Boosting Flavor: 7 Simple Ways to Add Fat to Lean Ground Beef

Lean ground beef may be lower in calories and fat, but it often lacks the delicious juiciness and flavor of fattier meat. Luckily, there are easy ways to add fat to lean ground beef and make it taste amazing.

In this article, we’ll explore the best methods to inject flavor and moisture into lean beef From using beef tallow to mixing in chorizo or butter, you’ll learn how to take your ground beef from dry to decadent and mouthwatering

Why Add Fat to Lean Ground Beef?

Adding fat serves several important purposes:

  • Moisture – Fat keeps ground beef juicy and tender as it cooks. Without it, lean beef can become dry and dense.

  • Flavor – Fat carries and amplifies flavor. Fattier ground beef tastes richer and beefier

  • Texture – Fat provides a luscious, satisfying mouthfeel that lean beef lacks.

  • Cooking – Fat allows you to cook ground beef longer over higher heat before it dries out. This boosts browning and caramelization.

7 Simple Ways to Add Fat to Ground Beef

  1. Mix in beef tallow or back fat

For the best flavor and moisture, use beef fat trimmed from steaks or roasts. Ask your butcher for beef back fat. Grind it together with lean ground beef for the ideal consistency.

  1. Add diced bacon or bacon fat

Chopped cooked bacon or rendered bacon fat adds a smoky, salty punch of porky richness. Use bacon grease to cook burgers or tacos.

  1. Mix in ground sausage or chorizo

Bulk breakfast sausage and spicy chorizo contain plenty of fat to lend big flavor. Use fully cooked sausage for food safety.

  1. Grate in hard cheese

Sharp cheddar, crumbly feta, tangy blue cheese, or nutty Parmesan provide fat and amp up flavor. Grate firm cheese before mixing.

  1. Incorporate softened butter

Diced cold butter or ghee melts into beef as it cooks, keeping it moist and adding buttery richness. Use sparingly to avoid greasiness.

  1. Stir in sour cream or cream cheese

These cultured dairy products provide cool tang and creaminess. Use full-fat versions and avoid overmixing.

  1. Blend with higher-fat ground beef

Mixing 15-20% fat ground beef into 90-93% lean beef boosts fat content. Play with ratios to reach your target.

Tips for the Best Results

  • Chill all ingredients before mixing to prevent the beef turning mushy from overhandling.

  • Gently mix add-ins by hand rather than overworking the beef in a food processor.

  • Cook burgers and meatballs made with added fat to 160°F internal temperature for food safety.

  • Adjust cooking heat and times to account for increased fat content. Higher fat mixes can handle more heat.

  • Resist overcompressing patties when shaping. Press lightly so the fat stays dispersed.

Make Your Beef Burst with Flavor

With a few simple mix-ins, you can turn boring lean ground beef into juicy, beefy perfection. Beef tallow, cheese, bacon, or chorizo impart delicious fat and richness, while keeping your meat moist and tender. Experiment with different add-ins to customize the flavor. Just be sure to handle the beef gently when mixing. Your tastebuds will thank you.

How do I add fat to lean ground beef?


How do you add fat to lean ground meat?

Fat will also prevent your burger from drying out. The longer you plan to cook your burgers, the more fat you should add to your grind. The most common (and most recommended) ratio of beef-to-fat is 80% meat and 20% fat, which is perfect for cooking a burger medium rare or medium.

How to add butter to lean ground beef?

Mix frozen grated butter in with one pound of ground beef. Do not overmix.

How do you make lean ground beef better?

Add a flavorful liquid: Add a small amount of beef broth, tomato sauce, or red wine to the ground beef while it cooks to add extra flavor. Add vegetables: Finely chop vegetables such as onions, mushrooms, or bell peppers and add them to the ground beef while it cooks.

How do you moisten low fat ground beef?

Placing a cut of meat in a marinade dish will do more than add flavor—marinading meats is a great way to add some extra moisture to the cut and keep it tender. For grilling or baking lean meats, try adding them to a brine for a couple of hours. A brine will also help the meat retain moisture during the cooking process.

What should I add to lean ground beef?

The best thing to add to lean ground beef is fat. Beef fat, particularly back fat, should work well with ground beef. It adds a lot of moisture to the beef and is rich and similar in flavor to the actual ground beef!

Should you add fat to lean ground beef?

No, it is best to add fat that stays so in solid form, as liquid fat will ruin the consistency of the lean ground beef. Should you add salted or unsalted butter to lean ground beef? Unsalted butter is the safer option, as it won’t create issues with seasoning later. Can you wrap the beef in bacon and cook it?

Can you add butter to lean ground beef?

Yes, you can add butter to lean ground beef. Adding butter to lean ground beef can help to make the beef more flavorful and tender. The butter can also help reduce the fat in the meat since it is a high-fat ingredient. “The ingredients of a hamburger seldom vary. It’s a percentage of fat to lean meat, add salt and prepare, and that’s it.

How do you add fat to ground beef?

The best way to add fat to lean ground beef is to use beef back fat (tallow). Ensure the tallow and beef are cold before mixing them together. An easy fix is to grate butter or cheese into the beef. Or mix in a fattier meat like sausage or chorizo. You can add fat to your ground beef in a variety of forms. Here are the best things to add:

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