How to Boil Ground Beef

Boiling ground beef is not the most appetizing way to prepare the meat. In fact, boiled ground beef is often used for dog food. But boiling has its advantages: the cooking process is quicky, simple and easy to clean up after. Ground beef is often brought to a boil when cooked in a stew, but this is usually done after the meat has been browned in a pan. Even if you choose not to brown the meat, you can still cook it in short order in boiling water. The boiling process also helps separate the fat from the beef, resulting in leaner meat.

Close-up of raw ground beef.
Credit: tycoon751/iStock/Getty Images

Step 1

Bring a skillet to medium heat on the stove, and place your ground beef in it. Break it up into smaller pieces with a spoon as it cooks, and continue cooking until the meat browns evenly.

Step 2

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Aim for at least 1 qt. of water per pound of beef.

Step 3

Place the beef in a colander to allow the fat to drain off, and transfer it into the pot. If you do not want to brown the meat first, break the ground beef up into small pieces and add it to the water.

Step 4

Cook already browned meat for a few minutes, or as directed by a recipe if you are making a stew. If you are dropping raw beef into boiling water, stir periodically with a spoon to break up the chunks of beef. Continue cooking until the meat turns brown.

Step 5

Drain the water from the pot before using the beef, or add other ingredients to complete the stew recipe.

Things You'll Need

  • Skillet

  • Colander

  • Pot


Ground beef turns brown when it reaches about 160 degrees Fahrenheit, at which point the meat is considered safe for consumption by the USDA.

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