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Thread: Super basic question, how do you brown chopped meat? Add oil to pan?

  1. #1

    Super basic question, how do you brown chopped meat? Add oil to pan?

    Super basic question but after catching a bit of a cooking show, made m think,..... how do you brown chopped meat? When I brown chopped meat for tacos etc, I cook and crumble the meat in a nonstick pan and I don't add any oil to the pan, since there is some fat in the meat (I do tend to buy fairly lean meat). And, never thought to add more fat to it.

    I was watching a cooking show (can't remember the show), and the host added some oil to the pan before browning the meat. They were using a nonstick pan. I think I've seen this a few times on tv.

    So any tips, temperature etc.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    One method is to add the salt that would be used in the recipe, to the pan before browning the meat. No oil necessary (for any type of pan).
    The cardiologist's diet: - If it tastes good spit it out!

  3. #3
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    I've often shook my head at that too. Why add more oil to something that's plenty greasy already? I've never added oil to a nonstick pan to cook ground meat, not even when I buy the really lean version. For that matter, I've never added oil to the pan for ground turkey either.

    I just dump it in the frying pan and cook it, over about medium, and crumble it with a spatula.
    For those in touch with it, Reality is the leading cause of stress.

  4. #4
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    Just dump it in the pan and cook it - I don't feel it needs the extra oil!
    Charisse

  5. #5
    Thanks everyone. I was surprised when I saw them add oil to the pan, so I just wanted to see what others do.

    On the subject of browning meat, I remember reading about the best way to do it. But can't recall anything beyond that --- don't remember if they recommended a certain heat level etc.

    I just toss it in, crumble, stir a few times while cooking.

  6. #6
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    Based on rec's from this BB, I spray the SS pan with non-stick cooking spray, then brown it at medium heat. leaving it until it forms a crust and is really brown. Then I stir it. It's pretty much cooked through before I stir it, and is easier to crumble, plus it has a great flavor!
    Kay
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  7. #7
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    I just let the meat cook in its own fat as the fat tries out. For really lean ground beef, I sometimes start it with a spoon of water. The water evaporates quickly, the meat begins to sear, and then the fat finally begins to try out.

    The evaporating water method is also a good way to start browning sausage links, by the way.

    Cheers,
    Phoebe

  8. #8
    This is from the CL web site: "Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add first 3 ingredients (Onion, green bell pepper, ground round); cook until beef is browned, stirring to crumble."

    http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/re...cipe_id=577147
    The cardiologist's diet: - If it tastes good spit it out!

  9. #9
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    I think the key to browning almost anything, ground beef, scallops, shrimp, stewing beef, chicken pieces etc., is not to crowd the pan.

    If the pan is too full things steam instead of browning.

    Works for me, anyways.

  10. #10
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    Chefs always add fat to everything -- I've seen them throw bacon into fat to saute. It's for flavor because fat makes stuff taste better to most people.

    I was watching a CI show on spaghetti sauce and they soaked bread in milk, put it in the food processor and then added it to the beef before sauteing. I forget the chemical reason but evidently it eliminates that kind of rubbery texture sauteed ground beef gets in sauces.
    Some days I pray for Silence, Some days I pray for Soul,
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    Meatloaf

  11. #11
    If you want to cook lite, the oil and butter are out. But the flavor is in the fat. I just took a Lebanese cooking class where they add butter to the hamburger.
    But I am in Weight Watchers. I buy large packages of hamburger on sale, cook them in the crockpot, crumble and drain out fat in colander, weigh and freeze the ground beef for recipes.
    When using veggie crumbles for vegetarian recipes for my son, I add a little butter for moisture and flavor.

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