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Browned ground beef in a large stainless steel skillet

How to cook ground beef

A foolproof method of cooking ground beef that results in browned coloring and juicy meat.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword browning ground beef, cook ground beef, ground beef
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Author Tara Buss


  • large stainless steel skillet
  • spatula or wooden spoon


  • 1 lb ground beef completely thawed
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • tsp pepper


  • Pre-heat a large skillet over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
  • Pat dry the thawed raw ground beef with a paper towel or tea towel to remove excess moisture.
  • Add beef to the hot sauté pan and spread out using a spatula or wooden spoon. Break into large pieces.
  • Leave alone for several minutes until it has developed a nice brown crust.
  • Season meat with a little salt and pepper.
  • Flip over beef using a spatula and continue breaking into smaller pieces, scraping up bits off of skillet if necessary.
  • Continue to brown for a few more minutes until all pieces are no longer pink and have developed a nice golden color.
  • Drain any excess fat and use your cooked ground beef in your favorite recipe.


If your meat is super lean, you may need a little oil in the pan to encourage browning. I never find it necessary though even with fairly lean meat as long as your skillet is hot.