Should I drain ground beef for spaghetti?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Should I drain ground beef for spaghetti? We will talk about the different types of ground bee, how to handle and cook it.

Should I drain ground beef for spaghetti?

You should drain ground beef for spaghetti if you don’t want the pasta sauce to be too thin and runny.  Extremely versatile, ground beef can be pan-cooked and then made into sauces or casseroles, or simply shaped into burgers or meatballs.

Cook ground beef in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes. During cooking, break it into small pieces. Cook meat enough so that it is completely browned. Drain it and add to pasta or soup sauces or use in chilies, casseroles, and tacos. Season to taste.

The composition of ground beef

Ground beef is made up of beef and its fat, usually the muscles of the shoulders or thighs as well as the less tender parts.

It can be chopped with a mincer, at home, or at the butcher’s, but also prepared on a larger scale in processing plants.

There are different categories of ground beef on sale at the grocery store:

  • extra lean meat: does not contain more than 10% fat;
  •  lean meat: does not contain more than 17% fat. This is the most versatile type of ground beef;
  • semi-lean meat: there is no more than 23% fat;
  •  regular meat: does not contain more than 30% fat. Since this ground beef is fattier, it is best to drain it after cooking to remove the excess fat. It can then be incorporated into recipes.

Overall, we can say that the more the minced meat is dotted with white, the fattier it is. It is also the one that will be sold the cheapest.

If for the steak and the cooking on the barbecue one prefers cuts of beef more marbled, it is the reverse for the ground beef. From a nutritional standpoint, it’s best to use lean or extra-lean ground beef in recipes.

Why is the inside of minced meat brownish in color?

You bought a package of ground meat at the grocery store and when it comes time to cook it you realize that the meat is a brown or slightly grayish color inside?

Rest assured! Although it is not appetizing, it is a normal phenomenon. It is quite simply that on contact with oxygen, beef develops its red color. Without oxygen, it takes on this gray-brownish hue instead.

Ground beef is very versatile in recipes and easy to cook. However, here are some tips for storing and cooking.

Bleeding or not bleeding?

No hesitation here! Minced steak is always eaten very well done.

The meat should have lost its pink color and the juices flowing from it should be clear. Above all, the meat must have reached an internal temperature of 71 ° C (160 ° F), which is checked with a meat thermometer.

Why is this so important? Because minced meat is susceptible to infection quickly after being minced. In addition, the bacteria located on the surface of pieces of meat, easily eliminated during cooking, are found everywhere in the case of minced meat, in the center as well as on the outside.

Handling and cooking ground beef 

Given the increased risk of contamination of raw ground meat with bacteria such as salmonella or E. coli, some handling and safety tips are in order. The last thing you want is to be sick!

At all times, meat must be kept cold. Refrigerate ground beef no later than 1 to 2 hours after purchase. We, therefore, avoid leaving him for hours in the car while finishing his other errands.

As mentioned earlier, ground meat should always be eaten well cooked.

For defrosting, we prefer the fridge (take out the meat the day before or the same morning). You can also use the microwave, but you never let the meat thaw at room temperature on the counter.

Once the meat has thawed, it should be cooked immediately.

Check the expiration date on the packaging and do not consume it after this date. This does not guarantee the safety of the meat, but it is an indication of its freshness and shelf life.

Packages of ground meat should always be in their own plastic bag or container in case gravy leaks out and contaminates other foods.

Wash hands thoroughly with soap and hot water after handling raw ground meat.

Do not use the same cutting board and knives for fresh fruits and vegetables as for meat.

Best recipes with ground beef

Looking for inspiration to cook with ground beef? Try these recipes:

Zucchini stuffed with beef and almonds

Banh mi reinvented with “hamburger”

Spicy ground beef and eggplant stir-fry

Sweet and Spicy Sloppy Joe

All dressed Mexican casserole


Some people prefer to drain ground beef for spaghetti, to make sure that the sauce is not too thin or runny and will stick to the cooked pasta. However, if you prefer not to, there is no need to drain ground beef after cooking it.  

Ground beef is made up of beef and its fat, usually the muscles of the shoulders or thighs as well as the less tender parts. It can be chopped with a mincer, at home, or at the butcher’s, but also prepared on a larger scale in processing plants.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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