Do You Know What Ground Beef Actually Contains?

Written by Henrik Rothen

Feb.15 - 2024 11:53 AM CET

Do you know what ground beef actually contains?

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Different fat contents in ground beef come from various parts of the cow. For example, ground beef containing ten percent fat includes cuts from the round and the chuck.

Ground beef made from the round, as its name suggests, is made exclusively from cuts such as the top round, bottom round, eye of round, and sirloin tip. Ground beef from the round is always low in fat.

More common on store shelves is ground beef with 10 percent fat and ground beef with a fat content of 17 percent. We asked Atria about the origins of these ground beef varieties.

"For ground beef containing 10 percent fat, we use low-fat parts of the cow, such as cuts from the round and the large muscles in the front, like the chuck. For the fattier ground beef, we also use parts of the carcass that contain more fat, such as the flank," explains Eeva Juva, product group manager at Atria to Finnish newspaper

Low-fat for Soups, Fatty for Burgers

Low-fat ground beef is a consumer favorite and is particularly suitable for soups, sauces, pies, and Tex-Mex dishes like fillings for tortillas or tacos.

For meatballs, burgers, and meatloaf, however, choosing a fattier ground beef is advisable.

"Fat adds flavor and helps keep meatballs juicier. Ground beef with 17 percent fat brings more flavor to casserole dishes and is considered by many consumers to be the best choice for various oven-baked dishes, like macaroni casserole," says Juva.

Fattier ground beef is also recommended for burger patties. A patty made from fatty ground beef remains juicy even on the grill.

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