will be made using the method we described.

But what about meat called “ground chuck” or “ground sirloin?” This is a bit different. What this means is that this ground meat has been made by taking that cut of beef and grinding it up.

In other words, ground chuck is not made from trimmings – but from loading a chuck roast into a grinder and grinding it up. The same is true of ground sirloin, which is made by grinding up a sirloin steak.

Complicating things even further, some stores sell “hamburger.” This is distinct from ground beef. It uses the same trimmings as ground beef, but while the fat content of ground beef can only come from trimmings, “hamburger” can have fat added from other sources, so ground beef is generally considered to be of a higher quality compared to “hamburger meat.” 

Pre Means Before: Before Feedlots, Added Antibiotics and Hormones. Back to Pasture Raising. 

Shop For Grass Fed & Finished Ground Beef At Pre Today!

At Pre, we’re one of the leading grass fed beef brands on the market. Whether you’re on Whole30, you’re keto, or you just want to feed your family high-quality meat without worrying about antibiotics and other unnecessary additives, we’ve got what you need – and that includes high-quality ground beef.

Our ground beef only uses wholesome trimmings and includes absolutely no added hormones or antibiotics, and we have a wide variety of grass fed & finished ground beef available, including 80%, 85%, 92%, and 95% lean beef. So don’t wait. Shop online today at Pre, or feel free to contact us if you have any questions or want more information about why we’re one of the best grass fed beef brands in the industry! 

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