Welcome to the feed, your family tonight, podcast. Do you dread hearing the question? What’s for dinner? Whether you spend your days, keeping up with toddlers, running kids to after-school, activities are juggling, a career and family getting dinner on the table. Can be a struggle for us. All on a reef ebach a business owner wife and mom of four. I’m on a mission to build stronger families. One dinner at a time. And I’m here with tips, tricks and inspiration. You need to feed your family tonight. Elbow friends. Welcome to the feed, your family tonight podcast episode 179. I’m your host. Marifi box. Happy to be here with you today. Today is actually a replay episode. I replay my episode on how to cook ground beef, friends. I bet you are doing it the way I teach in his episode. There are some really surprising things that will make your ground beef. Taste better have more flavor. So sit back. Listen to this replay episode and learn how to have better ground beef. Ground beef is pretty ubiquitous in American families. It’s something. That is simple. It’s pretty inexpensive. But I have talking with a lot of friends lately and I’ve been finding that there are little things that I do that are a little different than what other people are doing when they cook ground beef that create just better results. And so I’m going to kind of take a deep dive into ground beef. Today. It’s going to be the first of a series. We’re going to talk about chicken next week, because I think there’s just some small little things that may make your dinner either a little bit easier or perhaps, even taste, just a little bit better. And I’m all about things that are easier and taste better. So today, we’re just going to talk a little bit about ground beef. I can’t wait to hear. If maybe you learned one little tip or had one little aha moment, where maybe it’s something that you weren’t thinking that you were doing. And now, you realize, yes, I do that. And that is why it tastes better. Should have listened as we go. Today about something that is either new or something that you like. Yeah. I already do that. Maybe that’s why it tastes good. We talked about grumpy. The first thing we need to talk about is thawing meat. I talked about frozen meat before but it needs to be said. Because so often times, especially if you’re like me and you get your beef from a local farmer. It’s coming to you Frozen. And we need to talk about the diet. Of course, always the best way to thaw, meat is slowly. In the refrigerator. I have found that one pound of ground beef, takes a little bit longer than a day in my jam-packed refrigerator to get fully thawed. So when you are doing your weekly meal planning sheets, and you know, that you’re having something with ground beef and you’re using ground beef from your freezer, you might want to take it out 2 days in advance. So write that on the prep section of your weekly meal, planning sheet, two days before the meal that you’re going to cook it. If you don’t have a copy of the weekly meal planning sheet, you can get it free at feed your family tonight. Cobb’s plan and if you find that you are using that Weekly meal planning sheet and it really works for you. You probably want to look at getting that meal planning notebook. It’s on Amazon. I will link it in the show notes here. But if you type it feed your family tonight. Meal-planning, notebook. It’ll come up on Amazon and it is $12. Sometimes, Amazon sales on it. I’ve seen it as low as $8 to have the sheets already there in a notebook ready for you just makes me a planning a little bit easier, but enough about that. We’re going to come back to talking about dying people. So if you have one pound of ground beef you want to Give It 2 Days in your refrigerator, the thought if you are anything like me, sometimes we forget to do things that were supposed to do when it comes to thawing meat and it’s 5 at night and you have a pound of frozen ground beef. What do you do? Well, microwave is your friend. I have a setting on my microwave which is a 1lb defrost taste like For three minutes, I usually just put the beef in, click that button, and it usually gets the outer part sod, and then there’s still a little bit in a part. So I can appeal off the part. That’s. But the inner part back in for another thirty seconds and call it quits. Anytime. You’re thawing meat in the microwave. If you want to make sure that you are cooking it properly. You don’t want me to be heated up to a dangerous temperature, and then just put it back in the refrigerator. So if you are using the microwave, make sure that you’re cooking it. Promptly. Another way, if you think about it at like lunch time or earlier in the afternoon, you can put it in a bowl of cold water. In your sink and just change the water, every 30 minutes and that will usually get it to thaw. Well, those are both safe ways to thaw ground beef. Once you got your meets, are about several ways to cook ground beef. And the first one is just Browning it. So this is when you’re Browning it to make tacos or you’re Browning it to make chili. Or my tater tot casserole or cheeseburger baked potatoes. You’re just cooking the ground beef through. There’s a couple of things that you want to do to enhance the flavor of the ground beef that you cook it. The first thing is that you want to put the ground beef in the pan and kind of spread it out into a flat disk all the way to the corners of the pan. I have a nice 10-inch Skillet and I can usually do two maybe three pounds of ground beef to my 10-inch Skillet before it gets to be too much. You’re going to put it in the pan. You’re going to turn the pan on medium-high and you’re not going to touch the beef, but you are going to salted that rule of thumb for ground beef is about 3/4 of a teaspoon to 1 tsp of salt per pound of beef. And the reason I have kind of arrange. Their the first thing is, if you are using table salt, you definitely want to go closer to 3/4, maybe even a half. I like to use that coarse sea salt, so it’s a little bit higher in volume, but lower and sodium. If you are doing something where you are, adding other ingredients to the ground beef, then you can go with the higher salt level, because the salt is going to kind of thin out. If you’re doing just a grumpy straight kind of, like, in cheeseburger, baked potatoes. You might want to go lower. You can always add more salt later, but it’s important to have the meat salted as it Cooks when you’re using beef, but isn’t ground. It’s even better to Salt it like a day ahead of time. So the salt has a chance to penetrate deep into the meat. There’s something that happens. When you put salt on meat, it immediately draws the moisture out of the meat. But then as it sits the moisture, Goes back into the meat. So you either want to solve the meat right before you cook it, or when you’re using large cuts of meat, you want to salted a few days ahead of time with ground beef. It’s best just to Salt it right before cooking or right. When you start cooking it, but don’t wait until after it’s cooked to add the salt because of salt isn’t going to have a chance to penetrate deep into the meat and it’s going to taste a little bit Bland. So it’s really important to Salt, cure meat. I can’t tell you how many of my friends. I talk to you. I was shooting video at a friend’s house. We were cooking some beef for cheeseburger baked potatoes. And I said, we need to add some salt and she was like, salt. And I was like, oh my gosh, you got to Salt your meat. So, that’s a really big things Salter meet people, probably time for another episode on salt. Maybe, I’ll have to add that to you, because salt is so important to having deep flavor. Okay, so kind of back to this ground beef. I’ve got a little off. But it’s important to talk about salt. You have it spread out into your Skillet and it is kind of in a disc there and you turn the heat on medium-high heat. And then I said don’t touch it. And when I say don’t touch it, I mean just let it cook there for like 5 to 7 minutes and your nose is going to tell you you’re going to start smelling it and it’s going to start cooking. And then you’re going to leave it alone. Just a little bit. Longer takes a little bit of patience. But what you’re doing is you’re creating the mail, your reaction, which is a technical term for when the meat Browns, and you’re going to end up lifts at the edge of the meat and see if you have a nice thick brown crust. If you don’t have a nice thick branch Crest, step away and don’t touch him and keep it cooking until the bottom part has a nice big brown crust. And then you can take your spatula and you can kind of cut it into chunks and flip it over. So that the other side of the meat starts to cook or you can get one of these gadgets. I do not have one. So I cannot say that I have personal. Use one Bible linked to one that has food blogger. I really, really trust recommends. It’s called Chop & stir and it looks kind of like a pinwheel almost on the end of the stick and you use it to cut the meat into smaller chunks. If one of you have one of them, let me know how you like it again. I haven’t used one but I’ve heard they’re wonderful. So you flip it and you start chopping it into smaller pieces. When you use this technique, you’re going to get a really deep DP flavor from that, Browning that happens on that crust that you get on the bottom. But you are going to end up with chunks of meat that are little bit bigger. My family, prefers it that way. But if you like meat that’s really really soft Peak like the taco meat that you get at Taco Bell. If you like your meat to be really soft. Then this other technique for cooking ground beef is going to be better for you, and that is to cook it in water. So instead of putting the meat into a skillet, you could use a skillet for this, but you could also use a pot and I usually use a pot for this technique because I’m usually going to be flavoring the meet afterwards. And I want to have enough room, but you put the meat in the bottom of the pan. And you kind of take a spatula or one of those chop and stairs and kind of cut it into smaller chunks. Then you cover the meat with water, bring the water up to a boil and then slowly turn it down to a simmer and let the meat Shimmer as it is simmering. You’re going to want to stir it every 2 or 3 minutes and start breaking them down into smaller pieces. And as it Cooks in the water, you’re going to get this really soft meat. Now. Remember I said, salted, you want to Salt this water, but you don’t want to oversell that. So we’re kind of back to that 3/4 of a teaspoon to 1 teaspoon per pound of meat, you’re going to add that salt and let that cook in that. Salty water. The meat is going to simmer for 20 or 30 minutes and it’s going to get a really soft texture and you’re going to get smaller pieces of meat. So if that’s the texture that you desire, you want to cook it in water. Now, in both cases the percentage of fat in your me. He is going to dictate whether or not you need to drain off that. I usually order my meat from our butcher pretty leave. So, it doesn’t have very much fat in it. So I usually don’t have to drain off that, but if you are ordering, meet are buying meat, that is a higher percentage of fat and really lean meat is like 95 to 99% lean moderate is about 85%, lean 15% fat, and then you start getting into fatty or cuts which are 70%, lean, 30% fat, if you’re in the 7285, you’re probably going to want a drain off. Some of the fat. You will thank me for this not poor fat down your sink because eventually over time, it probably won’t do it the first time or the second time or the fifth time, but someday when it’s a holiday, your pipes are going to clog in, you’re going to have to call a plumber and he’s going to say, have you been Sat down your sink and you’re going to she foolishly say yeah, and he’s going to chastise you, so do not get chastise by your plumber. Do not pour fat down your sink. When you are draining off fat, if you have the water in there that fat is going to Bubble to the top of the water. And you can use a spoon to kind of skim off the top of the fat. If you have a skillet and there’s just spat on the edges. You can tell the skillet up and use a spoon to slowly scoop it out or you could put a paper towel inside of a colander, put the colander on top of a plate, or a bowl and pour the meat into the colander. The paper towels going to absorb most of the fat and anyone else is going to drip onto the plate or into the bowl and then you can return them back to, you’re still at to finish whatever you are doing with the cooked ground beef. Some of my favorite recipes that use ground beef that are cooked by either of these two methods depending upon The texture that you want, our cheeseburger baked potatoes tater, tot casserole, and my classic chili, and I’ll link to all of those in the show notes. So we kind of talked about how to cook ground beef when you’re just Browning it for recipes. The second way that we’re going to talk about ground beef is the classic hamburger. Now, our families, whole lot of burgers in the summer. There are several different ways to cook burgers, including grilling, broiling and pan fry. And I’m going to talk about all three of those in a little bit. There are also three kind of main ways to deal with the meat as you form them into patties and we’re going to start with that. The first way that you can make hamburger into patties is to take the ground beef and shape it into patties without any seasonings without any additives. This is going to give you a very DC tasting Burger, but it’s not going to have a lot of residual flavor. Oftentimes, when you have that type of a Patty where it’s just beef, like the ones that you buy premade in the grocery store, you are going to want to see the nose with a minimum of salt and pepper on both sides as you cook them. But a lot of people like my father will doctor them up with like seasoned salt or garlic salt or something to add more flavor to just this slab of meat without any labor camp to of how to make your hamburger. Patties is a recipe that can originally from Cooks Illustrated and they made up a nod to mix with the beef to make extra juicy burger. That could be cooked fully through to have a burger that is super juicy that experts quote on quote experts who say that, you don’t want to cook it to fully well done. Well done, because that’s how but they aren’t super Juice. That way. And so they created this technique, or you may depend on to something that is usually used for meatloaf or meatballs, which we are going to talk about later, but I’m going to talk about the pain. He refers Apponaug is a mixture, usually of bread and liquid. The liquid is usually milk because of milk has a little bit of fat and protein in it and you mix the bread or breadcrumbs with the milk and it creates this kind of gelatinous paste that you mix with the beef and that adds moisture to the meat, which gives you the mouse deal of juiciness in your hamburger. I have made these burgers with Cooks Illustrated where you mix salt and pepper and some spices in this to not and mix it with the ground beef. And it makes a really good burger. It makes an extra Juicy Burgers. I will talk a little bit about making Burgers ahead the patties and freezing them. I have done this technique with frozen patties, and it totally works. This is a really good way to get a juicy burger is to mix it with a pen. My favorite way to make burgers is a future family. Tonight, make-ahead, hamburger patty recipe and it uses egg and garlic powder, and onion powder, and salt and Y8. I don’t really know the science behind it if you want, to be honest, but my father, always use an egg when he made hamburger patties and it helps him stay together and it gives him some moisture. I feel like it’s kind of the same idea. Is that panod where you’re adding a little bit of fat from the egg yolk. You’re getting a little bit of protein from the egg white and it makes really great Burgers. My make ahead Burgers. I usually make in a large batch in the late spring or early summer, and I will make dozens of patties. And I will freeze them on sheets of parchment paper. And then after they’re frozen solid, I will put them into zip baggies and all summer. Long. I pull out these Frozen burgers that I put on my grill, straight Frozen. It’s just so easy and so convenient. Have hamburgers which is one of our family’s favorite meals and that is how I like to do that. I will link to my recipe in the show notes for you. Now, we’ve talked about how we formed the path. Now, we’re going to talk about how to cook the patties. When you cook the patties. You can Grill them. You can broil them or you can pan. Fry them. Broiling is a mess. I really don’t see the point, if you are a die-hard broiler fan, be my guest. But I’m going to focus on grilling with a gas grill and tan frying. Now, if you like charcoal, I’m not your gout cuz I just don’t know how it work with charcoal. So if you are charcoal person replying, the comments of the blog post because I would love to hear about charcoal, but I know how to use gas. So that’s why I’m going to talk about she could but, you know, friends, gas grills need to be pre-heated. You want to preheat your gas grill for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Before turn all the burners on, turn them all on high and get your gas grill, screaming hot, and then you want to clean your grill with a wireless grill brush. Now. This is my public service announcement to you. We had a friend of the family, if you know, Grill brushes, they usually are little tiny wires that are on a long handle that you use to scrape off. Anything that has accumulated on the grill. And the easiest way to do it, is right before you grill, the next food with the gorilla screaming hot. You just scrub it with a grill brush and all of that crustiness from your last cooking episode just melts away, but he’s a little tiny metal hairs. Break off. And if you ingest one, it can cause a horrible issues. Our friend ended up having to have it surgically removed. She had months of health issues lost tons of weight and she is on a mission to teach people to use Grill brushes. That have one continuous wire so that the little wires don’t break off and you don’t ingest them. And cause problem. I will link to the grill brush that I use in the show notes. It is a safety thing and I want people to stop using the regular Grill brushes because I don’t want anyone to accidentally ingest one and it’s so easy to happen. Google it. You’ll totally see It’ll, horrify you, and then go and buy this grill brush, because the one that I have doesn’t have little pieces, it just has one continuous wire and it works really well on the grill. Heated, up your grill. You cleaned it with your safe grill brush. And then you put the Patties on. I’m usually putting them on. Frozen, you can let him cook if they’re frozen, they’re going to cook for about 7 minutes at medium heat. So they all the burners have been on high heat. You’re going to turn the burners down to medium heat, cook for 7 minutes on one side, flip them, cook for 5, more minutes. If you want to talk with and cheese or something great, your burgers are done. So that’s kind of how to cook them on a gas grill. If you are pan-frying them. This is a messy and ever, and your house is going to smell like burgers for days unless you have a really good Hood, but you can get this really nice, deep brown, crust on your burgers. And sometimes that is the Taste you’re going for and by golly, it is worth the best. So here’s tips on how to pan, fry Burgers. My son will pan. Fry one burger at like midnight and I can start smelling it in my sleep and I’ll start dreaming of burgers. He is that’s one thing. He makes it late at night. You want to get a heavy Skillet. If you have a cast iron skillet, that is the best you want to heat it up. On medium-high heat until it is screaming hot and then you want to add your burger patty and you want to put a splatter guard on top because it is going to spot and spatter, fat all over, unless you’re using like 99% lean beef, which is going to give you a burger. That’s kind of dry. I wouldn’t recommend it, put a splatter guard on top to save yourself some of the cleanup. If you have an exhaust Hood, make sure that you turn it on as high as it will go because this is going to create a lot of grease and a lot of mess in your kitchen. If you don’t have your exhaust Hood, going to let it sit in that skillet for at least 5 minutes and get that deep brown crust. Kind of like when we were Browning the hamburger before, then flip it. But it took for a couple minutes on the other side and you end up with this crusty hamburger, that is delicious. And while I am talking about hamburgers, we need Discuss the golf ball issue. Have you ever had a burger? That looks like a beautiful Patty and you go and you put it on the grill and it pops up in the middle and it ends up more like a ball and it shrinks and it doesn’t go to the edge of the bun and he’s got this big thick Burger. That’s kind of hard to eat. My friends, that is a common issue with hamburgers and there are two really simple ways to deal with it. The first way is to make your patties extra wide and super spin. What happens when these hamburger patties turn into golf balls? Is the outside of the hamburger is starting to cook, but the inside isn’t, and the proteins are shrinking on the outside and they’re coming in coming in. And then be only has one place to go, which is to the center and it pops up in the center. If you make your hamburger patties, extra thin and super wide like the ones that you buy pre Frozen in the grocery store, they will shrink up and you will end up with a sticker Burger, but it’s not going to be a golf ball. I usually make my make ahead hamburger patties and I make them extra wide and extra thin, and then they usually shrink in and get a little bit thicker and they make perfect hamburgers. The other way to do it, is when you’re making your patties, it can still be a little LPS sticker Patty and you just take your thumb and put a little divot in the center of the meat and you’re going to have like a little hole there and it’s going to fill with fat as that fat is rendered. Then eventually, when you flip it, the meat is going to fill in that space. Then you’re going to end up with a flat Burger but you’re not going to end up with a burger. That’s life is like a golf ball. Another thing about Flipping burgers is when you flip them, do not take your spatula and push down on it because what you’re doing is you are releasing all of the fat that is inside of proteins and you’re going to end up with a very dry hamburger fat fat ass flavor. If you want less fat than use a leaner meat, but still do not push down on it with your spatulate either, when you are grilling them or pan-frying them. The last kind of techniques for cooking ground beef that we’re going to talk about today, is meatloaf and meatballs, and I touched on it a little bit earlier, but meatloaf and meatballs are usually some type of a pun. So you have a bread and a liquid usually milk. And sometimes there’s some eggs and other ingredients mixed in with the meat to bind it together or give it flavor. It’s really key to have some type of Apponaug because it is going to give structure and it’s going to give moisture to this meatloaf for the meatballs, meatloaf or meatballs, by the way, are basically the same thing. It’s just about how their shapes and how they’re cooked. My dairy-free meatballs, which are linked to in the show notes, actually use water rather than milk for the pain. And I’m not using fresh bread. I’m using dried Panko bread crumbs. I have seen people, do it with gluten free bread crumbs. So if you need to be gluten-free, you can make a gluten-free pinaud with either milk or water and it still should come out pretty. Well, sum meatball recipes with an old Pioneer Woman recipe for these barbecue meatballs that had oatmeal in them. It’s the same concept you’re mixing the oatmeal with the moisture of the water or the milk, and they’re going to absorb. And it’s going to create moisture in the meatballs. When you are dealing with meatloaf or Meatballs 2 key is surface area, service area is what gives the meatloaf or meatballs that crust? Which is the best part of the meatloaf or meatballs. So when you are making a meatloaf, do not put it into a loaf pan because you’re only going to get a little Crest on the very top because that is where the meat is exposed to the air of the oven, make a free-form loaf and put it on a rimmed baking sheet. And you’re going to have a greater surface area, which is going to give you greater Crest, which is going to make a better meatloaf when you are doing meatballs, you basically take meatloaf mixture and you shape it into balls and I am too lazy to shave it into balls. So I have a number for T scoop and I use that to make the meatballs. If you do not have a number 40 scoop. It is an indispensable tool. In my kitchen is linked in the show notes. I used it to make little lumps of my ginger garlic paste, that I freeze. I use it to make cookies. I use it to make meatballs. It’s the perfect size for my mini muffin tin. It is such a handy tool and I’m not one about having a lot of extra kitchen gadgets. But my number for the kitchen, scoop is something that I use at least weekly probably two to three times a week. When you’re making the meatballs. You can cook them in one of two ways. You can cook them to marry Sheldon way. Sheldon is my mother. And when she makes meatballs, she individually fries, each of the meatballs in a skillet. She puts maybe 12 and is still at a time. So there’s lots of air around them and they get this big sick deep crust, but they’re not particularly around, which doesn’t bother me because that’s it crossed again. The key is you let him cook and you don’t touch them until the thick crust. Form, then you flip them and you cook them on the other side and you cook them until they’re cooked through. It is a messy Endeavor. It makes wonderful meatballs, but I don’t have time for it. So, I like to cook mine in the oven and you can see the technique in my dairy-free Italian, meatball recipe, but I basically scoop them and I put them onto a cookie sheet. And then I bake them in the oven. If your oven has a convection feature where the air circulates use that convection feature because it’s going to create more air, which is going to get you a slightly thicker crust on those meatballs. That is the easiest way to cook meatballs. Princesses are really long podcast. I’m looking at my timer and I can’t believe I’ve talked to half an hour about how to cook ground beef. But I think that there are some key techniques that we can all learn from as we kind of digging deeper to make small little tweaks to our cooking techniques that make our food taste. Just a little bit better or make our lives just a little bit easier. So, I want to know in the future family tonight. Facebook group, if you learned anything from this episode or if you said, yeah, I do that. That must be why buy food tastes so good. I want to hear it and feed your family tonight. Facebook group. Do I need air for now friend? I hope you have a great week to take care.