As a college student, my go-to beef meal is tacos made with ground beef. Not only is it convenient and fun, it is also a quick, simple, and an easy process from unthawing the meat to browning it and making large portion sizes that I can easily keep warm in a crockpot for my friends and I to enjoy. Below are a few tips that I make sure I remember when I am cooking with ground beef that are important for everyone to remember as they are cooking in the kitchen as well.
When thawing ground beef, it is important to thaw it in the refrigerator, not at room temperature as you do not want the beef to be exposed to its danger zone prior to cooking. Unthawing beef at room temperature exposes beef to its danger zone, therefore starting to cook it prior to being exposed to the actual cooking heat. The temperatures when dealing with ground beef that are indicated as danger zones are below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and above 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
While cooking ground beef it important to continuously expose all surface area to the heat by using a meat mix n chop. This ensures the meat will brown evenly and cook all the way through.
Rather than a minimum of 145 degrees Fahrenheit that needs to be reached when cooking steaks, ground beef must be cooked to a minimum of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because when beef is ground, surface bacteria that exist on the whole muscle cuts that it originated from is now spread throughout the product, and to ensure that this bacterium is destroyed, we need to hit this 160 degree temperature. With whole muscle cuts such as steaks and roasts, these bacteria do not exist internally unlike with ground beef which is why we can enjoy is nice medium rare steak or roast (145 degrees), but must cook ground beef to a higher temperature.
Ground beef is a great cut that can be kept warm in a crock pot. Crock pots also help to tenderize the meat and are great for busy families who want to have a meal waiting for them when they come home!
Now with these tips for you and your kitchen, you can enjoy numerous different recipes using ground beef too!