The sirloin primal section of the cow, wedged between the steak-heavy loin of the midsection and the tough round of the rump, produces some of the leanest ground beef available. After this primal is trimmed of steaks, roasts and beef tenderloin, which comes from both the loin and sirloin sections, the rest of the meat is often used as ground sirloin. Though not the most economical ground beef, it often has the best reputation.
According to a second-quarter tally performed by the U.S. Cattlemen's Beef Board and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association in 2011, the most commonly used cow primal section for ground beef was the chuck, at the shoulders and neck. Sirloin came in second place, followed by the round, or rump, section. A fourth category, often labeled "hamburger" or simply "ground beef," is made of a combination of primal meats left over from butchering, and it frequently has fat added during the grinding or mincing process to make it the least-lean of the ground beefs.
Ground sirloin is the most expensive variety. Along with the rump behind it, these two sections produce the leanest and most health-conscious ground beef available. Often, dieters will seek out ground sirloin or ground round due to the low fat content, estimated at between 10 and 15 percent fat, as opposed to the 20 percent of ground chuck and even 27 percent of that labeled as ground beef.
Ground sirloin like any other kind of ground beef can be cooked by frying, grilling, roasting or broiling. The former two methods are most likely to be used for hamburger patties, producing a charred surface and moist interior. Roasting and broiling are more apt to be used for dishes like meatloaf or sirloin steak, with some form of sauce poured over it to keep the meat moist, particularly since sirloin has a tendency to dry out from its relatively low fat content.
Many people prefer to dry spice their ground sirloin before cooking it. A simple method is squeezing through the meat some salt, pepper, egg and perhaps some crushed saltines to hold the meat together on the grill. Complex burger or meatloaf marinades might contain several more ingredients like tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, soy sauce and a range of herbs, from oregano to allspice.