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Does Simmering Ground Beef Make It More Tender?

by Julie Christensen, studioD

Ground beef cooked properly is moist, juicy and flavorful. Simmering it at low heat almost guarantees good results. Brown the meat slightly and drain off any excess fat. Add a bit of liquid and simmer the meat until it's evenly browned and a meat thermometer inserted in the center of the pan registers 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Simmer Away

Cooking ground beef using a hot, dry method, such as sauteing in a dry skillet, forces the juice out of the meat. The result is dry, tasteless meat. Use low, slow heat instead and simmer the meat with a bit of water, tomato juice or beef broth instead. Season the meat well with salt, pepper, onion and a bit of garlic, as desired. Drain off any excess liquid, then use simmered ground beef as the basis for numerous savory dishes, such as chili, sloppy joes, beef enchiladas or tacos.

Quality Counts

The cooking method isn't the only factor that determines the tenderness of ground beef. Although you can buy ground beef that is 98 percent lean, choose meat that has a bit of fat for moisture and flavor. Add a little bacon or bacon fat during cooking for added moisture. Avoid frozen ground beef that has ice crystals in it. The ice crystals break down the cell walls in the meat, forcing moisture out and resulting in dry meat.

About the Author

Julie Christensen is a food writer, caterer, and mom-chef. She's the creator of MarmaladeMom.org, dedicated to family fun and delicious food, and released a book titled "More Than Pot Roast: Fast, Fresh Slow Cooker Recipes."

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