How to cook ground beef in the oven? (3 steps how)

In this article, we will answer the question “How to cook ground beef in the oven?”, and what are the other ways to cook ground beef? 

How to cook ground beef in the oven?

Follow the step below to cook ground beef in the oven.

  1. Preheat your oven at 400°F for about 20 minutes. 
  2. Line a baking sheet or tray with thick aluminum foil and spread the beef on the foil evenly. Cover it with another sheet of aluminum foil and let it bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes, remove the foil from the top. Now stir the beef and break it into smaller pieces using a spatula and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes or until completely tender and brown.

Ground beef is the staple ingredient of casseroles, lasagna, hamburgers, and tacos, etc. Ground beef added to spaghetti or tacos is the go-to choice for dinner and snacking. You can freeze store-cooked ground beef for later use. This makes it a quick fix for a protein-packed meal. 

Browning the ground beef will take about 7 minutes on the stovetop, 6 minutes in the pressure cooker, and approximately 25-30 minutes in the oven to become evenly browned and safely cooked. Read on if you want to know how to cook, store and use ground beef to make heavenly tasting dishes.

What are the other ways to cook ground beef?

There are a variety of ways to brown ground beef. If cooking in smaller amounts, opt for the skillet or pressure cooker method. If you have guests over, you can go for the baking option for browning ground beef in real-time.

In the skillet or frying pan

This is the easiest way to cook ground beef, especially for single servings. Put the ground beef in a seasoned or greased pan or skillet. Use a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon to break and spread the ground beef in small pieces for it to cook evenly.

Add salt, pepper, and herbs and either serve warm or freeze store for later use.

In a pressure cooker or crockpot

Add one cup of water to a pressure cooker or crockpot. Keep the trivet in place and add the ground beef.  Cook the ground beef on high pressure for about 6 months. Let the pressure release naturally from the cooker.

In water

This method is a good choice if you are want to avoid adding oil to the meat. In a  pot add water. Use ½ cup water for each pound of beef. Cover the pot and let it steam cook until tender.

In the microwave

Grease a non-stick casserole dish with some oil and put the meat in it. Cover with a lid and cook on high power in the microwave. After 3 minutes, stir well and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Keep checking in regular minutes for doneness. When done, drain the fat and serve warm.

How to brown frozen ground beef?

Let the frozen beef thaw in the refrigerator overnight before cooking. For this, you need to plan ahead. Cook the beef with the method of your choice. To be safe, check the internal temperature of the beef with a thermometer. It should be at least 165°F, according to the USDA.

How to drain fat from cooked ground beef?

Tilt the pot you used to cook the ground beef. Push the meat to one side and let the pot stay in the tilter position until the fat collects on the bottom of the pot or pan. Using a slotted spoon, remove the drained fat and discard as is or after refrigerating so that it solidifies

Now transfer the beef onto a paper towel and let it absorb the remaining fat.

How to buy and store ground beef?

Packaged beef has a lean meat/fat ratio written on the package. A greater fat content usually imparts more flavor to the meat it shrinks when cooked and you end up with a much smaller portion of meat. A higher fat content is not good for your health but you will be missing out on a lot of flavors if you buy less fatty meat.

So the safe option is to go for meat with an 85% lean meat and 15% fat distribution. This ensures both flavor and health.

Ground beef can also be bought based on the cut of the meat. It could be round, sirloin or chuck. They have different lean meat/fat ratios.

After purchasing, ground beef can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Other FAQs about Beef that you may be interested in.

What happens if you eat bad ground beef?

What is the difference between ground chuck and ground beef?

How Can I Make My Beef Stew More Flavorful?


In this article, we answered the question “How to cook ground beef in the oven?”, and what are the other ways to cook ground beef?