There are several different types of ground beef, or beef mince. The various types include traditional ground beef, ground chuck, ground round, ground sirloin and lean ground beef. All cuts can be used to make tasty beef dishes.
Beef that has been ground up contains meat and fat, and most beef distributors label their products according to the amount of fat it contains, using percentages. The different percentages of fat in beef might give the meat a specific taste and can be a factor in consumer preference. Some cuts cook better for certain beef dishes.
Traditional ground beef contains the largest amount of fat, usually between 25% to 30% fat. It can come from different parts of the cow, and it tends to work well when making beef patties such as hamburger or meatballs. It is high in fat, so it usually is a less expensive choice.
Ground chuck is beef that contains about 20% fat and comes from the front of the cow around the shoulder areas. Chuck is lower in fat, so it usually is a bit more expensive than full fat options.
Ground round is another form of minced meat, with about 15% fat. It comes from the lower end of the cow, around the tail area. Round still contains enough fat to make meat patties, but it is much leaner. It is a good choice of beef to add to casseroles and other beef dishes that mix meat with vegetables and pasta. Round has less fat, which makes it more costly.
Ground sirloin is beef with an average of 10% to 14% fat. Sirloin is a choice beef that comes from the midsection of the cow. Many people cook with sirloin because its low fat content makes it a healthy choice, but it can also be an expensive choice.
There also is extremely lean ground beef that contains less than 10% fat. This kind of beef usually does not work well for patties because it has such low fat that the meat can become very dry. Lean beef is a good choice to aid in a low-fat or heart-healthy diet. It usually has the highest cost of all of the types.
Ground beef can be purchased at grocery stores, from farms that raise cattle, or at butcher shops, where it usually is purchased by weight. It continues to be popular around the world because it can be inexpensive, quick to cook and filling.