How to Cook Ground Beef in a Skillet may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Cooking ground beef in a skillet on the stove top works well. This method is relatively quick and allows you to control how browned you want the meat. The ground beef is done when all the pieces are browned, but you can continue browning the meat to get a crispy outside if desired. Ground beef cooked in a skillet is suitable for using in meat sandwiches, tacos, casseroles and other recipes that call for it.

Step 1

Heat a large skillet on the stove top over medium-high heat.

Step 2

Scoop clumps of the ground beef into the hot skillet. Use the spatula to break apart the clumps into smaller pieces.

Step 3

Season the ground beef with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in additional seasonings as desired, such as garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper or oregano.

Step 4

Stir the ground beef every three to five minutes as it cooks in the skillet. Break apart the cooking meat with the spatula to get the chunks smaller if desired. Cook the ground beef for eight to 10 minutes or until no pink remains in the middle of the pieces. The USDA recommends cooking ground beef until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5

Tip the skillet slightly so the grease runs to one side of the pan. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the ground beef from the other side of the pan, allowing the grease to drain off as you scoop.

Step 6

Lay the cooked ground beef onto paper towels to soak up the remaining fat. Pat the beef gently with another paper towel to squeeze out more grease. Continue using the ground beef as the recipe instructs.

Things You'll Need

  • Skillet

  • Spatula

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Garlic powder

  • Onion powder

  • Cayenne pepper

  • Oregano

  • Slotted spoon

  • Paper towels


Start with a lean ground beef for a lower fat dish. For more fat removal, place the cooked ground beef in a colander or sieve. Pour hot but not boiling water over the cooked meat to wash away remaining fat. Let the meat drain for about five minutes. Add more seasonings as necessary. Add chopped onions and garlic to the pan as you cook the meat for additional flavor.

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