The best way to mince beef is in a meat grinder. However, a meat grinder is a specialized piece of equipment that is not common in every kitchen. If you would like to mince your own meat rather than buy it from the store, you can still do so with a food processor. One of the advantages to mincing your own meat is that the meat is fresher and you have better control over fat content. You can also control how coarsely you mince it, and blend any spices and flavorings right into the mince.
Rinse the meat under cold water to remove any excess blood. Do not use warm water, which can cause any bacteria on the surface to multiply.
Put the meat on the cutting board and use the knife to trim the fat from the outside of the beef, if desired. The type of and amount beef you use depends on your personal taste. Expensive cuts with heavy marbling will have more flavor but will also have more fat. Leaner and cheaper cuts will have less marbling and be easier to trim.
Cut the beef into approximately 1-inch cubes. Cutting the meat into small pieces will make it easier to mince.
If you want to add spices, measure them into a small bowl. For example, for a spicy mince, try 2 tsp. of crushed red pepper, 1 pinch of salt and two cloves of garlic per pound of beef.
Put half of the meat into the food processor. Add half the spices if you are seasoning your mince.
Pulse the food processor for several seconds until the meat reaches the desired level of coarseness. Stop every few seconds to test the texture.
Transfer the minced beef to a plate and mince the rest of the meat in the food processor. Do this in small batches to ensure that you have a consistent grind.
Use the meat immediately or wrap it plastic. Store it in the refrigerator for up to three days if you don’t want to use it immediately. Store it in the freezer for up to six months.
Things You Will Need
Plastic wrap or baggies
Always cook ground meat to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees F. The act of mincing the meat increases the surface area and increases the possibility of getting bacteria inside the meat. Cooking the meat to 160 degrees will kill the bacteria, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service advises.
- “Kitchen Pro Series: Guide to Meat Identification, Fabrication and Utilization”; Thomas Schneller, Culinary Institute of America; 2009
- “On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals (5th Edition)”; Sarah R. Labensky, et al.; 2010
Max Whitmore is a personal trainer with more than three years experience in individual and group fitness. Whitmore has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Cincinnati, fitness certifications and dietetics training from Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. Whitmore has written for several online publishers.