Minced Meat vs Ground Meat – What Are the Differences and Similarities?


They say even the most seasoned grillers make big mistakes, and one of my biggest ones was using the words minced meat and ground meat interchangeably.

Surprisingly, minced and ground meat are two totally different techniques, and even though there are several similarities between the two, there are a few noteworthy differences too!

Minced Meat vs Ground Meat

To explain briefly, mined meat is finely chopped skeletal muscle meat that’s choppier and more textured, whereas ground meat is an emulsion of lean meat and fat that’s more consistent and smoother.


What is Minced Meat and How to Make it?

First things first—the minced meat I am referring to in this article isn’t to be confused with the pie filling mincemeat, which is associated with Christmas traditions.

Before the first hand-operated meat grinder was created by Karl Drais in the 19th century, mincing meat was the original way of preparing any recipe that required cutting more than slabs of meat into pieces.

Simply called mince in some Commonwealth nations, minced meat is finely chopped raw meat that is easily available at your local butchers or grocery store.

You can even make minced meat at home with a few tools including a food processor or butcher’s knife or cutting board.

Even though the meat used to make minced meat varies, the general rule of thumb is to use meat from the skeletal muscles from the animal, that is the bits and pieces of meat attached to the bones., and not from its internal organs.

Adding to this, minced meat is usually crumblier and leaner than ground meat, and is a common ingredient in gravies, chilis, fillings, pies, sausage rows, stuffing, and stews.

Minced meat isn’t a good choice for kebabs, burgers, and meatballs, as it doesn’t hold up to its shape very well.

How to Make Minced Meat?

You can make minced meat at home in a few easy steps and with many different types of meat including beef, chicken, turkey, or pork.

I usually mince beef, and many different cuts like shoulder cuts, brisket, short ribs, or shank. Leg cut works well if you want a lean cut.

To make minced meat, you will need:

  • A cutting board
  • Knife
  • Food processor

Steps

  1. Choose the cut of meat you want to mince.
  2. Cut the meat into cubes in about one-inch chunks.
  3. Put the cubed meat in the freezer for roughly 15 minutes. Freezing the cubes for this short period of time will make it easier for the food processor to mince the meat.
  4. Load the food processor bowl with a few cubes of meat, and process the meat until it is finely or coarsely minced depending on your preference.
  5. Repeat step four with the remaining cubes.

What is Ground Meat and How to Make it?

Ground meat, just as the name would suggest is meat that’s ground in a meat grinder. Ground meat can be made from one animal or a blend of different animals such as beef and pork.

Ground meat is versatile, in that you can achieve a cleaner flavor with single-varietal ground meats, and a more intense and highly aromatic flavor with multi-varietal ground meats. For example, I like beefy burgers, and meatballs richly mixed.

Unlike minced meat, ground meat is a mix of muscle and fat for a smooth, great consistency to make burgers, kebabs, and meatballs.

When you buy ground beef at your local butcher or grocery store, you’ll notice ratios such as 70/30, 80/20, 85/15, or 90/10, which represent the percentage of lean meat to fat.

Some people like leaner ground meat, and others like me like juicier, fatty ground meat that’s not overly tough or dry.

How to Make Ground Meat?

To make ground meat, you’ll need a bowl and meat grinder.

  1. Mix the meat you want to grind in the desired lean to fat ratio.
  2. Cut the meat into smaller cubes, and keep it in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  3. Load the meat grinder hopper, and grind with an appropriate grinding plate.

Differences Between Minced Meat and Ground Meat

Texture & Color

Minced meat has a much deeper color because it is made from single meat, so it resembles the color of the actual meat. With regards to texture, minced meat showcases a finely chopped texture that’s much more courser compared to ground meat.

Ground meat features a diluted color, owing to the mix of fat and water content. It has a very fine texture in the form of long stringy pieces.

Taste

Minced meat offers a fresh meat flavor that’s unaltered by any other type of meat. Ground meat offers a mix of different flavors that’s distinct from minced meat.

Preparation Method

Minced meat is prepared in a food processor, whereas ground meat is in a meat grinder.

Nutritional Value

The nutritional value of both ground and minced meat depends on the type of animal meat you are processing. For example, beef is high in fat, and chicken is a high-protein food.

Uses

Minced meat can be used in dishes such as chili or any other recipes that require coarsely processed meat, and ground meat is a preferred choice for burgers or recipes that call for finely processed meat or a mix of two or more finely processed meat.

Storage Duration

You should chop the meat you’re making for minced and ground meat into small cubes, and set it in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before processing.

Price

The price of both minced and ground meat depends on the type of meat you choose and where you buy it from. If you’re grinding different types of meat to make burgers, it will be a bit more expensive than making minced meat from a single animal.


How Do You Make Minced Meat into Ground Beef?

You can easily make minced meat into ground beef by running it through your meat grinder with the desired grinding plate.


Can You Use Minced Beef Instead of Ground Beef?

You can, but it’s not recommended as minced beef probably won’t hold up to its shape well than ground beef, therefore is not a good choice for burgers, kebabs, etc.


Can I Mince Meat in a blender?

Yes, you can mince meat in a blender, but you may have to run the meat a few more times to achieve the right texture.


Can You Mince Cooked Beef? 

You can mice cooked beef but make sure you chop the meat into smaller pieces and freeze for 15 minutes before processing.

Brendan

I have been a hardcore meat lover throughout my life and have been cooking my own meat since my mom shared with me her secret brisket recipe. I have used all sorts of meat and meat processing equipment you can imagine.

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