Make Your Ground Pork Taste Just Like Juicy Ground Beef: The Ultimate Guide

Ground pork can be a delicious healthier and cheaper alternative to ground beef. However, some people find that ground pork lacks the hearty, beefy flavor that they crave in recipes like tacos, burgers, meatloaf, and meatballs. Thankfully, with a few simple tricks, you can easily make your ground pork taste remarkably similar to ground beef.

As passionate food bloggers we wanted to share our best tips on how to elevate ground pork to make it a dead ringer for ground beef. We scoured the web tested recipes, and experimented in our own kitchens to develop the most effective techniques.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover:

  • The best seasonings and flavorings to give ground pork that beefy umami taste
  • How to adjust the fat content for a meatier texture and flavor
  • Cooking methods that impart deep, roasted flavors
  • Additional steps to take your ground pork over the top
  • Trusted recipes to put your skills to the test

Armed with our guide, you’ll gain the confidence to substitute ground pork in any ground beef recipe. Let’s get cooking!

Seasoning is Key for Transforming Flavor

The first step in making ground pork taste like beef is to season it aggressively. Here are the best seasonings and ingredients to mix into raw ground pork to infuse it with deep, savory beefiness:

  • Worcestershire Sauce: The tangy umami flavor is hard to replicate. Use 2-3 tablespoons per pound of ground pork.

  • Soy Sauce: For salty, meaty flavor. Go for a dark soy for bolder flavor. Use 1-2 tablespoons per pound.

  • Beef Bouillon: Dissolve 2-3 teaspoons of beef bouillon powder or 1 cube per pound of ground pork.

  • Smoke Paprika: Just a pinch will give a lovely hint of char.

  • Onion and Garlic Powder: Dried powders won’t add moisture like fresh onion and garlic but give an aromatic base. Use 1/2 teaspoon each per pound.

  • Chili Powder: For a little heat. Use sparingly, about 1/4 teaspoon per pound.

  • Marjoram, Thyme, Rosemary: Dried herbs like these add warmth. Start with 1/2 teaspoon total per pound.

Getting the seasoning blend just right may take some trial and error. We recommend mixing a batch, frying up a small patty to test, and adjusting to taste.

Fat Content Matters More Than You Think

One of the biggest factors affecting ground pork’s flavor and texture is its fat content. Fattier ground pork will mimic the mouthfeel and juiciness of beef more closely.

We recommend choosing ground pork with a fat content of at least 20%. Ground beef is usually 80/20 or 85/15 fat to meat. While it may seem counterintuitive to add fat to pork to make it taste less porky, the added richness really enhances the overall beefiness.

If you can only find lean ground pork, mix in some added fats like:

  • Bacon Fat: Adds tons of flavor. Use 1-2 tablespoons per pound.

  • Butter: Boosts moistness. Use 1 tablespoon per pound.

  • Beef Tallow: The ultimate for beefy flavor if you have it on hand. Use 1 tablespoon per pound.

The added fat combined with thorough seasoning makes a world of difference in the final result.

Cooking Methods Are Key for Deep Flavor

Simply seasoning ground pork won’t be enough to make it convincingly beefy. You need to use cooking techniques that impart tasty browning and rich, complex flavors.

Crispy Browning

Browning ground pork properly gives it a beautiful crust for added texture and layers of flavor. Follow these tips:

  • Use a heavy pan like cast iron. Thinner pans won’t retain heat as well.

  • Make sure the pan is piping hot before adding pork.

  • Resist stirring too frequently. Let the meat brown undisturbed for 2-3 minutes before stirring.

  • Cook over medium high heat. If the pan is too hot, the pork can overbrown.

  • Cook until browned with a few crispy bits, 10-12 minutes total.

Braising and Simmering

Low, slow moist cooking methods allow the pork to soak up flavors as it cooks.

  • Braise pork in a flavorful liquid like beef broth, red wine, or barbecue sauce in a covered pan for 1-2 hours.

  • Simmer pork in a mix of soy sauce, Worcestershire, and water for 30-60 minutes until fork tender.

The resulting fall-apart, juicy texture will mimic slow cooked beef dishes.

Special Finishing Touches

To take your ground pork over the top, consider these finishing touches:

  • Marinate for 1-24 hours in a beefy sauce. This gives time for deep flavor penetration.

  • Mix with Ground Beef: For the ultimate beefiness, mix 85% lean ground beef with 15% fatty ground pork.

  • Use Beef Broth: Replace any water in recipes with beef broth for an extra flavor boost.

  • Bacon Topping: Of course a sprinkle of crispy crumbled bacon always improves beefiness!

Put Your Skills to the Test!

Now that you’re armed with expert tips to make pork taste like beef, it’s time to put your knowledge to use in the kitchen! Try making:

Beefy Pork Meatloaf

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork (80/20)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoke paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or panko

Mix everything together and pack into a loaf pan. Bake at 375F for 45 minutes. Glaze top with ketchup or barbecue sauce last 10 minutes.

Beefy Pork Spaghetti and Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Gently mix everything together and roll into balls. Brown in olive oil on all sides. Simmer 20 minutes in tomato sauce.

Juicy Pork Burgers

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork (

How to cook ground beef for maximum flavor | I bet you didn’t know this!


Can you use ground pork like ground beef?

You can substitute ground meat like beef, turkey, or chicken. Keep in mind that ground pork is usually higher in fat, so you should increase the 1 teaspoon of oil called for in the recipe below.

How to make pork taste like beef?

If you also want it to taste like beef, use beef stock or toss in a beef bouillon cube or stock granules into the pot or the marinade. The flavor of beef is quite distinctive compared to pork, so this hack will ensure that your taste buds register the taste of beef, not pork.

Does ground pork taste like beef?

The choice of ground pork vs. ground beef can significantly impact the taste and texture of your recipes. Lean ground beef is a great option for those seeking a lower-fat protein source, while ground pork offers a distinctive flavor and tenderness.

Does ground pork brown like ground beef?

“With grocery store ground pork, it will start to turn brown, but it doesn’t have the oxidation like beef does,” Peisker said.

How do you make a fried ground beef taste like sausage?

If not making a large batch, we use fresh minced onions at 1 teaspoon. In a small bowl, combine all of the seasonings. Add the seasonings to 2 pounds of ground beef. Brown or cook as desired in a large skillet. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container. “Fake Sausage” Seasoning: How to Make Any Ground Meat Taste Like Sausage!

What can you do with ground pork?

Burgers are probably the most common application of ground pork. Pork gives burgers a different flavor than beef, and they are cheaper. Shape your ground pork into a burger and cook them on the grill or in a pan. You can then add any toppings you want to make a delicious dinner for you and your family.

Can you mix ground pork and beef?

You can also mix pork and beef if you are a beef lover. Ground pork meatballs are also better as bit size snacks than ground beef meatballs. We recommend using lean ground pork, thyme, cumin, coriander, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. This is a ground pork recipe with few ingredients that you can easily do even on a weeknight.

Can I substitute ground pork for beef?

Once you know the basics of cooking ground pork, you’ll have no trouble substituting it for all kinds of other recipes. 2 Tbs oil optional, based on fat content of the ground beef. In a frying pan set over medium heat on the stove top, add oil to the pan if your ground pork is very low fat.

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