How to Cook Ground Beef

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Learn how to cook ground beef the right way so it stays juicy but gets nicely browned. I’ll show you my secrets so it comes out perfectly every time.


  • 1 lb. ground beef, I like to use 85% lean
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¾ tsp. salt (if desired)
  • ¼ tsp. pepper (if desired)


  1. About 15-20 minutes before you’re going to cook the beef, remove it from the fridge so it can come closer to room temperature. This helps it cook more evenly.
  2. In a large skillet, preferably cast iron, heat the olive oil over medium heat for about 2 minutes until hot.
  3. Add the ground beef and, using a spatula, press the beef into an even, flat layer in the pan, almost like you’re making a big hamburger.
  4. Let it cook untouched for 5 minutes. This is what helps create a brown crust.
  5. Start to break apart the meat, flipping it over.
  6. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until cooked through, and then go back with the spatula and break apart into smaller clumps.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, if using. Stir.
  8. Remove from heat and use as desired.