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Ground Beef

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Burgers and Beyond

Believe it or not, the all-American hamburger has only been around since about 1912. Today, a century later, the average American eats an average of three burgers every week! 

But when it comes to ground beef, burgers are just the beginning. Sloppy Joes, meatloaf, meatballs—we all have our ground beef go-to favorites.

Buying, Prep, & Storage

Look for beef with a bright red color and choose a package that is not torn and feels cold. Separate raw meat from ready-to-eat items in your shopping cart, and try to add it last. Refrigerate or freeze ground beef as soon as possible after purchase — this will preserve freshness and slow the growth of bacteria. If refrigerated, keep at 40° F or below and use within two days of purchase, or freeze for up to four months.

 

Cooking Tips

  • Freezing turns the natural juice in beef into ice crystals, so never cook frozen beef as the juicy flavor will be quickly drained off.
  • Instead, allow frozen ground beef to thaw for 24 hours in the refrigerator to prevent the growth of bacteria. Then cook it thoroughly to a minimum temperature of 160º F. Use a food thermometer to verify the temperature.
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Serving Suggestions

Ground beef is the base for some of the most popular foods — hamburgers, meatballs, and meatloaf. Since it’s considered a meat-stretcher (because it’s more affordable than full beef cuts), you can get more inventive by making pasta sauces, casseroles, chili, lasagna, and sloppy joes.