Yes, there is a big difference between minced meat and ground meat. Surprising, right?
Not a lot of people realize that although these two ways of preparing meat look very similar, they differ greatly in how they are produced, what their flavors and textures are like, and how they are used.
So, what are the differences between minced and ground meat – minced meat vs ground meat? Ground meat is made from meat with additional ingredients that are put through a meat grinder, whereas minced meat is made from 100% meat and is sometimes chopped, not ground, producing a coarser texture.
In today’s article, we will look at the main differences between ground and minced meat, including how they are made, their taste, texture, and color, as well as their uses.
Let’s start with the better-known of the two. Many people often refer to any type of finely processed meat as “ground meat,” when, in fact, actual ground meat differs from other types.
Ground meat is meat that has been put through a meat grinder. Although it is technically being minced, it isn’t minced meat.
Large meat cubes are inserted to the top of the grinder, often along with additional fat and ingredients, and worked into a very fine, chunky paste-like consistency.
The meat is then further worked through the grinder and pushed out into long string-like pieces.
Like products such as sausage and scrapple, ground meat also very often contains other ingredients, so it is not 100% beef, or pork, chicken, etc. These ingredients aren’t anything synthetic. Ingredients include mostly water, soy, or excessive fat from other animals.
Ground meat works best in foods that are cooked for long periods of time, like stews, soups, and curries. Anything where you don’t need texture from the meat and where the flavor comes from spices and herbs, not the meat itself.
Minced meat is meat that has been very finely chopped. In some countries, it can also be put through a meat grinder (like this one I found on Amazon), but without any additional ingredients – meat only.
There are also large machines with very sharp blades that repeatedly chop the meat into very small pieces. Consequently, it has a courser texture than ground meat.
In most countries, by law, the labeling cannot say “minced meat” if it contains other ingredients. The meat cannot be bulked up with fat or water, and therefore has a much more authentic and deeper meaty flavor.
Minced meat should be used in dishes where it is important to get the meaty flavor across, for example, lasagna, meatballs, beef patties, or spaghetti bolognese.
The meat flavor should be the hero of the dish and should not be watered down.
Because of its courser – albeit fine – texture, it is perfect for casseroles and dishes with texture.
What’s the Difference?
The main difference between ground and minced meat is their contents. Ground meat is bulked up with additional ingredients.
Minced meat is made from 100% meat and doesn’t contain additional ingredients.
This doesn’t mean that ground meat is inferior, only that it has different uses and won’t necessarily function as minced meat would. Below is a chart for your convenience.
Minced Meat vs Ground Meat Comparison [Chart]
We’ve summed up the differences between ground and minced meat for you to review in this handy chart.
|Uses about 70-80% meat, whereas the rest of the ingredients include water, additional fat, and soy.
|Made from 100% meat (be it beef, pork, or chicken).
|The meat and its additional ingredients are placed through a meat grinder to produce the specific texture and blend together the ingredients.
|Meat is chopped with knives or a machine but rarely put through a meat grinder (depending on the country you are in).
|Very fine texture in the form of long, stringy pieces.
|Finely chopped texture that is much coarser compared to ground meat.
|Has a diluted color because of the fat and water content.
|Has a much deeper color because it is made from meat only, and is much truer to the color of the actual meat.
|Not noticeably diluted, however when compared side by side, you will definitely be able to notice the difference.
|Very fresh meat flavor, unaltered by other ingredients.
|Best suited for dishes that don’t focus on texture or meaty flavors.
|Best suited for dishes with strong meaty flavors that need texture.
We hope this guide has proven to be a valuable resource to you. And if you’ve never tried one or the other, we strongly encourage you to experiment with new recipes and tell us about them!